Midway Arcade Greatest Hits – Volume 1
You know, it’s difficult to know where to begin with a collection like this – after all, you can hardly take the disc as a whole when there are so many different elements to it. So here’s an idea: let’s look at each game separately and give a brief run-down on them before going into a little more detail, shall we?
Defender – The original shoot-’em-up, with the exception of Space Invaders perhaps. Fly back and forth, blasting the aliens and preventing them from abducting those cute little purple and green… er, things. Pretty hectic blasting action for all the family.
Defender 2 – Hmm, do you think this might be the sequel to the first Defender game? We’d never have guessed. And it’s virtually identical. Ho hum.
Joust – Mmm, ostrich fighting. Ride your ‘steed’ around and flap those wings while trying to knock the other riders off and turn them into eggs for you to collect. Totally bizarre, but a good laugh if you’ve got a mate to join in for a bit.
Sinistar – Take control of your spaceship and fly around, killing anything that moves and ‘mining’ crystals to create Sinibombs that can be used to destroy the evil Sinistar once he’s been rebuilt. Bizarre, but strangely okay.
Bubbles – One of the more enjoyable games in the collection is this rather strange offering. Guide ‘Bubbles’ around the sink, collecting stuff without getting burst. Not all that bad.
Robotron – Aargh! Don’t even get us started on Robotron… we’ll never get why this was such a popular game. It’s rubbish… do you hear us? RUBBISH!
So, that’s what you’ve got to look forward to if you pick up a copy of this collection. But the question is, should you really be looking forward to it? In truth the answer has to be a resounding ‘No’, for one major reason…
In the games industry (and among those slightly older games like us), it’s amazing to see how many people think back and say things like, “The games when I was young were much better” and then go on to waffle about gameplay, how you didn’t need good graphics to have a great game and so on. This might be true, but then if you try going back and actually playing some of those ‘classic’ games you’ll be in for a shock… because they’re crap.
Thanks to new technology and the advancement of games in general, we’ve been spoilt rotten – no-one plays a game any more if doesn’t look at least halfdecent, do they? They’ve also got to be slightly more engrossing that just doing the same thing over and over again… and sadly, Midway Arcade Greatest Hits – Volume 1 doesn’t offer either. Certainly, these games were classics in their own time but now they just look old, tired and downright dull.
Bubbles and Joust held our attention the longest with a record of… 15 minutes each. Next came Defender and Sinistar with around seven minutes of play before we got bored and bringing up the rear with an astonishing three minutes of play was Robotron… at which point we just got up and walked away. Can you see the pattern? That’s right – none of these games were good enough to keep us interested… which, considering we give every game a fair chance, is diabolical. Add to this the worst front-end menu we’ve ever seen, and a totally gamer-unfriendly menu system and you’ve got one stinker of a collection.
Frankly, this sucks big time. Fair enough, we’d expect to see something like this on the PlayStation (and indeed, it’s already been out) but on the Dreamcast, it’s a total abomination. If you buy it, you’ll burn in the fires of Hell… and that’s a promise.