Sega Arcade Classics
Now that video games have been around for two decades, today's teens and 20-somethings can sit around like old folks and reminisce about the "good on' days" of video gaming.
But were those old days really that good?
Sega's Arcade Classics answers that question.
On tap are Ultra Pong, one of the arcade industry's granddaddies; Missile Command, the circa-1980 stand-up that put the rollerball controller to its best use and Centipede, 1982's post-Space Invaders shooter.
While this trio of classic quarter-eaters may not be for everyone-namely, not for those too young to stomach a PG-13 movie-mature gamers will probably enjoy the opportunity to turn their Genesis systems into time machines.
These games will take players back to the mall arcades of the early 1980s: All three games have been re-created on the Genesis in their full 8-Bit, four-color, under-30k glory.
Ultra Pong still has players bouncing blips across the screen. Missile Command's rain of streaking nukes hasn't diminished in the years between the coin-op and Genesis incarnations. Plus, Centipede still keeps players' trigger fingers pounding away at garden-variety pests.
But not satisfied with leaving the games in their mucho fun-albeit primitive-states, Sega has added features that make the trio more than just your father's arcade machines.
Each game can be played in a Sega-enhanced Mode, which pulls the three classics from the early '80s and places them firmly in the late '80s.
The enhancements add nothing to the classics' gameplay; rather, games are spiffed up with more colorful backgrounds and less mono-tonal sound effects.
Funny thing, though...the enhanced version of Ultra Pong is nearly identical to the classic version, with new sound effects being the only addition. Apparently, Sega figured that Ultra Pong had reached the pinnacle of its...er, Pongness, and any further graphic tinkering would only take away from the game.
Other enhancements include multiplayer options for Centipede and varying difficulty levels for all three.
However, the real draw of these games is not the fancy enhancements, but the memories the games evoke. Seeing the old games come to 16-Bit life will satisfy any gamer's appetite for video game nostalgia.
It's one thing to do a remake but it's another thing to do a remake and do it justice. Am I supposed to believe that the Genesis doesn't have enough power to play Missile Command? At least Pong plays well. The enhanced versions are annoying at best. The backgrounds on Centipede are busy. The "enhanced" Pong is not that at all. Missile Command is like controlling a slug. The graphics are primitive-but then that's the nature of these games. If they came out with an arcade compilation that had five more games (original versions), and enhanced versions that were actually enhanced, Arcade Classic might be worth it.
This cart brought back a flood of bad memories of my little fingers getting caught in the roller bail of Missile Command and Centipede. The compilation was fun to play for about 15 minutes. Nostalgia is nice, but the archaic graphics and simplistic gameplay will remind you to appreciate your 16-Bit Genesis more. The games are identical to their original counterparts, but without the benefit of paddles and roller ball controllers, you lose out on your response time, making the game slightly harder. With other companies compiling six or more classics in one game, why settle for just three? Don't buy it unless you loved the originals.
Only three games? C'mon Sega, you can give us a better compilation than this. Sure, AC perfectly duplicates Ultra Pong, Missile Command and Centipede, but is this really a major feat? Gamers crave more than just three straightforward conversions of ancient stand-ups. A few more games (where's Millipede?) are needed to bump up this cart's score. The option to play enhanced versions of the classic trio is a neat idea. Too bad the enhancements, which add only minor touch-ups to the games' graphic and sound, do little to extend the life of these arcade dinosaurs. This compilation is for nostalgia-starved gamers only.
First Namco and then Williams. Now Sega (feeling lost without having their own compilation) brings out their idea of what arcade classics should be. However, of all the classics out there, this one should have been long forgotten on purpose. The three games in the title (Pong, Missile Command and Centipede) are old, but in my book not classic fun. Without the paddle or roller ball, they are nothing more than three moldy classics that should have been allowed to go the way of the dodo. In a couple of months, I feel Sega will shoot themselves in the foot for releasing something as dry as this title. Avoid this one at all costs.
Ah, The Good Ol' Days... Character graphics, weird gurgly sound effects and gameplay from god's very own genitals. Sod your texture-mapped-polygons and poncey Gouraud shading, the early '80s were where it's at for blasting small, oddly shaped, brightly coloured character graphics into sparkly smithereens.
Arcade Gassics from GT Interactive is a celebration of some of the finest games from this golden age. featuring six different Williams arcade machines, this is possibly one of the most playable 'retro' games packages around. Unlike products such as Microsoft's Arcade, Arcade Gassics has been produced using a very different approach. Rather than just coding something very close to the original, the chaps at Williams have produced an arcade machine emulator and simply taken all of the original arcade code and stuck it on the CD.
So whaddya get? Joust (cue tumultuous applause). Bubbles (cue slight indifference but mild interest). Sinistar (cue look of bewilderment followed by surprise that you actually remember it). Robotron 2084 (cue intense jumping up and down), Stargate: Defender 2 (cue intense spooging), and finally - wait for it - Defender (cue the biggest puddle of spooge you have ever seen in your entire life, complete with fireworks, grunting, groaning and much pleasure). What more could you want, eh?
This really is an excellent package and of all of the 'retro' packs. I would imagine that this would be the most popular. Forget your Atari VCS Windows 95 nonsense, this is the thing to have. Obviously it's going to appeal to people who were actually playing these things back in 1985 or whatever, but there are a lot of us about. "It's so bloody hard!" seems to be the one thing that everyone acknowledges. Yeah. yeah, the graphics look awful on absolutely all of them, but it's the gameplay that counts. Joust is still one of the best two-player games around. It looks naff, but sitting on an ostrich and jumping on people's heads is just incredibly satisfying!
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode