Basically, if you are a 20-something who spent a lot of time in arcades growing up, just go out and by this. You will be filled with a child like glee. Seriously. Glee. You will be filled with it. This is a great collection of older arcade games and it has given me more enjoyment then a lot of brand new games I’ve played lately. If you are not a 20-something who spent a lot of time in an arcade, perhaps, someone younger. Go buy this and appreciate a bunch of great older games.
On top of the great selection of games, (I’ll be honest though, there are some crap ones on here, it’s not all sunshine and butterflies.) you get the added bonus of several of the games possessing videos going into the development of the games as well as other assorted promotional material and generally neat things to look at that tell of the history of these titles.
Probably the best way to handle this is to just go game by game and give a bit of a description...
APB: APB is a basic top down driving game where you take on the role of Officer Bob and help him in his tireless pursuit of evildoers such as...jaywalkers...and “litterbugs”. Ok, ok, I know we’re not starting off on a good foot here, bare with me. You lose the game by not earning too many demerits, not meeting the day’s quotas, shooting too many innocents or crashing your car can obtain these. This is what life is like for real cops. It is an accurate depiction. Judgment: radical.
Hard Drivin’: Screw you Hard Drivin’. Growing up I always wanted you to be so much fun. But time and time again you took my fifty to seventy five cents and then spit on me. You are a stupid driving game. You have always been a stupid driving game. I thought that perhaps bringing us together here, all these years later, with nothing but a bit of warm nostalgia between us, that you might suck less. You still spit on me, Hard Drivin’. Judgment: if this game was a person, I would punch it.
Arch Rivals: Arch Rivals heralded the beginning of an era in gaming, an era where you could punch people in sports games and knock them down. I can remember breaking down into fits of laughter as a young lad because of the ability to chase people around and continually knock them down, sometimes, the actual playing of the sport becoming secondary to the knocking down of your foolish opponents. Pretty good little basketball game. Judgment: punchy.
Championship Sprint: This was one of my favorite arcade racing games when I was growing up. The problem: I sucked at it. I could get through maybe 3 or 4 races before losing, and then pump in another quarter every 2 more or so after that. But I loved that game. Top down view, neat little tracks, simple, fun, racing. Although, I have found it much easier on the PS2 then it was in the arcades. Arcade owners are jerks that set all the games on hard. Not needing quarters to play this game has made me happy. Judgment: rockin’.
Cyberball 2072: The arcade version of this game sucked. It was better on the Sega Genesis. Robot football. Judgment: stupid.
Kozmik Krooz’r: No comment.
Mortal Kombat II/III: I figure I’ll just get these two out of the way at once.
Dear Mortal Kombat,
When I was young, you were amusing and fun. Your bloody antics and silly jokes filled my heart with joy.
Now you are not fun, your moves are hard to do. Your characters, they move very jerkily, I am sorry Mortal Kombat, it is not working out anymore.
NARC: Best game about killing druggies ever made. In NARC you take on the role of either Max Force or Hit Man and you are out to destroy the K.R.A.K. syndicate. I spent so much time playing this game that carries a very strong anti-drug message. I did not get the message. But, I did really enjoy shooting all those dumb druggies. I still enjoy it. There is a subtle creepiness about this game that I can’t really put my finger on it. Perhaps the original designers of the game were able to capture the torture and delusion that comes with being a drug addict. There are clowns, and scary dogs. Judgment: say no to drugs.
Primal Rage: Primal Rage is and has always been a stupid fighting game. Judgment: I think I summed it up.
Spy Hunter II: Good try Spy Hunter II. Unfortunately you did not capture the magic of your predecessor. It is ok, we still love you. Your wonderful use of a horizon gives you a more advanced feel. And two players, while a great addition, does little to enhance the fact that you just did not live up to the original Spy Hunter. Judgment: meh.
Total Carnage: This is the trippiest game I think I’ve ever played. How anyone ever played this game in an arcade I will never know, you are continually assaulted from all sides by flying objects and enemies. You will die, on average, about every two minutes. But, but, it’s worth it, this game is awesome. The enemy design, gameplay and sound of this classic still made me as completely uncomfortable today as they did in the past. The boss fight on the first level took about 15 minutes. We died about 20 times, that is a lot of quarters. But it was free, so we were just amazed at how damn weird the whole thing was. Judgment: what the hell?
Timber: This is a game where you cut down trees, there is a bear that throws beehives at you. Yeah. Judgment: I am too bored to give one.
Wacko: No. you have the same character as Kozmok Krooz’r. No.
Wizard of Wor: A simple maze shooter game, walk around little mazes with a top down view, shoot things. Keep doing this until it gets too hard. Judgment: old school.
Xybots: This is a really, really, fun game. It is a very early attempt at making a 3d shooter. It is fairly simple as far as types of enemies and items, but still manages to be a lot of fun. The soundtrack is actually pretty interesting and the graphics, though primitive are impressive for what they accomplish with what the developers had available at the time. You navigate mazes alone or with a partner killing things and collecting power ups and coins, which you can use to buy special items for the next level. If you fail to pick up enough energy capsules, your health eventually runs out and you die. The ability to rotate the screen all around in a primitive 3D environment is actually pretty great. Judgment: Worth the cost alone.
Pit-Fighter: The trend I am seeing here is that all Midway fighting games suck. Pit-Fighter, you suck the hardest. I have always thought you were dumb. I was right. Judgment: dumb.
Rampage World Tour: one of the greatest giant-monster-smashing-buildings games ever made. Countless hours of fun when played with a friend as you attempt to destroy or eat everything in your path, also, you can hit the other player with stuff. Always a bonus. Judgment: smash.
Gauntlet II: You will always rock, gauntlet. If you aren’t familiar with Gauntlet, then, well, I guess just don’t worry about it. It’s gauntlet, it is one of the original action RPG games, and still a great game to this day. Judgment: rockin’.
Xenophobe: Three player split screen alien shooting game. Kill as much as you can without letting time run out or dying. Keep doing this ad-nauseum. Fun times. Stands out because of the ability to have three people play simultaneously in a side scroller. Judgment: Nostalgic.
So, not all of these games were really as great as I might have originally said, but, this is still a title worth picking up if you’re feeling a little nostalgic and want to play some simple, but great old titles or would just like to try out some things you may have missed.