This game costs 80 quarters. You could just as easily blow that on 80 games of Klax, you know.
Midway Arcade Treasures is another one of those classic game compilations that publishers seem to like to put out. They're cheap to make, cheap to buy, and filled with great classic games. Everyone's happy. Let's have a look at the 24 classics that Midway got onto a single GC disc for this package:
Defender I & II
Joust I & II
Root Beer Tapper
That's quite an impressive lineup, for one thing. Many people who aren't old enough to remember the arcade games might recognize some of them as NES ports. It's important to note that these games are the original arcade versions, meaning that games like Paperboy or Spy Hunter won't be exactly the same as how you remember the home versions.
Visually, the emulation is absolutely gorgeous. Of course, that's a relative term, because the arcade games from the 80s only looked so good. It's nice that the games didn't lose any of their luster in the conversion process. However, there are problems with the sound. While there aren't any major problems with how the games sound, the problem soon becomes obvious when playing a game like Klax. All of the sounds in all of the games are out of synch with what's happening on-screen. For most games and in most situations, it's nothing more than an annoyance, but there will be times when you're depending on a sound to help you in the harder levels of some games, and it doesn't come out at the right time. However, audio mis-timing is common when emulating older arcade games, so this is something that can be overlooked somewhat.
For the most part, Midway did a really nice job with translating joystick and button motions to the GameCube controller. For the arcade games that didn't use conventional joysticks, like Paperboy's bike handlebars and Super Sprint's steering wheel, they did their best to make it work the same way that it did in the arcade, and there are very few complaints in that department from this reviewer. Thankfully, and most importantly, Smash TV plays exactly like you’d think it should: Use the Control Stick or D-Pad to move, and use the C-Stick to shoot. Also, you can map just about any function to any button in any game, which is great if you aren't satisfied with the default configuration or if you're hardcore and have an X-Arcade around.
Midway Arcade Treasures also includes DVD-style features for some of the games in the form of developer interviews and "top secret documents" (that's what it says on the back of the box) in the form of sell-sheets for all the original arcade cabinets. There are also games that had quick histories and small bits of trivia. These extra features, however, are a bit thin. Not all games have developer interviews, and all they have outside of that is low-resolution pictures of the cabinets the games originally came in. However, the developer interviews that are there are fascinating, and those who know about the games will definitely learn a few things. Oddly enough, it seems that the audio synch problem that plagues the games seems to have leaked over to the video interviews as well.
Despite the strange audio problems, it's really hard to not recommend Midway Arcade Treasures to anyone who is old enough to remember these games from either the original arcade era or the NES conversions. There should be at least half a dozen games in this compilation that you already love or will fall in love with once you start playing, which makes for twenty dollars well spent. Don't hesitate to get this one if you've been thinking about it.