THE TRIBUNAL: Midway Arcade Treasures 2

THE SESSION HAS NOW BEEN CONVENED

*The crowd gathers into the fabled Inside Pulse Tribunal Stadium*

Attention! Attention! All will come to order!

*The crowd refuses to quiet down.*

STOP CUTTING DOWN TREES AND CHOPPING OFF PEOPLE’S HEADS! Soon we’ll be without forests and audience members entirely!

*The crowd reluctantly quiets down.*

We meet in the fabled Tribunal hall today to pass judgment on one of the many compilation games released lately. Midway Arcade Treasures 2, rise and step forward.

*The game does so.*

Midway Arcade Treasures 2, you’ve been brought forward to prove yourself to us, and to the world. You are the second in a line of compilation games released under the Midway banner. The first contained a large selection of old, classic titles. You, however, contain a mix of classics, as well as some games that are considered to be very high on the podium of recognizable arcade games. Containing MKII, MK3, as well as Primal Rage and Rampage World Your is proof of that fact. But how do these games mesh together in this collection? This is what we will see today.

Your judges today are A.J. Angeloni, Fredrick Badlissi, and myself, Alex Williams. What will be our judgment in…THE TRIBUNAL?!?!?

LET THE JUDGEMENT COMMENCE

JUDGE #1: A.J. Angeloni

So let me make this simple: Twenty games on one disc. Twenty dollars as a price tag. There is nothing anyone could ever tell me that would convince me that this kind of a deal is one you could pass up. Not when Mortal Kombat II and III are on it, not when a Rampage game is there, and certainly not when you add in the other seventeen classic titles to the list. You’re getting more bang for your buck, and that is nothing but a good thing. Sure, the games this time around just aren’t as good as the first batch of titles, but that still shouldn’t deter anyone from making a purchase. Midway has hit a goldmine here and they know it. Out for all three systems this title is the perfect game for any retro gamer out there. It provides countless hours of fun with games that will have you remembering every special gaming memory you had growing up. In fact Midway, hopefully, will set a standard for even more retro collections. In the past year we have been treated to game discs chronicling the Megaman titles, Sonic titles, and more. I point to the success of collections such as Midways Arcade Treasures 2 and it’s predecessor for this new trend.

The bottom line is you really can’t go wrong with a title like this no matter which way you slice it. The games are all easy, fun, and a throwback to a simpler time in gaming. In short this is a game you will never get tired of. It’s good for any mood, at any time. With twenty games to choose from you always have a high variety level that lends itself to a nearly endless replayability factor. The best part is that there are a lot of genres represented here that encapsulate a vast audience of gamers. So what are you waiting for? Go out, throw down that twenty, and go home with one of the best purchases you have ever made. It’s more than worth it, and it reminds us all that just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s lost any of what made it great in the first place.

THE SCORE: 7.0/10

JUDGE #2: Fredrick Badlissi

Nostalgia for the Generation Y gamer at 20 bucks? It’s hard to turn down, that’s for sure. So when I heard that I could get Mortal Kombat II and III along with the dated-yet-always-amusing Primal Rage, you could say that I was sold then and there. And that’s even after Midway pulled a Nintendo and removed MK1 from the line-up. But 10 years later for both the franchises and myself, does Midway Arcade Treasures 2 really stand up to snuff?

Almost. Gotta hand it to Midway for putting together a fine package of titles from a period in arcade culture that probably won’t be paralleled for some time. However, despite the rush of nostalgia that comes from trying to remember Baraka’s head-chop fatality, or how to dodge the impending doom of an on-coming syringe in N.A.R.C, there are some aspects of the game that could have had so much more. Would it have been all that hard to include move-sheets for the fighting games and/or strategies for the other games? Or perhaps in-depth biographies behind the games included? Perhaps come part three…

In closing, Midway Arcade Treasures 2 is in many ways like a distant relative you’ve not seen in ages: there’s warmth in the heart from memories past, but they haven’t aged as gracefully as memory will permit. It’s got some real gems in the MK games, as well as TIMBER (probably the most badass game you’ve never played), but I can only recommend it insofar as a rental.

THE SCORE: 6.5/10

JUDGE #3: Alex Williams

Yes, I’ll admit buying this game because it had both MKII and MK3 on it. Those are the titles that jumped out at me first, and the Mortal Kombat series is one of my “guilty pleasures” when it comes to gaming. So I picked it up for the wonderful price of $20, knowing that there were 18 other titles to satisfy me if the first I mentioned didn’t pan out.

And now I thank Midway for including those 18 other games. While the Mortal Kombats were fun, I found there to be several errors in the translation. For example, in MK2, the Start button doubles as the “arcade” Start button, as well as the “pause” button for MAT2. Because of this, I cannot pull off the secret to fighting Smoke. And speaking of Smoke, you’ll need to enter a code for him EVERY TIME you play MK3 to unlock him. He’s not saved to the memory card at ALL. So in essence, this game is pretty much Smoke-proof.

But there are MANY more reasons to own this game outside of the Mortal Kombats and its low price tag. I actually remember playing Championship Sprint in the arcades, so that was a nice welcome home for me. Arch Rivals is a good one, considering its a precursor to NBA Jam. And you NEED to pick this thing up if only for Timber. I had never heard of it, but it’s some of the most fun you’ll have on this disc. Trust me. It has the ROOTBEER TAPPER guy in it!

Long story short, you’re not buying this game for graphics, smart A.I., or anything that’s new and groundbreaking. You’re buying it to catch up on some nostalgia. (And if you get the XBox version, you’re buying it to smoke the other players on the Live scoreboards.) So it’s worth a rental, at the very least.

THE SCORE: 6.0/10

The Tribunal has spoken! And now, to the final judgment…

SCORE #1: 7.0
SCORE #2: 6.5
SCORE #3: 6.0

FINAL JUDGEMENT: 6.5

It is the decision of this Tribunal that Midway Arcade Classics 2 may contain some excellent titles overall, but is only an above-average compilation. The games included come from all over the place, and don’t seem to carry a consistent theme. Its as if Midway lumped 20 random games together instead of trying to achieve a balance. However, the games included are worth at least a few play-through. So you may go now, MAT2, and spread joy to those looking to the past for their gaming future.

THIS SESSION HAS NOW BEEN ADJOURNED

We now dismiss all the attendees to this gathering. But we shall require your presence again, once The Tribunal deems another to prove itself…