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Midway Arcade Treasures 3 GameCube Review

Midway has delivered three-game collections so far for us. A majority of the games in these collections feature a plethora of racing titles. The case is the same with Midway Arcade Treasures 3. The collection is a mix of extremely old and possibly not even known to a couple of their best Nintendo 64 titles. These games include: Race Drivin’, S.T.U.N. Runner, BadLands, Off Road, Super Off Road, Off Road Thunder, Hydro Thunder, Rush The Rock: Alcatraz Edition and San Francisco Rush 2049.

Some of these games actually did appear on Nintendo consoles. Super Off Road was on the SNES, Hydro Thunder was on the Nintendo 64 and so was San Francisco Rush 2049. But what MAT 3 seemed to try to do was prove that game collections can offer entertainment from both consoles and the arcade. This did work on a certain level, but the problems some of the games have really hurt the overall package.

Each game brings the graphical appeal of their particular era. They all carry a 16 bit or more output presentation, so you won’t be playing any NES generation racers here. Race Drivin’ and S.T.U.N. Runner are the lowest in quality, as they were definitely taken from the arcade era. Off Road Thunder and Rush The Rock are also from the arcade but are of the better looking in this collection, definitely Nintendo 64 quality. San Francisco Rush 2049 and Hydro Thunder are pure Nintendo 64 games, and they offer the most in their presentations. The sad thing is games like SFR 2049, Rush The Rock and S.T.U.N Runner suffers from some horrific frame rate issues. They were probably ported in an extremely poor manner, and some of the slowdowns can be truly ridiculous. The worst is having to wait for a lag just in menu selections in SFR 2049.

The audio quality is fairly good all around, which is a helpful thing. Nothing was really manipulated in any way, so you’ll hear all the original stuff the games had. These are all racing titles, so the general theme of the music is soft rock. This style is always perfect for action-oriented situations, and racing is packed with plenty of it. Unfortunately, some of the sound effects of the actual cars can be downright annoying. Especially in Race Drivin’, you may find yourself covering your ears just because of how much it screeches in a high pitch. The music didn’t need to be changed, but the sounds could’ve used an upgrade.

The way most of the games play though can be pretty entertaining throughout. Badlands is a futuristic style racer, taking place 50 years after a nuclear disaster. It can almost be compared to Twisted Metal, as you drive a somewhat custom looking vehicle strapped with nice weaponry. The races run very similar to the ones in Off Road and Super Off Road, but the environments are actually interactive which is extremely cool. All three Off Road games offer some enjoyment, as the arcade style dirt path arena racing can prove to be chaotic at any given time. It’s especially fun in Off Road Thunder, as you have Demolition, Rally and Capture the Flag modes to partake in.

When it comes down, if it weren’t for the framerate issues in some of the games, they would’ve all had something nice to offer. San Francisco Rush 2049 was a classic arcade racer on the Nintendo 64, but the port job was horrendous, as there are hiccups that you should never have to imagine seeing. Thankfully only three of the eight games exhibit truly noticeable problems in this department, so the other ones can be enjoyable.

How replayable the game is obviously is up to the player. This can easily be a pick up and play game when you are bored and have nothing to do. There’s not too much in it in terms of secret content except with the newest titles available in the collection. But if players have gone through it before, what would motivate them to do it all over again just because it happens to be in a collection of games? Most of these games don’t really require a long term time of play either. Many came from Midway’s arcade collection, and those used to require a quarter to play. Obviously a console can’t emulate the hardware features of an arcade machine, so you can play those games as long as you please.

It’s really tough to recommend this collection. Sure it was released at $30, but that’s not exactly worth how poorly some of these games were ported. Then of course since a console can’t act like an arcade machine, some of the games don’t offer much challenge since you can play them indefinitely. SFR 2049 was the best game featured in this collection, but it was brought over with too many issues. Some of the games are fun, but this generally wouldn’t be a game collection you find yourself playing on a regular basis. The retro feel is there, but that’s pretty much all that is there.