I just recently reviewed Midway Arcade Origins, a collection of coin-op arcade titles. And since I like game collections, here’s a brief overview of every game on the disc. There are more than 30 games to cover, so let’s get started!
I loved Joust as a kid. Never was too good at it but I loved playing it with family at arcades. I even had the Atari 5200 version and remember it being pretty good.
I had actually never heard of Joust 2 until I played it on a previous collection. If I saw Joust 2 as a kid in an arcade, I would’ve freaked out. It’s kind of weird how you can turn from an ostrich to a Pegasus. It’s an all right game, just not as good as the first. Sometimes less is more.
Never was very good at this game. Except for the Atari 2600 version. I could play that one pretty well for some reason.
As far as I can tell, this was the same game but with harder enemies and square warp gates. Some cabinets called it “Stargate” but I don’t know why.
This is the old arcade version, so it plays a little slower. It’s not the newer “World Tour” arcade game that got kind of a little overdone on the PlayStation. I loved the original Rampage, but I have better memories playing the updated version with my little brothers. Midway kind of overdid the Rampages, though. There were three on the PlayStation, which were pretty much all the same game. There was also a Rampage puzzle game on GBA that played a lot like Tetris Attack. And a Rampage word puzzle game on TouchMaster. There was also a newer Rampage game for the more recent consoles in the GameCube/PS2 days.
The next three games I kind of consider to be part of the same series since they all control the same: use one joystick to move and the other to aim and shoot. Never was too good at Robotron, but I do appreciate it more now than when I was a kid. There were a couple of Robotron remakes on the PSOne and N64 that were pretty good, though.
This early 90’s arcade title was basically Robotron with a futuristic death match game show motif. It was everywhere in arcades. I remember renting the SNES version and thinking it was a pretty good home conversion. “Big money, big prizes, I love it!” “I’ll buy that for a dollar.”
It had more of a future war vibe to it than a game show, but this might as well have been called Smash TV 2. I remember seeing this game and Smash TV a LOT in arcades back then for some reason. They must’ve been huge hits.
This four player arcade game was a bit of a milestone in the gaming world. And of course, who could forget “Warrior needs food badly.” I never got to play it too much in arcades at first because usually the bigger kids were crowding around it. But sometimes I’d get a chance to jump on an empty machine, or one of the other big kids would be nice enough to give me a turn or two. I used to play as the Wizard all the time, but now I usually pick the Valkyrie. I liked the more recent Gauntlet remakes, too.
Aside from new levels and the ability to pick the colors of your four warriors, I don’t think there’s too much difference in this title that I noticed. Both games were super popular in arcades back then, though.
When I was a kid, there was a Pizza Inn restaurant near my house and on the back wall was a row of arcade games. It had the usuals, like Ms. Pac-Man and Arkanoid. Another long running one at that Pizza Inn was Spy Hunter. That was THE game to play for us kids back then when we went to eat pizza there. Years later, when little brother Jeff was born and was pretty young, he discovered Spy Hunter on one of my arcade game collections and LOVED it. He would literally play it for hours, laughing maniacally while crashing into motorcycles and shooting cars. When the 3-D Spy Hunter remakes came out, we had to get them all because he enjoyed the original game so much. He’s happy to see it on a game collection once again. I wish I could’ve reviewed the 3DS recent remake.
Spy Hunter 2
The original Spy Hunter was so popular at our local Pizza Inn that when the sequel came out, it was at the Pizza Inn for a while, too! And I hear that the sequel is pretty rare, and I never saw it in another arcade. But then, the Pizza Inn near my house was pretty good at picking up obscure games, too. They once had Bomb Jack, Mr. Do’s Castle, and even Ladybug! Oh yeah, Spy Hunter 2 isn’t as good as the original.
I think some of Atari’s titles got on this collection as well. Maybe Midway owns the rights to them now. 720 was a popular early skateboard arcade game. The cabinet was pretty attention grabbing, too, if I remember correctly. I was never very good at it, though. Skateboard games just aren’t my thing I guess.
In this top down driving game, you are a police officer and must maneuver your police car and use your siren to arrest criminals on the road. For some reason, though, I could never get into this game and figure it out. I do remember the arcade cabinet having those big police lights on the top, though.
This was kind of the predecessor to NBA Jam. And like NBA Jam, Arch Rivals was a very popular two on two B-Ball game in the arcade. It’s actually pretty good, though.
I’ve always liked this game, even as a kid. But then, I’ve also always been fascinated by the Scrubbing Bubbles characters from the bathroom cleaner commercials, too. It’s too bad they couldn’t use that license for this game. Bubbles is a pretty creative game where you’re a bubble in a sink cleaning out dirt and growing bigger and bigger. You have to avoid bugs and sharp things like razor blades.
The original Sprint was actually a top down racer arcade game from the 70s by Atari. The new one has updated graphics and sound, and pick-ups.
I wasn’t exactly sure at first what the differences between Championship Sprint and Super Sprint were, as they both look the same. But Championship Sprint has more tracks, and your car is faster so it’s a bit easier. Super Sprint lets you have three players as opposed to two, though.
Super Off Road
This is just a Super Sprint game with dirt and mud and off-road trucks. This game was insanely popular when I was a kid, and I saw it in nearly every arcade I went to.
Tournament Cyberball 2072
It’s a simple football game with robots. I do appreciate the simplicity of it, as the complicated rules of football make it hard for me to wrap my head about football video games a lot of times. This was another one I saw a lot of in arcades.
I LOVED Marble Madness as a kid. Heck, I still like it now. Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man, even said that it was one of his favorites, too. I even owned the NES version back in the day, and it was a pretty close representation of the arcade game. I wish I could play the unreleased sequel.
This early brawler used digitized photo graphics, but was just really awful. I guess they were just practicing for when they would make Mortal Kombat a while later.
I could never get into this game, even though a lot of people said I would like it. You could tell this came out when Tetris was big. First you build your castle walls up by rotating Tetris-like pieces, then place cannons inside the walls to blow up attacking ships. Then you repair the walls and the process repeats. You lose if you can’t build a surrounding wall.
Root Beer Tapper
I really liked Root Beer Tapper’s appearance in the Wreck-It Ralph movie. When brother Jeff was little and would play this game on one of my other arcade collections, he would crack me up because when things got hectic, he’d shout out, “Aaaahhhh! They’re too thirsty!”
I never saw this game in arcades as a kid. But then, I live smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt, so that’s probably why. It’s just Galaga with demons. Pretty hard, though.
I think this game is more ‘satanic’ than Satan’s Hollow. Sinistar scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. When I reached to put a quarter in and heard that scary voice bellow “BEWARE, I LIVE,” I got scared and ran and hid behind my parents!
In this game, you’re on an inner tube racing down the river, and must paddle left and right to steer. I never really got into this game as a kid, though. But I do remember seeing it at the entrance to the local Wal-Mart for a long time back then.
Vindicators Part 2
Whatever happened to Part 1? Anyway, this is a tank game where you use both joysticks to steer the tank around like you’re moving the left and right tank treads. I always liked the TRON-like graphics, but never got very far because it was a pretty hard game. If you want to play an arcade tank game that I really liked back then, try Namco’s Assault.
Wizard of Wor
This is one of the oldest games on this collection. You just run around a maze shooting monsters and besting the other player. But the most famous aspect of this game was it had spoken computer voices. But it didn’t matter to me because I’ve never been able to tell what it is saying anyway. It’s so bad it’s laughable.
In this one, the screen is split into three tiny slivers so that three players can shoot aliens on a space station and explore different areas separately. I never got into this game, but I did like the fact that one of the characters had a duck head.
I wonder if this would be considered a predecessor to the FPS genre. Normally I don’t like these kinds of games, but probably because of its simplicity, I actually enjoyed this game a lot more than what I thought I would when I replayed it on this collection.
And that’s all for now. What are your favorite games on this collection? Or your favorite Midway/Atari arcade games in general. Let me know in the comments section.