What's old is what's new. Again. And again. And again. Midway, Atari, Namco, and a plethora of others have seemingly released these arcade classics for every platform under the sun and have been capitalizing on the software of yore for over a decade now. It's not necessarily a bad thing to be able to play these games on the console or handheld of your choice. Everyone needs to return to the roots of gaming every once in a while and there's certainly a lot of life left in many of the classics of yesteryear. The problem with Midway Arcade Treasures is that, by now, Midway should have a better idea about the presentation of their beloved classics and Digital Eclipse certainly is capable of much, much better than this in their conversions.
As soon as you fire up the UMD, you're presented with a lackadaisical menu with little bells and whistles and little to tweak in terms of player preferences. Sure, the list of games on the back of the box is impressive, with classics like Sinistar, Defender, Joust, Klax, Cyberball, Wizard of Wor, Spy Hunter, the first three Mortal Kombat games, and others. Oddly, Robotron: 2084 is missing, although it was included on many previous Midway collections.
Beginning with Joust, which is inexcusably stretched to fit the PSP's widescreen, many of the games just don't look or feel right. Joust is distorted and there is no option to play in its 4:3 original aspect ratio. Sinistar, on the other hand, is squeezed to fit into the normal 4:3 screen and it's so small that you can barely see what's going on. Why not include an option to flip the screen? Toobin', in particular, would've benefited greatly from this. To its credit, Midway did release a code to play the games in their original aspect ratio, but it should've been included within the release and not as something that one has to go searching for. It couldn't have been that difficult a task. Both of these aren't even the most glaring gaffes in this collection. Mortal Kombat II and III are noticeably missing frames of animation and aren't running at the proper speed.
The load time difficulties are glaring and annoying and, worse yet, they affect gameplay which is inexcusable. The audio on these two titles is woeful. It can be argued that these two titles are the biggest draw of the entire package, so if you're using that as a reason to buy this package it's suggested that you move right along. These conversions feel like they were just thrown in and terribly rushed or, worse, just botched.
Bottom line here is that if you're an arcade purist expecting a nicely emulated gaming experience, you're much better off looking elsewhere. The shoddy conversions will bother you more than the games that are decently emulated (Rampart, in particular) and will result in a frustrating gaming experience that's been done better elsewhere, many times, before. If, on the other hand, you're just looking for something to pass the time away, you could do far worse than the nearly two dozen titles that are included here at a bargain price.