SONY PSP REVIEW: MIDWAY ARCADE TREASURES: EXTENDED PLAY
Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play
Lots of great games
Multi-player support
Gauntlet
Some control issues due to PSP

A slightly new spin on a slightly old series. by StewXX

December 26, 2005 - You can expect an incredible amount of classic arcade games in Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play, but just don't expect them to be 100% perfect ports of the originals. All of the games are playable in some form, and offer hours of gaming entertainment for everyone. Purists may take offense at how some of the games and the control systems have been altered but if this is your first experience with most of these games I think you'll find this to be a real bargain.

There are lots of games included here and there is a good assortment of genres. I'm a gamer from way back. I've been to arcades that didn't even have 21 games in them. To imagine all of these games in my hand is simply mind blowing. Yes I know the PSP is capable of so much more, but I'm trying to 20 years ago the idea that you could play all of these games on a handheld device would have....blown your mind, hence the mind blowing comment. I'm prepared for some sacrifices and although I don't always agree with all of the decisions that Digital Eclipse arrived at, I can live with them. My biggest complaint is that in making some of these games to fit the PSP screen they have been elongated to the point of being too modified.

Genres include combat, puzzle, racing, shooting, adventure and sports. If you think of these a series of deluxe mini-games you shouldn't be disappointed. The Mortal Kombat games are great except for the lengthy load times. If you have a memory stick it will reduce the load times significantly. It might take a bit of time to get used to doing moves with the D-pad, especially the jumps. It's best to get a firm grip on it and shove it hard at a diagonal position which isn't easy to do at first. Otherwise you could use the stick to jump and perform other moves with the D-pad.

Graphically the games look the same except the ones that have been stretched to fit the screen. You will notice certain backgrounds are different like in Mortal Kombat where the clouds are missing from the blue sky. These missing graphics don't affect the gameplay and only purists will notice.

Imagine a four-player handheld version of Gauntlet. This is almost worth the price of admission right here. Implementing the ad hoc wireless system up to four players can dungeon crawl their way back to the mid-80s for some classic fantasy role-playing. All your favorite characters are here including the wizard, the warrior and the Valkyrie. Enemies such as spiders, snakes, ghosts and goblins are also included along with all the potions, food, power-ups and Rune stones that have become hallmarks of the game.

All of the games featured here include all of the same levels, enemies, environments and playable characters. I must admit that I didn't AB each game with its arcade counterpart so if you notice that a certain colored marble is missing in Marble Madness, keep it to yourself. As far as I can tell though everything that is here is as close to authentic as arcade as you're going to get.

Certainly some of the games here are so classic they won't even register on your radar, especially if you were born into a world where Kurt Cobain was already deceased. Wizard Of Wor for example takes me right back to the cocktail style WoW coin op in one of the bars I used to frequent as a....younger lad. Let's not get into the semantics of exactly how old I was, but let's just say I haven't played Wizard of Wor for a loooooog time. Todays youth will most likely be interested in rubbernecking Mortal Kombat the most infamous title(s) on the list just to see what they looked like "way back when". Gamers today might wonder what the fuss is about having been totally spoiled by Midway's most recent MK offerings which clearly overshadow the franchises' humble albeit violent beginnings, but it's good for the kids to see progress. It learns them somethin'.

Considering Namco has been peddling the same package of classic games for about 10 years now, it's nice to Midway actually take a compilation like this seriously. I don't care what anyone says; this is an impressive collection. It's the perfect companion for any commute since you can jump into an out of a game without a lot of commitment. Playing the early games like Joust and Spy Hunter will remind you of a simpler time while the deeper gameplay of Gauntlet can't help but shed some light on how fast video games were evolving in the 80's. Considering that most of the games available in Extended Play are just as fun to play today, that speaks volumes about the overall quality of the originals.

By StewXX
CCC Staff Writer

Features:

Single Player:
· Spy Hunter
· Sinistar
· Defender
· Paperboy
· 720

Multi-Player
· Klax
· Joust
· Marble Madness
· Toobin'
· Rampage
· Gauntlet
· Rampart
· Wizard of Wor
· Xybots
· Championship Sprint
· Arch Rivals
· Cyberball 2072
· Xenophobe
· Mortal Kombat
· Mortal Kombat 2
· Mortal Kombat 3

Rating out of 5
Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play (PSP)
3.5
Graphics
Most of these games look the way I remember them in the arcade. There is some stretching to accomodate the PSP which looks unnatural but might not have been avoided.
4.0
Control
Not all of the controls are user-friendly such as those in Mortal Kombat. With a little practice and patience everything can be under control.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound isn't the greatest, but what do you expect?
4.5
Play Value
The nostalgia factor is directly proportionate to the value amount you place on a classic collection like this. 4 player Gauntlet (ad hoc) is worth the price of admission alone.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
System: PSP
Dev: Digital Eclipse
Pub: Midway
Release: Dec 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review by StewXX

Review Rating Legend
1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor
2.5 - 2.9 = Average
3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
3.5 - 3.9 = Good
4.0 - 4.4 = Great
4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
5.0 = The Best