A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Midway Arcade Origins is a collection of classic arcade games from the '80s. While the themes might not be so appropriate -- such as killing contestants in a Running Man-like futuristic game show, fighting a cyborg to the death, or blasting a robot invasion -- the graphics are quite crude by today's standards and not realistic. Some do present blood (although it is pixilated). Plus, in one game there are references to drug dealers and hookers.
What's it about?
What's old is new again. On one disc, MIDWAY ARCADE ORIGINS is a collection of 30 classic arcade titles from the golden age of gaming. This includes seminal favorites like Defender, Gauntlet, Root Beer Tapper, Spy Hunter, Joust, Rampage, Wizard of Wor, Xenophobe, Satan's Hollow, and Total Carnage. There are also lesser-known games and sequels (e.g. Defender II, Gauntlet II). Midway has also added Xbox 360 Achievements and PlayStation Network Trophies, so gamers can earn awards for playing well and compare them with friends. Plus, they've also added some co-op gaming support for three players on the same TV (depending on the game).
Is it any good?
These classics are likely to strike a nostalgic chord (hint: 40- or 50-somethings who grew up in smoky arcades) and can be something parents can share with their kids. These games are the original titles -- not remakes -- so purists will be happy with this collection. Some hold up better than others, such as Joust, Defender, and Robotron, while others perhaps not so much. Adding Xbox 360 Achievements and PSN Trophies is a good idea, as is co-op multiplayer on the same TV (and the ability to post high-scores online to boast to the world). But at $30, this is a little too much for what you get -- if you know what you're doing online, you can download these games and use an "emulator" to play them -- but it's still a good '80s collection of classics for nostalgic types.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether outdated graphics ruin the overall experience. Does a game need near-photorealistic visuals to be engaging or does solid gameplay make up for it? Can your imagination fill in the rest?
Families can also talk about the appeal of playing video games together. What is your favorite game for a group?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading
Science: gravity, motion
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together
Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Midway
- Release date: November 13, 2012
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures, Bugs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Mild Sexual Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.