Sunday, July 4, 2010

Midway Arcade Treasures 3

John Marine | 7/04/2010 04:47:00 PM | |
Midway's history of racing games is available to you with the third game in the Midway Arcade Treasures series. Your tour of motorsports duty is performed through eight games. All of these games encompass Midway's racing game history. Whether 2D or 3D, a host of racing games are available to you. Not to give away my review, but if you have seen a very old YouTube video of mine, you know exactly how I feel about this game. What it all boils down to is this... I need traffic to my blog, I need to keep making blog entries, and all you're doing is helping me out here (which I thank you for)! :) So here is a detailed overview of this title. By the way... this is a multi-platform game for the PlayStation 2, Gamecube, and XBOX.

--- Midway Arcade Treasures 3 ---
Here is how the game looks:

^ from: - Midway Arcade Treasures 3.

The games that make up Midway Arcade Treasures 3 are as follows:

* Hydro Thunder
* San Francisco Rush 2049
* Offroad Thunder
* San Francisco Rush: Rush the Rock
* Badlands
* Race Drivin'
* Super Offroad
* Super Offroad Track Pak

Each of these games will be reviewed individually. But first, let me tell you about the game package itself. Each game allows you to configure certain elements. You can make games as easy or as hard as you like. You can read information on the specifications of each game. Image galleries are also available for games. You can change the screen size of the games if you want the games to appear better on your screen. Unfortunately, you are unable to change the configure the control layouts. So you will need to learn the configuration of the controller and race each game as best as you can.

--- Midway Arcade Treasures 3: The Games ---
Here is a look at each of the games featured in this title.

Hydro Thunder.
Hydro Thunder takes you into the intense realm of powerboat racing. Every boat was made to be piloted hard. This is a wonderful racing title and perhaps one of the best boat racing games ever. More tracks and boats can be unlocked by achieving victory in all of the races. This game is exciting.

San Francisco Rush 2049 (1999).
When San Francisco Rush was first released in the mid-1990s, it was one of the most insane racing experiences ever. Assuming this game was made in 1999, this game takes you fifty years into the future. Race around a futuristic San Francisco. Race all sort of new cars and some brand-new courses. You even have the ability to spread your car's wings to have better control of your jumps and even to perform some awesome aerial stunts. This game will blow your mind if you loved the first two San Francisco Rush games. All of the main menu effects in Midway Arcade Treasures 3 come from this game.

This is basically the only real reason to play this title. You get basically the full game to "San Francisco Rush 2049."

Offroad Thunder (2000).
The little-known title known as Offroad Thunder features a host of trucks and buggies racing across multiple tracks. One more track can be unlocked along with about four more machines. Three modes of competition can be played in this game. These modes include a basic race, Snag the Flag, and Demolition can all be raced.

Maybe this title is so little-known because, I don't know... IT'S TERRIBLE! The game has ugly graphics and awful music. This game could have been replaced by a MUCH better title, Off-Road Challenge. I honestly don't know who thought it was better to include "Offroad Thunder" than "Off Road Challenge." I could probably think of only one reason why "Off Road Challenge" wasn't included- probably the Toyota sponsorship from "Off Road Challenge."

If you fail to win the race, advice is sometimes given to you based on your performance.

San Francisco Rush the Rock: Alcatraz Edition (1997).
More than ten years ago, I remember being introduced to "San Francisco Rush." More importantly, "San Francisco Rush the Rock." The experience was absolutely classic as I was still introducing myself to cars and racing. So I was very excited to pick up "Midway Arcade Treasures 3" to play the daylights out of this game. That excitement, however, would be replaced with questions. Most importantly... what the hell did Midway do to one of my all-time favorite racing games? This game is an absolute mess in "Midway Arcade Treasures 3." It is almost NOTHING like the arcade experience I've known and loved. It is an absolute atrocity and an injustice to a great arcade racing game. It is still a fun Rush game to play, but the game is an absolute disappointment if you loved the arcade version. The loading screens are annoyingly long. The only positive: the game runs much smoother with a better frame rate than the arcade version.

By the way, it's called "Rush the Rock" because this game features Alcatraz (also known as "The Rock"). Every track from the arcade version is faithfully recreated for you to enjoy all-out racing. There are four cars, but more are available if you press the View 1 button. Tracks can even be mirrored for an additional challenge.

S.T.U.N. Runner (1989).
In the future, you will take part in one of the most dangerous, yet rewarding races ever. This high-speed thrill ride is known as STUN Running. You race through these tunnels while shooting down other cars and obstacles that get in the way. There are no brakes, so it's just you and high-speed racing. There are 30 race tracks of intense high-speed racing. The game features intense 3D graphics (even for its time). This game is HARD. It will be easy to be frustrated if you don't know what you are doing. While hard, it is pretty fun.

Badlands (1989).
Nuclear disaster has turned the world into a wasteland. With what's left of the wreckage, race your armored car in an all-out death match in sprint racing. Weapons and other powerup Exchange wrenches for powerups. Don't even think about second place- win or retire! The first car to complete four laps wins the race. Up to three can play this title.

Race Drivin' (1990).
One of the first-ever racing/driving simulations was Race Drivin'. It continued where Hard Drivin' left off. There is only an in-car view for your car. You must race your car around the track from start to finish. Even though it is a simulation racer, this was not a game that challenged Pole Position or anything. Instead, you mostly try to keep the car on the road while not crashing out (which happens quite often). You must complete a lap of a course at a certain time to be able to challenge a racer in a one-on-one race. In that one-on-one race, if you leave the track for too long or crash out, you lose automatically. And it's obvious if you don't beat any of the three champions in your one-on-one race, you lose.

There are three tracks and four cars to choose from. The original course from Hard Drivin' is featured in this game with both the SPEEED and STUNT tracks intact. New to this game are the AUTOCROSS track and the ultra-challenging SUPER STUNT TRACK. If you want the best change to actually finish races, ABSOLUTELY recommend you do the AUTOCROSS courses. The cars you race are four different sports cars (all fictional). Of the four cars, only one has Automatic transmission. The other three are Manual/Standard only. Be careful if racing in Manual/Standard. Even if you crash, you still have to start the car, shift into first gear, and then take off.

Super Offroad (1989).
Enjoy three-player racing. Complete four laps around the track before anyone else does to win. You must win the race to continue play. Earnings from races can be used to upgrade your truck. You can also use Nitro boosts to help you gain the edge while racing.

The only options you can really configure are the difficulty and what the trophy women wear. You can choose either the women in dresses or bikinis. Maybe that's why this game asks for your date of birth when you start a new game.

Super Offroad Track Pak (1989).
While Super Offroad Track Pak seems like an upgrade of Super Offroad, this game actually is different with more tracks and the ability to choose between a truck or a buggy. I recommend the buggy because they are very fast and agile. Up to four can race.

--- Final Thoughts ---
Midway should be ashamed of themselves for releasing this lineup of games. This game could have been much more adaptable, customizable, and (for most games featured) more fun. This really could have been a solid lineup of racing games for this one. The disappointment, however, is really in the choice of games. What would have REALLY brought this game to life is if Cruis'n USA and/or Cruis'n World were featured. Even more so if their arcade versions were featured. Those two games are also two of Midway's all-time best racing games. How Midway could refuse to put these in and not regard them as arcade treasures is a terrible shame. And how can an insignificant game like "Offroad Thunder" be put into the game rather than a much better game, "Off Road Challenge?" What the hell was Midway thinking putting in THIS version of "San Francisco Rush the Rock: Alcatraz Edition" rather than maybe putting in an arcade-perfect version?

To put it mildly, this game is missed opportunity. It could have been much better than what it turned out to be. These things aside, you still get to play some solid games in this collection. Many others would disagree with my comments, but that's why we value others' opinions. I still want you to play this game for yourself to see what all is included and to make your own review of this game. I invite you to buy this game if you are interested. Click on these images and links to learn more about and buy the game for the respective console:

1.) PlayStation 2 version.

2.) Gamecube version.

3.) XBOX version.

Take care!
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