When Midway went out of business in 2010, their XBLA titles like Gauntlet and Smash TV got pulled - sad times all around. Since then, Warner Brothers rescued the Mortal Kombat franchise with a fantastic retail sequel and the so-so downloadable compilation, Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection. Later this year, Warner Bros. will bring much of the Midway archive back to consoles in a new retail compilation, Midway Arcade Origins. Naturally, it's packed with co-op classics at relatively low price.
Midway Arcade Origins includes the following arcade games. I've bolded the co-op titles, and linked to Marc's terrific Co-Op Classics columns where applicable:720° – Skateboard through the neighborhood and earn a ticket to compete at the big skate park. A.P.B. – Drive around as Officer Bob to ticket and arrest law-breakers and meet your ticket quota. Arch Rivals – Outscore your opponent in this classic basketball game. Bubbles – Maneuver around dirty objects as a soapy bubble trying to clean a kitchen sink. Championship Sprint – Race to the finish in this classic speed game. Tournament Cyberball 2072 – Control a robotic football team and score touchdowns with exploding Cyberballs and short-circuiting robo-offenders. Defender – Defend a far-off planet from waves of invading aliens while protecting the human race in this shooting game. Defender II – Deliver humans to safety through the teleporting gateway, all while defending against attacking alien forces. Gauntlet – Venture through dungeons as one of four fantasy-based characters to vanquish enemies and collect treasures and potions. Gauntlet II – Reprise the role of your favorite fictional characters to embark on a new quest with all new levels, enemies and challenges. Joust – Mount a flying ostrich and fly through levels by toppling groups of buzzard-riding knights. Joust 2 – Transform your ostrich into a powerful Pegasus to defend against the enemy buzzard-riding knights. Marble Madness – Glide a marble through mazes and obstacles in this platform game. Pit-Fighter – Be the last man standing to punch, kick, and beat your opponent in the fighting pit. Rampage – Take control of gigantic mutants to demolish the city and terrorize civilization. Rampart – Defend your castles by attacking oncoming forces and repairing any damage done to your territory. Robotron 2084 – Battle waves of robots to protect the last human family from annihilation. Root Beer Tapper – Serve up mugs of root beer to thirsty patrons before the time runs out. Satan’s Hollow – Build a bridge across a lava river and destroy gargoyles in order to reach the final level, a battle against Satan himself. Sinistar – Blast planets and collect crystals to create deadly Sinibombs to defeat the evil Sinistar. Smash TV – Advance through a vicious game show by playing for cash, keys, and the ultimate prize, your life. Spy Hunter – Hunt down enemy agents while cruising for weapons and protecting civilians. Spy Hunter II – Gather weapons and set-up obstacles to destroy enemy agents in a 3D view. Super Off Road – Race around the tracks in an off-road truck to beat the other contenders. Super Sprint – Speed around twisty tracks and advance through the circuit to be named the racing champion. Toobin’ – Splash through rivers in an innertube to collect treasures and race against opponents. Total Carnage – Play as the Doomsday Squad to rescue hostages and capture the evil dictator Vindicators Part II – Power up to fill your depleting fuel tank and escape from oncoming attacks. Wizard of Wor – Navigate through monster-filled dungeons to defeat the creatures within. Xenophobe – Wander around a space station and shoot killer aliens before the time runs out. Xybots – Dash through the 3D maze to fight Xybot robots bent on human destruction.
This compilation is a retail disc with 1000 GamerScore worth of Achievements on Xbox 360 and Trophies on Playstation 3. As such, the Achievements for Gauntlet, Joust, and Smash TV will not be identical to their delisted XBLA predecessors. Nor has Warner Bros. announced online co-op for this collection, a feature touted by those delisted ports. Still, at $29.99 Origins should be a terrific value for arcade fans; that's just one dollar a game.
Wondering how Origins stacks up to the original Midway Arcade Treasures (Xbox/PS2/GameCube) compilation? Here are the games included in the first volume of Treasures:720° Blaster Bubbles Defender Defender II Gauntlet Joust Joust II Klax Marble Madness Paperboy Rampage Rampart RoadBlasters Robotron: 2084 Root Beer Tapper Satan's Hollow Sinistar Smash TV SPLAT! Spy Hunter Super Sprint Toobin' Vindicators
So yes, the new compilation is better. I will miss Klax though!
Midway Arcade Origins is due this November. It will support local co-op for up to four players, depending on the game.