Review by Pokejedservo

"MUCH better than the first one in just about every way & possibly the best of its genre. But its still just a wee bit short of a TRULY great game."

The first Midway Arcade Treasures was a fascinating though only above average start on what could be a great new franchise from Midway. Granted ever since the earlier 90's (about the time when some of these games were just out in the arcades) Midway has been releasing compilation titles for consoles like the SNES. However this wonderfully addictive gem is quite possibly their best effort yet. And it is easily another GREAT reason why sequels can be a VERY good thing in Video games.

First of all in the original M.A.T the "design style" of this game was more like an old early-mid 90's 3D aztec adventure PC game. Kinda cool & kinda quaint in a certain way. In this sequel however the "design style" of the game is much more of a modern "Dark Sci-fi" PC game look which comes off very nicely & smooth. (Though for those whom might ponder if its a bit too modern of a design keep in mind a good portion of these games are actually pretty modern.) When you push start it shows a scene from one of the games (usually Mortal Kombat 3 or Total Carnage) then you head into the menu. However if you just sit back and wait you'll get to watch a pretty darn cool demo of ALL the games inside this compilation with some pretty above average techno music in the background. Its not one of the best demo intro's ever but its still pretty cool nevertheless...

For starters the control is finally quite smooth this time absolutely none of the games have fault controller gameplay setups at all in this title. (Though some games might still have control problems but thats more of the certain games themselves this time around.) This sequel of course has all the text/video info on their respective games like the last one even though I admit its not quite as fascinating. However one very good feature in this is that each game has a "Options Screen" each why with a good push of the x button you can be able to configure the game to be even harder or easier and the like. (Though be warned certain games like "Mortal Kombat II" can still be pretty hard even if you set it at the easiest difficulty setting.) And of course the games in this compilation are the following...

Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3
Gauntlet II
Spy Hunter II
Cyberball 2072
Total Carnage
Pit Fighter
Wizard of Wor
Primal Rage
Arch Rivals
Rampage World Tour
Kozmik Krooz'r
Championship Sprint
Hard Drivin'

First of all the number of the rather bland mediocrities are a lot less this time around. (The worst game in this title is Championship Sprint which was overall a overly bland rehash of a game that wasn't all that good to begin with.) Not all of the games here are great though there is a bit more variety of fascinatingly original titles. There is the lumberjackin' good time that is Timber (the only thing remotely derivative of this game is that the Lumberjack you plays awfully resembles a certain Nintendo Icon). The godfather of NBA Jam that is Arch Rivals (which is easier to play on then certain console ports such as the NES), the "Police 911 of the 80's" that is APB and more. (Even the MK sequels in this title have enough differences to seperate eachover very well.) There are plenty of pleasant surprises in this game especially Rampage World Tour. (Though to be honest I thought this was a console-only game ever since back then when it was released on the N64 and PS One. Granted even though back in the later 90's I knew that Midway was still releasing Arcade games such as Mortal Kombat 4 but still...) Does the compilation game itself have any worthwhile flaws to mention? Not much but it still feels rather odd on why they have the 1st 2 MK sequels yet not have the first MK game? Oh well maybe in the upcoming M.A.T 3 perhaps, hoever unlike a good portion of the games in the original M.A.T a pretty good amount of the games here are not quite as easy to get into. Frankly it would've been nice if there was a little some gameplay help tips & hints for each title since their gameplay can sometimes be awfully complicated. (Especially for those like Wacko.) But there are games like Timber that are actually quite easy to get into just fine.

One concept that one might notice is that if it weren't for the game "SPLAT!" the original M.A.T game would've most likely got an E rating. Midway Arcade Treasures 2's M rating can be even a bit more deceptive in certain ways. Granted there are games like MK 2 & 3, NARC & Total Carnage that are DEFINTELY M-rated material without a doubt. However there are plenty of games in which are much more kid-friendly & kinda cutesy like Timber, Wacko, Kozmik Krooz'r and more. While only a few would get a T rating like Pit Fighter and Primal Rage. In other words it slightly a different reason why Parental Discretion is advised. (And besides the MK sequels can easily have their blood & gore turned off in the options menu if you so desire. Granted it might bring back a certain bad SNES memory but still if might come handy in certain ways especially if small kids are in the place you live.) One other thing to be careful of is that while the majority of the games in the original were a lot older than the majority of the games in this title yet a very good portion of games in this GC wonder are a lot cornier in certain ways. Whether it be the highly outdated graphics of Pit Fighter and Hard Drivin' (the only 3D title here) or the awfully silly game design structures like the one in N.A.R.C. (Though to be fair I at least do know that there are more foes than Bald guys in overcoats.) And alike last time all games are in Free Play and trust me when it comes to certain games its worth it!

Overall like I said before this is quite possibly one of the if not THE best game of its Genre. The games themselves may have their fair share of flaws for the most part but the game ITSELF has surprisingly very few. And luckily due to the high amounts of sales that this game is already making Midway already announce a 3rd Midway Arcade Treasures in the works. That itself is excellent news of a game I'm already anticipating VERY much. Hopefully this will also encourage over known companies like Capcom, Konami, Sega, Namco and the like to make great Arcade compilations like this one. (Though of course it would be ven BETTER if those companies do much more work into getting the Arcade industry itself back to good health again but hey one thing at a time. Especially after news like Midway going back to Arcades and Namco advertising the newest Crisis Zone game as an "Arcade Hit coming home" but thats a different story for another review). The original Midway Arcade Treasures game was for the most part a good rental but it might be a good buy THIS gsequel on the other hand is most DEFINTELY a good buy. And since it has the same price and is just as easy to find as the original then hey all for the better to buy huh?

+ One of its Genre's very pinnacles in quality
+ An overall vastly improved presentation over the original with customizable difficulty
+ This compilation has no Control problems itself whatsoever
+ The games themselves are generally much better.
+ Tis' a sequel that is defitnely a much more worthy buy than the original (and the fact that its still a "bargain bin"-price game alike the original is even better).
- Some of the games themselves can be a bit faulty in aspects like Control
- The Text/Video files here are not bad but not quite as fascinating as the ones in the original were
- Even at the easiest setting some games are still awfully hard
- There are games in here which are not all that easy to get into
- Well... even though its not as much as before but the feeling of certain other Midway games that could've been here especially the first MK game is still about. (But hey the 2nd M.A.T sequel is already in the works...)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/25/04

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