The Midway Collection Volume 1
(Midway/Digital Eclipse, 1996)

Here's the idea: In the age of 3D gaming and polygons, Midway decides to release something different to the masses. This was Midway's first ever collection of classic arcade games ever released for the then new age of 32-bit systems in 1996. The collection includes the following 6 arcade games: Defender, Defender II, RoboTron 2084, Bubbles, Joust, and Sinistar. OK, the games look as bad has the games currently on those cheap Cell phones and the sounds are not too great either but all these classics comes from the golden age of arcades during the 1980-1985 era so these titles may be fairly old but some are actually still fun to play even today. Anyway here are the games:


Defender is a 1980 space shoot them up where you have to protect innocent people from being captured by hostile invading aliens from the sky. If a alien successfully captures a human and takes them to the top of the screen then be prepared to face the wrath of improved new super enemies. It's the job of the Defender to destroy all the green kidnappers to finish the level and you get bonus points for each human you save and each alternate bad guy you shoot down. Defender became a classic thanks to its intense game play and great sound effects for the time. Many actually prefer the older arcade action Defender to the newer Playstation2 (also on the Gamecube, Xbox, and Gameboy Advance) version.

Defender II

The Defender sequel is also known as Star Gate in some arcade circles because of the open warp zones on the maps. Other that some slight graphical touch ups, new enemies, and a cloak option it's really the same intense shooting game that we all know and love.

Robotron 2084

In this shoot anywhere game you help the unlikely hero Dr. Eugene save any humans from renegade robots, tough tanks, and evil brains. This video game introduced dual analog control for movement of the character and for the direction of the firepower plus the Playstation and Saturn controllers work great for this type of set up. This is a very intense game with a lot of action and if you ever played games like Smash TV and Total Carnage then you should feel right at home here.


Bubbles is a very strange game where you have to get rid of the scum in a sink while avoiding article that may pop you. Be careful of your movements though because you increase in size with each patch of dirt and you have to finish the level that way. Not one of Williams biggest hits but the idea was pretty good and the controls are simple enough for anyone, plus this game is a great change of pace from the other dark action based games on the collection.


The original jousting game where you win by hitting your opponent while you're up higher then them during a strike. As the game progresses you'll encounter tougher opponents, new flying enemies and dangerous hazards to worry about. Joust itself looks fairly bland despite some nice, if tiny, animation and the sound effects are quite limited too. Joust is still a good single player game but the game really shines in it's heated two player mode where your friend can help you take out the other rival riders or can turn against you. Joust may have small characters and no background music but still remains an intense classic.


This is a very quick Asteroids-like game in free space which appears to be really easy at first until the giant Sinistar destroyer arrives to kill anything in its path. This game not only has some of the better graphics then the Atari classic on here but this game also has some really cool voice samples as the Sinistar tries to scare the pants off you. "BE-WARE, I LIVE!" This game is an interesting and challenging shooter with a great concept.

Midway was also kind enough to include some actual developer biographies, game art sketches, and time lines on some of the games here, it's very interesting to see what these guys had to go through to create their masterpieces. There are even some bonus videos so you know what the guys behind the games look like. This is what the Namco Museum games were missing. Kind of like all of those common DVD extras you see now of days.

Although this game has been discontinued for a long time now and you can easily play these great games on Midway’s Arcade Treasures as well but there still might be a chance that players can find this rare collection under 5 or 10 bucks if they look hard enough. These are still some great games especially if you like the old school shooters from the early eighties, while the games Joust and Bubbles offer more action type game play. The games are not only as fast and intense as their arcade originals but gamers can now you get the chance to save your high scores to your memory card; the replay is definitely there even though there are only 6 games here. The graphics and sounds may not be state of the art but the games play well on the standard PS or Saturn controller so the first edition of Arcade's Greatest Hits is a great pick up for gamers who love video game history.



overall rating: 72/100

Find Arcade's Greatest Hits on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (K-A) Kids to Adults

graphics: 3/10
sound: 6/10
gameplay: 8/10
replay: 8/10

(Ryan Genno) 2004

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