Category Archives: PS3

The 12 Video Games of Christmas: Midway Arcade Origins

Today in our The 12 Video Games of Christmas feature, we have Midway Arcade Origins for PS3, developed by Backbone Entertainment and released by Warner Bros. Interactive.

Warner Bros. picked up the assets of Midway when the company filed for bankruptcy in 2009.  Their presentation here of 30 classic Midway arcade games is certainly a no-frills affair, where you merely  quickly cycle through the cabinets to choose your game, while the murmur of a busy arcade plays in the background.  A nice option though is being able to tag games as favourites, so you can use that option to quickly find the cabinets you prefer to play on.  You also get access to operators switch options, letting you do things like change difficulty or add more lives.  Unfortunately, there are no bonuses or history offered.

There could also be some more options given for configuring controls in the games, although most of them feel pretty good on the PS3 gamepad.  It’s also great to see these classics up on the big screen, bezel art and all.  A high score leaderboard system helps you keep tabs on your friends’ activities in the arcade.

I wouldn’t exactly call this collection the “origin” of Midway’s storied past in the video game world, but it certainly is a cornucopia of gaming goodness from the company.

The Pac Comes Back

Lets take a look at Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, a downloadable game available on XBL and PSN.

PMCEDX, whose acronym seems like a stock index, is a follow-up to Pac-Man Championship Edition, released for XBL and PSN, as well as various mobile editions, back in 2007.  It was designed by the legendary Tōru Iwatani, creator of the original Pac-Man arcade game in 1980.  It was also Iwatani’s last game for Namco before he retired in 2007.  


Both DX and the original game make a wonderful effort at bringing The Yellow One into modern gaming.  Sure, you still control the little yellow eating machine scarfing up dots in a maze while avoiding deadly ghosts roaming the playfield, but new play-modes and a frenetic, yet manageable pace make the effort much more than just a retro remake.  DX particularly shines, building on the already sturdy foundation of Mr. Iwatani by adding game mechanics that increase the fun and strategy while keeping things just as frantic.  


This is the crux of the game’s success: things get insanely fast and furious,  while somehow allowing the player to remain in control of the proceedings.  Progressing through variations of the game modes, which prompt gamers to get total high scores or eat the most blue ghosts in a row,  as the player moves around the mazes, things speed up to an almost impossible tempo.  Clever mechanics keep things in check, such as keeping a subtle glow around Pac so you can keep track of him, or having things slow down a-la bullet time to let you get out of close scrapes.  


This updated version of Pac-Man is a rarity these days: a retro remake that is not made simply to cash in on the memory of a truly classic video game, but a fun and fantastic outing in its own right.

Deus Ex Sequel Coming Soon

The original Deus Ex, developed by Ion Storm and released by Eidos Interactive in 2000, is commonly regarded as one of the greatest PC games ever made.  It took the steadily advancing graphic capabilities of the FPS genre at the time, and paired it with an astoundingly deep level of character customization available to the player, as well as a deep and dense storyline that throws every X-Files conspiracy theory every floated onto the table.

Producer Warren Spector already had an impressive gaming resume heading into Deus Ex, having been a producer at Origin, involved in such games as Wing Commander (1990), Ultima VI: The False Prophet (1990),  Ultima Underworld games The Stygian Abyss (1992) and Labyrinth of Worlds (1993) and Crusader: No Remorse (1995), just to name a scant few. All this, but Spector also was responsible for System Shock (1994), developed at his famed Looking Glass Technologies game studio, as well as Thief: The Dark Project (2000) at same.

You would think Spector was bulletproof, but then he went and made universal ammo.  His illustrious career, which put him in the top echelon of game designers like Wil Wright and Richard Garriott, came crashing down due to one game: the release of the intensely anticipated sequel Deus Ex: Invisible War by Eidos in 2003.  It was met with wide derision among PC gamers for what was considered a massive dumbing-down of the complexities of the original, in order to curry favour (and sales) from the unwashed masses of the home console crowd.  Spector bounced back with a third game in the Thief series, Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004), but the damage had been done: he wouldn’t surface again as head of a large gaming project until Epic Mickey , released by Disney Interactive for the Wii in 2010.  From a lion of the games industry, Spector was reduced to mice.

Now, a third entry in the Deus Ex cannon is on the horizon, with the hope that it washes the bitter taste of disappointment from the palates of gamers.  Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original, is being developed for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC by Eidos Montreal, and has just been given a release date: August 23, 2011.  Mark your calendars, folks.  This will either be the salvation of mankind, or its greatest folly.

BurgerTime Remake

The Interwebs has been a-twitter the past week or so.  It could be that the retro-nerds have suffered a blood-sugar level crash, because the kerfuffle has been over the revelation that BurgerTime is getting the extreme makeover: retro edition.

The original BurgerTime was a highly memorable arcade game from Data East, released in 1982.  Bally/Midway licensed the game for North America the same year.  It concerns the culinary exploits of chef Peter Pepper, who must climb up and down the ladders of a giant scaffold, assembling giant hamburgers, piece by piece, while avoiding such deadly condiments as cheese slices and pickles, as well as the hamburger’s natural enemy, the hot dog.  To hold off these frightening foodstuffs, Pepper is armed with just that: a pepper shaker that will stun enemies, as well as delightfully season them.

Word first came about the new version via discovery of an ill-timed ESRB listing of the game on their website, circumventing any official statement of the game by its developer, MonkeyPaw Games.  And now, IGN has released gameplay footage of BurgerTime HD, taken during a hands-on session with the game at GDC: 2011.  The remake retains the basic gameplay mechanics of the original, while giving the whole package a dramatic graphical overhaul.  Pepper now creates his gastronomical masterpieces while running around a circular, 3D platform that reminds me of the 3D chess set from the original Star Trek TV show. The game also adds new hazards for Pepper to avoid, such as flaming grills, as well as some new antagonists, including carrots and apple cores to appease the health-food nuts.

The game will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii, although no release date has been given yet.  Below is the the IGN footage on YouTube, as well as our own look at how the original BurgerTime evolved over various platforms during its heyday.