Midway Arcade Treasures Extended Play ReviewCain Dornan
Returning to the 1980s era of video games is a surprising journey. Not only are you faced with blocky, un-detailed and overly repetitive visuals that are simply not attractive, but you also experience a level of gameplay that has long been lost with the ever-growing advancement of video game technology. In the 1980s, you didnt need to remember what fifteen different button combinations do. You didnt need to closely listen for the sound of heavy footsteps that could potentially end your life around the next corner. Games made in the 80s were simple, straightforward and, when played by a gamer who is perfectly happy with the caliber of todays games, somewhat boring if youre playing Midways latest retro compilation for the PSP, that is.
Now I know many retro gamers will be quick to defend any downfalls that are present with classic games. Those who have grown up in the local arcade playing Pac-Man and various other classics will be quick to notion that the gameplay on offer in many of these classic games is the most addictive that can be found. But to be honest, I just couldnt become excitement over tapping the same button over and over again as I ventured through identical, bizarrely coloured corridors with the same monsters waiting for me around each corner. To tell the truth, each of the 21 games available on Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play tired me within minutes of playing each one. I can easily see how these games would have been fun and addicting some ten-to-twenty years ago, but when playing them in the year 2006, they simply arent that enjoyable. Add to the fact that the problematic transition from the arcade to the PlayStation Portable, which is mostly affected by clumsy and frustrating controls, these games are hard to be enjoyed by even the most die-hard classic gamer.
I guess its important to note that the developers have been kind enough to implement full multiplayer support over the PSPs wireless multiplayer capabilities. While not all of the games include this feature, many of them offer you the opportunity to verse a friend, which does squeeze a small amount of additional life from a lineup of rather stagnant titles. Apart from this feature, almost every aspect of Extended Play is disappointing.
The full lineup of 21 classic titles available in Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play include:
Mortal Kombat 1, 2 and 3
Wizard of Wor
While there are a number of classic titles included in this retro compilation, the transition onto the PSP feels as though the fun has been torn from each of the games. The key issue that plagues Extended Play is the poor controls that really dampen the experience of almost all of the games available. It feels as though the transition onto the PSP has been rushed considerably, with the developers not bothering to ensure that each game is working smoothly on the PSP. Its disappointing to say the least, with most retro fans likely to be disappointed with Midways latest compilation offering. The simplicity of the games on offer is a marvel, one that will put a smile across the face of those who are tiring of plowing through ever-increasingly complicated games. Unfortunately, any enjoyment gained with Midway Arcade Treasures: Extended Play is likely to be short lived, as youll soon grow tired of the largely bland and frustrating to control games on hand.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.