Digital Eclipse



Arcade Party Pack Review

By: John Doe

Midway throws its hat into the compilation ring, allowing you to play some of your favorite arcade titles from the 80's at home. The biggest problem with this collection is the "at home" part, because that means you'll have to play all of the games using the PSX controller. If you are familiar with some of the games on this disk, you'll know that the PSX controller is the last you should be playing them on.


Midway made some amazing games in the 80's and 90's and sadly, this game is missing some of them. What you do get is a lightweight selection that includes Rampage, Toobin', 720, Klax, Super Sprint and Smash TV. Midway also included some video clips with the original game designers for your interest. Watch them as they shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes of videogaming development. Heck, I'd watch a whole video of these guys.

Rampage: Since this game has refused to go away, you will undoubtedly be familiar with it. You play one of three monsters that have to destroy the various cities to advance while eating civilians and trying to hamper your opponents progress. In the arcade this was great 3 player fun; 12 years ago. I owned the Sega Master System version of this. That tells you how old this game is. Nowadays you've played the many updated versions, so what's the point playing this one now? Well, it is the identical arcade version if you are a stickler for authenticity. However, the graphics look really low res and blurry and the control is questionable due to some animation quirks. Grade: C-

Toobin': I remember when Toobin' was state of the art. If my memory serves me correctly, the control scheme was definitely not executed with a d-pad. I believe it was a 5 button layout, with 4 being used for movement and 1 for hucking tin cans at various things while moving down the river. The fun of Toobin' was making the control scheme work. The PlayStation version allows you to use the d-pad but if you want more arcade authenticity, then use the R and L shoulder buttons. This game was a lot of fun back then, but like the rest of this collection, today's generation won't see the point. There was no point! It was just fun! I don't know, maybe it wasn't. It seemed like fun though. Grade: B+

Super Sprint: I remember when Super Sprint was state of art. In fact, I remember when the original Sprint was state of the art. Heck, I remember when Pong was state of the art., so I'll stop saying 'state of the art". SS is a three player driving game that you play from a top down perspective. Think of it as the predecessor to Micro Machines. The track designs were cool and the racing was always competitive in the arcade. Not having a real steering wheel hurts this translation a bit though, but once you get used to the dual shock it will start to feel normal. Grade: B

720: Tony Hawk who? The definitive skateboarding title of the 80's just can't cut it on the home front due to lack of control. The arcade version sported a kind of track ball/joystick device, which you used to spin and pull off all sorts of tricks. Midway (I think) brought this out on the NES way back when and it failed for the same reason. As high as the cool factor is in having this game at home, it won't feel right to those of us who spent our college tuition on it. Grade: C-

Klax: Midway's answer to Tetris. Did it succeed? Well, have you heard of Klax? Didn't think so. Actually I didn't mind Klax, but it really lost its charm after awhile due to the lack of any strategy. Hence Klax's "limited longevity". If you haven't played this puzzle game before, which has you arranging different colored tiles as they come down off of a conveyor belt, you might just get into it for awhile. As far as a conversion goes, it's top notch. Grade: A

Smash TV: This game was great then and it's still great today. Taking a rib from Robotron, Smash TV has the same control style and hectic game pace that make it a classic even now. Using the two dual shock analog controls for movement and shooting give this game the right feel. Tons of things to shoot, killer powerups, a wild two player cooperative mode, that bizarre gameshow style and cool secrets are just some of the appealing aspects of Smash TV. This game alone is worth a purchase of the Arcade Party Pack, especially for fans of that classic PSX game "Zombies Ate My Neighbors." Anyone remember that one? Grade: A+

It all comes down to whether you were a fan of these games and whether you can live with the altered - and less than accurate - control due to the PSX controller. I spent many quarters playing these games and aside from Smash TV, I would have to say that I wore out my welcome on these games over ten years ago. If you are curious as to what games were all about before you were born or before mom and pop allowed you to go to those sleazy arcades, give it a whirl.






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