|Astronauts one, creepy bug guy zero.|
(Image courtesy of Spong.com)
Midway Arcade Origins' flaws can be traced back to the industry turmoil that cost Midway its life. The company went bankrupt in 2009 thanks to the mismanagement of Shari Redstone, daughter of Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone. Under the Redstones, Midway went down the same path as the other game companies that went defunct in the 21st century, spending lavishly on marketing and licenses while recouping little of that investment.
Around the same time, Digital Eclipse was facing a crisis of its own. The design team, acquired by Foundation 9 Entertainment in 2003, was in the process of being fully absorbed by the company. Many of Digital Eclipse's programmers abandoned ship during the transition, leaving to form a new studio called Code Mystics. Code Mystics had nothing to do with the production of Midway Arcade Origins, and believe me, it shows.
|I'll be honest, I liked this game|
better with the Budweiser
license. Even caffeine-laden
Mountain Dew seemed like
a better substitute
Then there are the achievements. They run the gamut from insultingly easy (enter a warp zone in Total Carnage? You mean the one that appears one screen to the right of the beginning?) to murderously hard (the game's cousin, Smash TV, tasks you with killing Mutoid Man and thousands of his minions with one credit. Good luck! Are you ever going to need it...). A few of the achievements are broken, like finishing the Colorado stage in Toobin', while at least one goes so far as to break its game. Reach 10,000 points in Wizard of Wor and the game shifts into glacier speed until you return to the main menu.
|Too often, this game made me|
want to do to the designers
what William Conrad here
is doing to this lousy cop.
Midway Arcade Origins is the first collection in this series with native support for high-resolution televisions, and that alone might be enough to seal the deal for fans who couldn't stand the way the Treasures trilogy looked on their LCD displays. Still, Warner Bros. could have done better with Midway Arcade Origins. They probably would have if the Code Mystics team had been calling the shots.