Posts Tagged ‘WB Games’

Call me a sucker for everything retro. When I heard that Midway Arcade Origins was coming to Xbox 360 I knew that I had to get it. Of course every time they offered a compilation of old school classics I ended up buying it no matter what console I had at the time, and Midway‘s retro offerings have been whored out on all of them to date. Sure nothing has changed since the time when I played most of these games back in the ’80s and early ’90s except for the fact is that this time there’s achievements. Challenge accepted! Now where do I insert the virtual tokens?

PROS:

More Than 30 Classic Games
Actually there are 31 games which solidifies the more than 30 games message in the advertising. Some of the games I really enjoyed including Smash TV, Total Carnage, Defender, Sinistar, Joust, Arch Rivals, Rampage, and more. Of course there’s some games in this collection that I wish would just die. Yes, I’m talking to you Pit Fighter and Spy Hunter 2. Overall this compilation of old school classics is quite enjoyable giving me some nostalgic memories of days gone by. This collection also has multiple ways of playing with Free Play where I can keep entering virtual quarters and play as long as I want, and Score Attack which only gives me a set number of lives. Score Attack is also the only way to unlock each game’s achievement.

CONS:

Terrible Controls
For a collection of games that have been faithfully emulated you would think a tweak or two in the control department would help. Sadly, that is not the case here. The main problems show up on titles that used trackball and steering wheel controls. The analog stick is the only alternative, but on games like Championship Sprint and even Marble Madness it can prove to be quite a pain in the ass to control. I’ve also noticed a slight hiccup issue with the analog controls in Smash TV. I don’t get it. The controls work great on the XBLA version. Why not on this one?

No Online Multiplayer
Multiplayer is included with Midway Arcade Origins in the form of couch multiplayer, but I think this collection would be even better with some form of online multiplayer. The games that were available on Xbox Live Arcade, before their delisting, had online multiplayer making for some fun. Sadly, the only online functionality this set has is online leaderboards. Maybe the thought of being number one on the leaderboards is enough for some people since the days of these games was achieving a high score. Then there are games like Rampage, Arch Rivals, and others that are much better with some competition both online and on the couch.

Missing Games
While Midway Arcade Origins features an eclectic collection of games there are a few titles that have been omitted. Where’s NARC? It’s on all the other collections, but not here. Why? How about Pigskin 621 A.D.? Arch Rivals is here, why not this one? Primal Rage? Hydro Thunder? I could go on and on. Some people out there on the internet message boards have even mentioned the Mortal Kombat games. I guess they haven’t noticed yet, but those games are in one “Kollection” on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully WB Games has plans on a follow up down the road, because there are so many titles for at least another release.

IN CONCLUSION

Midway Arcade Origins clearly fills the need for retro gamers like myself with a nice compilation of classic titles, but the control issues on some games along with the omission of other titles sort of hurts it. Some of these games are fun for a long time, but there are others that have aged so badly that I’ll just play to earn the achievement and then steer clear of them forever. This is a collection for serious retro gaming fans. Everyone else (especially those born after the early ’90s) should give it at least a rental just to see what gaming was like in the early days.

Developer: WB Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-2 (local multiplayer)
Price: $29.99

Check out this trailer using the audio of The Dark Knight Rises film with the video from Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham City video game.

With all the E3 hype behind us now, and my winners and losers picks done, I wanted to concentrate on the other games that caught my attention. Now I can’t call any of these games definite buys just yet, but they’re clearly on my radar which could be both a good or maybe even a bad sign. Good news is that I have plenty of time to keep an eye on these titles before making a commitment. Looks like another busy end of the year. My wallet is ready. Hopefully these games will be as well.


Dishonored: At first when I saw the trailer for this game before E3 it didn’t impress me that much. Then as the show went on, and I witnessed some gameplay videos, my mind had a quick change. Dishonored looks really good featuring stealth, plenty of abilities, and tons of action as you make kills to clear your name. By the way, the possession skill is awesome.

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Forza Horizon: Cars and partying in the desert. It’s Race Wars! Ok, this isn’t The Fast and the Furious, but Forza Horizon does remind me of a cross between Need For Speed and Test Drive Unlimited. Unlike the Forza Motorsport series, Horizon is more of an arcade style of control with more speed on the open road instead of on the track. I’m interested in this game, but I still need some further convincing.

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Injustice: Gods Among Us: DC superheroes back in another fighting game from the team behind Mortal Kombat. All of a sudden I had memories of Mortal Kombat vs. DC and I hated that game. Injustice looks great with plenty of over the top fighting action including flying thought buildings and even outer space. Everything was going great until thoughts of Mortal Kombat vs. DC kept creeping into my head. Plenty of time between now and 2013 to see how this plays out.

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Need For Speed: Most Wanted: It’s been awhile since I purchased a Need For Speed game, but Most Wanted could change that. Wait a minute, wasn’t there a Most Wanted game in 2005? Man, where’s the originality in the name Criterion? Here’s another random thought. For a Need For Speed game Criterion’s latest sure looks like something from the Burnout series. Maybe this should be called Burnout: Most Wanted. Either way I want to see more before returning to the series.

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: The first game was a lot of fun for a mascot racer. Now there’s a sequel. At first I felt that this new entry from Sega was to “gimmicky” with the transforming vehicles for land, sea, and air. As of late my interest has changed to the positive and it has nothing to do with Danica Patrick being in the game. The unique Sega themes for each track look fantastic especially the Golden Axe stage. Can’t wait until the holidays for this one.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth: Trey Parker and Matt Stone showed off the game at the Microsoft Press Conference as well as shared a few laughs with the crowd. I had my suspicions well before E3, but after seeing the game in action my interest grew. This South Park RPG feels just like an episode of the popular show as I get to play as my own unique character and interact with the gang. I can even call Cartman a “Fatass” using my Kinect and he’ll respond to you. Sounds like fun.

Pros:
All the classic Midway arcade games in one collection
Future DLC for more games

Cons:
Some of the games look really dated
Spy Hunter and APB gyroscope controls don’t work very well
The air hockey game kinda sucks

Review based on Version 1.0

When I saw Midway Arcade available in the App Store I knew immediately that this was an instant buy. Classic Midway arcade games from the ’80s and the ’90s for me was what I grew up with. Who wouldn’t want something like this? Ok, maybe all the retro haters out there. However, for everyone else it’s almost a no-brainer purchase. The big question on everyone’s minds is wondering how well the translation works on the iPhone and iPad. That answer is more of a hit and miss depending upon what game(s) you like.

Midway Arcade, from WB Games, is a collection of arcade classics from the past for you to enjoy. I know this has been done before on practically every game console known to man. Although it hasn’t really been done on iOS devices. Retro games now with touchscreen controls…challenge accepted. This compilation’s layout should also look familiar to those who may have unfortunately downloaded Microsoft’s Game Room (I did). The design looks like an actual video arcade complete with a variety of arcade cabinets along with other things like a ticket redemption center and more. Now where’s the crappy pizza, soda and hard candy?

The compilation comes with ten games including arcade classics like Defender, Spy Hunter, Root Beer Tapper, Arch Rivals, Joust and Rampage. Along with the classics this compilation also features other playable games like a pool table, a mini- basketball game, air hockey and skee-ball. Also available is day one DLC that features additional arcade games including Gauntlet, Gauntlet 2, Wizard of Wor, N.A.R.C, APB and Total Carnage. These games are broken up in sets of three and are priced at only 99 cents. What a bargain. You can also expect plenty of future DLC with even more classic hits making your arcade the hit of the virtual town.

While arcades had some crappy joystick controls due to the play of some youngsters who didn’t know better, along with some raging adults, gamers question whether the touchscreen controls of Midway Arcade would work out. This is where the “hit or miss” formula comes into play. Most of the games I played including Arch Rivals, Rampage, Joust, Total Carnage and the Gauntlet games controlled well. However, I had lots of trouble with both Spy Hunter and APB with the gyroscope style of control simulating the driver’s wheel. Also the air hockey game is terrible as the paddle was unable to keep up with my movements making me look rather awkward and retarded. Good thing this is a virtual arcade and not the real thing or else I’d really look stupid.

Midway Arcade is clearly for those retro junkies out there who want the old-school arcade experience. You can even win tickets in each game that you can use at the prize redemption center. No crappy Chinese finger traps and other cheap useless trinkets here. This is nostalgia at it’s finest, and the inclusion of future arcade games DLC makes this a buy for lovers of the old days. Now how about some Sinistar, Smash TV, and Robotron please.

Pros:
Three MK classics in one low priced package

Cons:
It’s really tough to play
Online play is extremely laggy

Finish Him! That was the popular phrase in the ’90s when a certain arcade game challenged Capcom’s Street Fighter II for supremacy and caused senators to have heart attacks. It’s the game that helped bring across the infamous rating system that we have today. It’s the game that fans still just can’t get enough. Mortal Kombat! It was only a few years ago Mortal Kombat II was released on the Playstation 3 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 was released on Xbox Live Arcade. Now instead of console exclusives and fanboy wars everyone gets to enjoy the classics in one collection.

Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is a compilation of three classic Mortal Kombat (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3) games in one package. Back in the day we’ve all spent hundreds of dollars in the arcades and dealt with players who brought in game guides printed out from their computers detailing every move, finisher and secrets. While the recent release of Mortal Kombat rebooted the classic storyline with a few new twists (which was awesome by the way), the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection brings back those great nostalgic memories of yesteryear as well as remind us how tough this game really was even though I think we wer all better at the game back then.

Each of the Mortal Kombat games represented in this collection is perfectly emulated from their arcade counterparts. There may be some moments where the music is a little out of place, but it’s not enough to ruin the experience. Each of the games are also presented in their original 4:3 aspect ratio or you can choose an arcade cabinet look for a more authentic appeal. There is no widescreen support here which makes me happy because if there was the screen would be distorted greatly. Graphically, the games do look a tad dated. Good news here is that you can choose different options to sharpen or smoothen the look of the game.

As for the gameplay itself, each of the Mortal Kombat games I found best played using the d-pad instead of the analog controls. The d-pad reminded me of the days playing this game on my Sega Genesis. You can also use the analog sticks as well, but I felt more comfortable with the d-pad instead. I’m sure that most of you haven’t played these games in a long time so your not going to remember all the moves and finishers. Sadly, an option to show details on how enable certain finishers including Babalities, Friendships, Dead Pool Fatality and Mercy is not here either. Looks like you’ll be going on your PC or smartphones for that. Also the game seems to be a lot tougher to play unlike it was back in the day. While most of you have complained about this let me remind you that this was a game that was considered a quarter muncher so losing your money to it was a given. Now that quarters are no longer needed, just practice again and you’ll do just fine.

Mortal Kombat was more than just a single-player game. You didn’t go to the arcades or play the game at home for the story. You played because you wanted to show everyone that you were the best at it with any character. It was all about being the champion of your block and in this collection multiplayer is featured. Each of the Mortal Kombat games features online play both locally and online with friendly and ranked matches. Play long enough and you mght unlock some secrets like Pong in Mortal Kombat II. There unfortunately is one glaring problem with the online multiplayer. It’s extremely laggy. I played a few matches online especially in Mortal Kombat II and watched in horror as my character moved so slow on the screen. This has been noticable in all the games. Hopefully WB Games and Neatherealm Studios can patch this soon, because this could be a real dealbreaker to some fans.

At the price of only 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00), the Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection is a steal. Three great games at one low price should be a no-brainer purchase. However, it does come with some flaws that will irritate some gamers to the point of bitter frustration. I’m sure that with a patch to fix the laggy online play fans will come back to play to prove who’s the king of the MK hill. I am looking for a few more challengers in the meantime. Until then, it’s time for me to get back into the swing of things in the campaign so the game doesn’t feel as tough. Double Flawless victory and Fatality is in the cards for me real soon.