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North America

Midway Arcade Treasures 2

by Steven Rodriguez - November 1, 2004, 8:51 pm EST


Save your quarters up, because that's all you're going to need to get a hold of this great compilation.

A lot of these games will seem more familiar to more people than some of the headliners from the first game, since they are obviously more recent titles. The biggest name on the list, of course, is Mortal Kombat 3. MKII, NARC, Rampage World Tour, Championship Sprint, and Primal Rage are also very well-known, and the rest of the lot help to round out the twenty games available on this compilation.

Many of the games have held up surprisingly well, visually. The hardware that we have now completely blows out the circuit boards that were used in those stand-up cabinets back in the day, but inferior power doesn't make for inferior gameplay. In fact, seeing some of these games in their original forms is quite a hoot.

Hard Drivin' is a good example. It was more of a tech demonstration than a game, with extremely simple 3D graphics. Long ago, it was really neat getting to drive around in the environment, doing jumps and the 360 loop at top speed. Today, however, it's quite hilarious to go too fast off of a jump, land in the wrong lane, crack your windshield and hit an oncoming truck, with your car bursting into flame (singular). There's also the Smash TV psuedo-sequel that is Total Carnage. Controlling Captain Carnage and Major Mayhem, you blast through levels trying to take down the evil General Ahkboob to save the world from certain doom. Oh, and don't forget about Arch Rivals, the original punch-you-in-the-face sports game.

All of these games are fun and addictive, as they were originally designed to be, for passers-by to keep dropping in the quarters and to strive to become better at it. They just don't make games like the ones found on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (or the first Treasures, for that matter). It makes all the sense in the world for Midway to get together all of their old arcade games and get them emulated to work on today's modern console hardware.

The emulation process doens't come without some sacrifices, though. The sound in Treasures 2 is slightly out of sync globally, as it was in the first game (though not as bad or all that noticeable). The audio isn't quite as clear as it could be, either. However, the sound issues are pretty minor considering the joy that is contained within the disc. Those MK3 fatalities sound as brutal as ever whether you've got a $1000 stereo system or a $100 13" TV with mono speakers. (Well... they might sound a little better on the stereo system.)

Control issues are bound to come up as well. Arcade controls are almost always unique to a single game or series of games. Rampage World Tour and Championship Sprint just cannot share the same control scheme, because escaped lab experiments can't drive very well. Using only the two sticks and a single button as in Total Carnage wouldn't do it for Mortal Kombat, either. All 20 games had to somehow share a single control interface that is the GameCube controller, and for the majority of the games it works well enough to not get in the way. There are some games that support analog gameplay, like A.P.B. and other steering wheel games, but it still doesn't quite capture the feel of spinning that wheel around in the Sprint games or playing on that crazy slanted joystick panel in Wacko. Don't let that get you down, though. If you have an arcade-joystick for GameCube, a few of these problems are solved, and if you can cope with the 15+ button setups on most modern games, adjusting to 4 or 5 oddly set buttons (which you can customize in any way you want) shouldn't be too bad.

But you know, it really doesn't matter what it controls like, what it sounds like, or what it looks like. The fact of the matter is, the game on Midway Arcade Treasures 2 are what helped to make the games we play today so great. It's only $20 (that's 80 quarters) to play videogame history. Buy it now, play it with some buddies who know the games like you do, and get back out to those arcades and see what's new!


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 5 5 8 7 7.5

Most of the games in the collection still look pretty good, despite them being 10 or 15 years old. One or two of them don't, though, but that's because they were really technological achievements rather than graphics powerhouses. A game like NARC was both, however.


Trying to emulate ancient sound arcade hardware on console hardware that is thousands of times more powerful seems to be a problem. The sound is slightly out of sync (again) in the selection menus, bonus videos and throughout all games, with some crackling audio here and there. It's not as bad as it was in the first game, but it is noticeable for those with the ear for it. Other than that, the music and sounds are just as you remember them.


All of the games started off in the arcades, obviously, so some sacrifices had to be made to get them working on the controller, especially the GameCube's controller. The fighting games are especially tricky to get a hold of. A few of the games do have analog control, but it's not exact. For the most part, though, games control just fine once you get used to things.


These games were fun back then, and are still fun now. Like cheese and fine wine, they get better with age. Most of the games were designed for more than one person for maximum enjoyment, so get some of your older buddies to help you have a ton of fun playing all these classics. Also, Hard Drivin' gets bonus points for the first game with a "realistic" exploding car.


As with the first crop of classics, you'll play every one a bit, then hang on to your favorites. This time around, however, you might find that you'll have more favorites to play around with. Again, this game will last you a lot longer if you have someone to fight against in the MK games or someone to play with in Gauntlet II or Total Carnage.


This compilation is even better than the first one, and it's only $20. You probably spent that much on one of these games by itself in the arcades way back when, so it's a great value, for sure. If you liked any of the games featured in Midway Arcade Treasures 2 when they were in the arcades, you will like some of the others in this one, guaranteed. It's definitely worth it.


  • All your favorite recent arcade classics on one disc
  • Only 20 bucks!
  • Some interesting bonus materials and videos
  • Control takes some time to get used to on most games
  • No way to get back that $0.75 per game of MK3 you blew back in 1995
  • Sound is a little out of sync everywhere
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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Genre Action
Developer Midway
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Midway Arcade Treasures 2
Release Q4 2004
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