Archive for March, 2005

Arcade Treasures

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005
  Vol. 1 Vol. 2
Games Spy Hunter, Defender, Defender II, Gauntlet, Joust, Joust 2, Paperboy, Rampage, Robotron 2084, Smash TV, Bubbles, Roadblasters, Blaster, Rampart, Sinistar, Super Sprint, Marble Madness, 720°, Toobin’, KLAX, SPLAT!, Satan’s Hollow, Vindicators, and Root Beer Tapper Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Gauntlet II, Spy Hunter II, Xybots, NARC, APB, Cyberball 2072, Timber, Total Carnage, Pit Fighter, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Primal Rage, Arch Rivals, Rampage World Tour, Kozmik Krooz’r, Championship Sprint, Hard Drivin’, and Wacko
Game Selection Volume 1 has a good selection of games, and mostly seems to concentrate on the ‘classics.’ A lot of these games have been released in other forms in prior compilations of classic games, and are probably presented here for completeness. Features several games that are sequels to games featured in Vol. 1. Continues trend of presenting popular games along with some of the less mainstream/oddball games.
Presentation The compilation has a slightly confusing menu system (until you get the hang of it, that takes about 5 minutes), and other than that, there isn’t much to say about it. The manual goes over each game in the collection, sometimes devoting nearly a page to the gameplay. The menu system is much less convoluted, and actually looks good. It kept the same theme, sometimes managing to put two or three games on a page.
Graphics and Sound I don’t think it’s fair to compare the graphics of these games to anything contemporary. These are compilations of old arcade games, so if the graphics and sound match exactly what the original games looked and sounded like, then the programmers did their jobs. So, yes, none of the games looks like a Half Life 2 or Doom III, but they do look exactly like they should.
Translation to the Home Surprisingly, most of the games in these compilations made the transition from arcade to home fairly well, although some of the games seem like they have gotten a bit easier (such as Gauntlet) since you’re essentially given a bottomless sack of quarters to play with. Trying to play some of the games that were designed for a track ball (like Marble Madness) is slightly more difficult than it probably could have been.
EXTRAS! Both compilations have the same kinds of extra features: interviews with the creators of the games, flyers, cabinet shots, trivia about the games, etc. Somehow they managed to screw up the sound in the interviews horribly in Volume 2, they nearly blew out my eardrums. It’s always interesting to see what the inspiration was for some of those older games, as well as knowing what the developers were thinking when they created some of the more oddball games. Of course, if you don’t care about any of that stuff you won’t find the extras too interesting. For that matter, you probably won’t find the game too interesting.

So are they worth the $20 each? Only if you like playing old arcade games with the controls wedged into the Gamecube controller, and fortunately for me I do.