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Review: 'Midway Arcade Origins' delivers hours of nostalgic fun

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's new compilation "Midway Arcade Origins" brings 31 "classic, genre-defining Midway titles from the golden age of arcades" onto one disc for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners for just $29.99. That's less than $1 each.

"Midway Arcade Origins" screnshots
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
"Midway Arcade Origins" box art
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Developed by Blackbone Entertainment, all of the games included in "Midway Arcade Origins" are faithful reproductions of the originals. There are multiple cabinets and borders for you to personalize your experience, along with local co-op multiplayer of up to four players on many of the games and online leader boards.

For many of the games the controls are simplistic, albeit a much different experience if you don't own an arcade stick. For some games, such as "Rampart," it's impossible to reproduce the same experience you grew up with because there is no track ball accessory for Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.

"Midway Arcade Origins" boasts PlayStation Network Trophies and Xbox 360 Achievements support. There's one for each game, however you can only earn them in the score mode that doesn't let you continue or have a second player. Unfortunately the achievements don't offer too much of a challenge, nor do they provide a reason to revisit any of the games later. That's because almost all of them are easy to earn and can be unlocked in less than twenty minutes each barring two of the titles: "Smash TV" and "Toobin'."

Watch video: "Midway Arcade Origins" launch trailer

Here's the full line up of titles, with a short description of each:

  • 720°" – Skateboard through the neighborhood and earn a ticket to compete at the big skate park.
  • "A.P.B." – Drive around as Officer Bob to ticket and arrest law-breakers and meet your ticket quota.
  • "Arch Rivals" – Outscore your opponent in this classic basketball game.
  • "Bubbles" – Maneuver around dirty objects as a soapy bubble trying to clean a kitchen sink.
  • "Championship Sprint" – Race to the finish in this classic speed game.
  • "Tournament Cyberball 2072" – Control a robotic football team and score touchdowns with exploding Cyberballs and short-circuiting robo-offenders.
  • "Defender" – Defend a far-off planet from waves of invading aliens while protecting the human race in this shooting game.
  • "Defender II" – Deliver humans to safety through the teleporting gateway, all while defending against attacking alien forces.
  • "Gauntlet" – Venture through dungeons as one of four fantasy-based characters to vanquish enemies and collect treasures and potions.
  • "Gauntlet II" – Reprise the role of your favorite fictional characters to embark on a new quest with all new levels, enemies and challenges.
  • "Joust" – Mount a flying ostrich and fly through levels by toppling groups of buzzard-riding knights.
  • "Joust 2" – Transform your ostrich into a powerful Pegasus to defend against the enemy buzzard-riding knights.
  • "Marble Madness" – Glide a marble through mazes and obstacles in this platform game.
  • "Pit-Fighter" – Be the last man standing to punch, kick, and beat your opponent in the fighting pit.
  • "Rampage" – Take control of gigantic mutants to demolish the city and terrorize civilization.
  • "Rampart" – Defend your castles by attacking oncoming forces and repairing any damage done to your territory.
  • "Robotron 2084" – Battle waves of robots to protect the last human family from annihilation.
  • "Root Beer Tapper" – Serve up mugs of root beer to thirsty patrons before the time runs out.
  • "Satan’s Hollow" – Build a bridge across a lava river and destroy gargoyles in order to reach the final level, a battle against Satan himself.
  • "Sinistar" – Blast planets and collect crystals to create deadly Sinibombs to defeat the evil Sinistar.
  • "Smash TV" – Advance through a vicious game show by playing for cash, keys, and the ultimate prize, your life.
  • "Spy Hunter" – Hunt down enemy agents while cruising for weapons and protecting civilians.
  • "Spy Hunter I"I – Gather weapons and set-up obstacles to destroy enemy agents in a 3D view.
  • "Super Off Road" – Race around the tracks in an off-road truck to beat the other contenders.
  • "Super Sprint" – Speed around twisty tracks and advance through the circuit to be named the racing champion.
  • "Toobin’" – Splash through rivers in an innertube to collect treasures and race against opponents.
  • "Total Carnage" – Play as the Doomsday Squad to rescue hostages and capture the evil dictator
  • "Vindicators Part II" – Power up to fill your depleting fuel tank and escape from oncoming attacks.
  • "Wizard of Wor" – Navigate through monster-filled dungeons to defeat the creatures within.
  • "Xenophobe" – Wander around a space station and shoot killer aliens before the time runs out.
  • "Xybots" – Dash through the 3D maze to fight Xybot robots bent on human destruction.

Not everyone will love every game on this compilation. A lot of the games I recognized, however there were also a few that I'd never heard of. For every game I liked there was another that I didn't. Thankfully the menu allows players to star their favorites to hide the rest, or you can sort by genre.

"Midway Arcade Origins" delivers hours of nostalgic fun without having to spend hundreds of dollars in quarters. The price is right, however unless one of the games is a personal favorite or you care about maintaining your online leader board status then there's little reason to come back to "Midway Arcade Origins" after you've played through each of the games. Additionally, younger audiences may not enjoy it as much as those who actually grew up playing these games in real arcades.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Hours played: 14
Achievements earned: 27/31
Gamer score earned: 760/1000

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