midway Archives

Wreck-It Ralph Review.

Tonight, I got to see a preview of Wreck-It Ralph in 3D.

If you want the short of it, it’s now one of my “Top 10” Disney animated films.

The long of it, however, is best explained for a number of reasons. And you can start with the poster:

Basically, this is Toy Story for video games. What happens when the arcade closes for the night?

This movie has a TON of cameos, making Captain N: The Game Master look pale by comparison. You can spot dozens of games in the 30 year time progression of the arcade, from Star Wars to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to a virtual “Who’s Who” of classics. That’s nothing to say of the cameos of characters running around in “Game Central Station”. These two scenes alone are going to cause a lot of frame by frame scanning when it comes to home video. One cameo moment actually shocked me how “true to character” they were. I won’t reveal anything, but there are a few delightful nods. Surprisingly, however, is how devoid of Nintendo this movie is. Yes, Bowser is in there, and there are two other nods, but Nintendo was Read the rest of this entry

Blast From The Past.

One of my old colleagues tagged me in a Facebook post from the old Midway days in the Texas office, so I felt the need to add this here.

All the way back from 1997:

Let it never be said that I don’t share “the old days” with my readers.

The cubicle under the Robotron X sign was mine. No, I haven’t the slightest idea of what we were so intently focusing on.

Midway Arcade: Post-Script.

While my opinions of my time working with Midway have been touched upon here, I wanted to get a little more into the history of some of those titles. I always had a soft spot for two major areas of their games: The Mortal Kombat series, and their arcade classics. How could you not have a fond reverence for titles such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Rampage, Spy Hunter and others? Not to mention in 1996 when they acquired most of Atari’s arcade classics like Gauntlet, Paperboy, and Marble Madness. I say “most” because somewhere along the way, Midway lost publishing rights to a handful of these titles, and they reverted back to “new” Atari. I never got the full story of what happened there. One day, we were publishing Asteroids, Centipede, and Crystal Castles, and then one day, we weren’t.

But I loved this series largely because of my fondness for preserving the history of gaming. Certainly, both Arcade’s Greatest Hits and Midway Arcade Treasures highlighted some real gems, but as the series progressed, the already basic interfaces got even more simplistic, and the last compilation just seemed like an afterthought to toss a Read the rest of this entry

Quick Observation….

Isn’t it weird how Midway either sat on all of their classic titles, either rushing them and/or completely ignoring them to the point of obsolescence, and now that they are out of business, the new updates to NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat and Hydro Thunder all look awesome, and seemingly restored to their former glory?

I guess getting completely rid of the people in charge that ran Midway into the ground and killed the company was the only way to give those franchises a new lease on life. Kind of a telling statement when other companies and new studio heads seem to better understand Midway’s legacy than the people who ran the place….

Tradewest Returns.

I read the news that the UK/French offices of Midway are renaming themselves Tradewest. It’s somewhat amusing to me as Midway (then Williams) bought out Tradewest to get into the home console market and not rely on Acclaim to publish their arcade games.

Maybe some of you younger folk remember or at least heard of Tradewest.

You would know it more as the NES version of Double Dragon. Or Battletoads. Or that inexplicable Tarot card game, Taboo: The Sixth Sense. But for me, I knew it a little differently.

I was born, raised, and grew up in the small town of Corsicana, Texas. One average, the town has only been 23,000-24,000 people, and is more world famous for its fruitcake than its history in the video game industry (in the defense of Collin Street Bakery, they have amazing cherry ice box cookies).

But as a kid growing up in a small town like that, knowing that a video game country lurked out there by the highway was somewhat intoxicating. We weren’t Los Angeles, California or Redmond, Washington or even Austin, Texas. And we certainly weren’t part of Silicon Valley. Having Tradewest and seeing our hometown Read the rest of this entry

Warner Bros. Interactive Buys Midway.

It seems that no one else bothered to take the time to bid on it.

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC 2 a certainty now?

Then again, Warner Bros. DOES own Traveler’s Tales….

I’m calling it now: LEGO: Mortal Kombat.

Who wants to take bids on this actually happening?

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