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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Classic Games

 

Publisher

Midway

 

Developer

Midway / Digital Eclipse

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

October 27, 2005

 

 

- Even with only eight titles, it's still a bargain for those that like their arcade classics

- A few extras thrown in for the gameplay

 

 

- S.T.U.N. Runner is awful

- Just begs to be shipped with a steering wheel / gas pedal combo

 

 

Review: Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (GC)

Review: Tecmo Classic Arcade (XB)

Review: Activision Anthology (PS2)

 

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Midway Arcade Treasures 3

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again.  I’m a sucker for classic game compilations.  No bones about it, almost without exception the nostalgic pull is enough to draw me in.  Knowing how much coinage I dumped into these games at the arcade… well, at a budget price of $20US most of the classic compilations are too good to pass up and I don’t have to worry about blowing my allowance.  From a nostalgia point of view Midway scores again with their third Arcade Treasures edition, this time featuring racing games.

 

Click Here to See Screenshot Gallery (Opens in New Window)

 

Here’s the rundown:

 

Hydro Thunder – I come across this game nearly every day on my commute into work so I can compare this iteration of the game with the original.  For the most part the water-filled tracks are replicated faithfully, although it seems the graphics have been toned down.  There are more play options though, including multiplayer which is great fun.

 

RUSH 2049 – Another game I regularly come across in my travels, is a great translation of the arcade original.  However, I really don’t ever remember any of the cars being able to fly.  There has also been a Battle Mode added.

 

Off Road Thunder – Off Road Thunder is a 3D take on the ¾ fixed view Offroad.  Strangely enough, the physics behave a lot like Hydro Thunder.

 

RUSH the Rock – Another addition to the RUSH series is always welcome.  This is the “Alcatraz Edition” which basically means… nothing as far as I can tell.  Solid AI but it’s still more fun to play with a friend.

 

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S.T.U.N. Runner – This game just didn’t translate well and it doesn’t hold up under the test of time.  The sound effects are frightening (in a bad way) and the control is, to put in mildly, awful.  You control a futuristic vehicle through a series of tunnels, racing from checkpoint to checkpoint as quickly as possible, running over boost pads for even more speed.  But it’s just not fun.

 

Badlands – A take-off on Sprint Cars and Offroad, Badlands has a lot of fond memories attached 

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to it.  Set in a post-apocalyptic future, you can upgrade your car’s acceleration, handling, and stock up on missiles.  The tracks feel much more alive than most other ¾ fixed view of similar racing games – columns crumble under repeated hits, tankers spill oil, etc.  After you’ve fully equipped your ride, there’s not much competition but I was still having fun.

 

Race Drivin’ – Race Drivin’ is the follow-up to the much-hated (by me), Hard Drivin’ that sought to replicate an actual driving experience.  This is nowhere near an “actual driving experience” – boredom pretty much permeates every aspect of Race Drivin’ and the only time I’m ever bored while driving is when I’m stuck in traffic.  Race Drivin’ feature a “stunt” sensibility with jumps, loops and other nonsensical hazards but it’s ridiculously difficult to complete almost every single one of the stunts because the margin of error is 0.01%.  Plus the sound is atrocious.

 

Super Off Road – Super Off Road is a sequel to Off Road (and drops the Ironman Ivan Stewart preface of the original arcade unit) and can be summed up with, “More of the same.”  This one features 8 tracks, but technically there are 16 races because each track can be tackled clockwise or counter clockwise.

 

All the games suffer a similar problem when it comes to the basics of control.  No steering wheel (handle bars in the case of S.T.U.N. Runner) means some getting used to controls with the left stick.  So although Badlands features a perfect translation of the arcade action, something feels a bit off without the wheel and gas pedal.

 

While the second edition of Arcade Treasures featured upwards of 20 games, Midway Arcade Treasures 3 features a seemingly paltry 8 titles.  Still, at $20US, I would still have trouble not recommending it – though mainly to the die-hards that revel in this kind of old school arcade experience (okay, so some of the titles aren’t that old school) with your friends along for the ride, cursing and swearing along the way.

 

- Omni

(November 18, 2005)

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