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.
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Sega Arcade Classics Screenshots
Sega Genesis Screenshots
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