It must say something about the state of the game industry when publishers are pumping out retro-collections almost weekly. What’s it say? Well, we’re not really sure, besides that it proves that many of the classics have more staying power than modern titles.
While modern titles may have glitz and glimmer available by the truckload, courtesy of powerful hardware, there’s something to be said for a game that’s just plain fun. And that’s what some of these retro-collections are, a trip back in time to when games might not look like Halo 2, but dang, they were a ton of fun. Midway’s newest foray into the retro-arcade releases, Midway Arcade Treasures 3, is probably the best release in the treasures series so far, and is a great way to spend $20.
Treasures 3 includes some classics sure to put a smile on any older gamer’s face – Hydro Thunder, S.T.U.N. Runner, San Francisco Rush (both 2049 and the Alcatraz Edition), Super Off Road, Badlands, Race Drivin’ and Off Road Thunder. While some are aren’t exactly classics (I don’t recall Badlands making anyone’s top 10 list), and others are almost torture to play (Hard Drivin’ – how did we ever find this enjoyable?), the rest of the collection is a fantastic set of picks. How can you not enjoy the thunderous jet-boat racing action of Hydro Thunder captured in all its bass-blasting arcade glory? Or what about San Francisco Rush 2049? There’s just nothing like tearing through the Haight in a turbo-charged futuristic car that sprouts wings off jumps. Unlike some of the other retro-collections, Treasures 3 thankfully doesn’t trash too many of my youthful memories. All the games are perfectly replicated, and in some cases, a bit too perfect, as I always hoped for a console version of S.T.U.N. Runner, and now that I have it, I realize it wasn’t the fabulous game of my youth.
It’s hard to judge a retro-collection on production values, since they are emulating visuals and audio from years gone past. But, we can pick on Midway for their menu system, which is still pretty crude. Also, it would be nice to be able to tweak the controls from inside each game, rather than deal with the locked in control set. Being able to create save profiles for each game would likewise be helpful, so other members of the household don’t get to cheat by using your heavily unlocked profile.
Midway Arcade Treasures 3 is a very well spent $20. If you have any interest in these retro games, I suggest you pick it up, as it’s the best retro collection so far in my book. With really only one stinker and one “iffy” title (that for some reason, a lot of people rave about), you really can’t go wrong. A definite buy.
Note: Since this is a retro-collection, we didn’t rate it on gameplay, graphics, etc. Rather, it just has an overall score.
— Craig Falstaff