If you love retro gaming as much as I do then you'll know there's nothing quite like a good old classic game compilation so let's explore Blizzard's past with 3 iconic titles and see how well they've held up over the decades.
Blizzard Console Collection
Before getting to the games, let me just say that this compilation should be called Blizzard Console Collection because none of the featured games were ever released in arcades. In fact, I find that naming this release "Blizzard Arcade Collection" was quite a deceptive thing to do. After all, arcade games were often far superior to their console counterparts. With that out of the way, let's dive in!
The Lost Vikings
First, we have the platformer The Lost Vikings in its Super NES and Genesis iterations as well as a Definitive Edition that contains the best elements of both. You control 3 Vikings and it's your job to guide them 1-by-1 to each level's goal which usually involves figuring out how to get past enemies and obstacles as well as solving puzzles while using each character's unique traits. It's a fun game and progressing is rather rewarding but it's still quite dated and clunky, especially the occasional tedium of having to work through parts as each character individually. To alleviate this, you can play cooperatively with a friend or 2. Overall, it's a charming game and still fairly fun nowadays.
Rock N Roll Racing
In my opinion, Rock N Roll Racing is the highlight of this pack. Again, it has the Super NES and Genesis versions and a Definitive Edition which looks and sounds fantastic in its 16:9 resolution, lively colour commentator, and actual licensed non-chiptune music. There's also a 4 player versus mode that you can enjoy with friends which is just awesome. The game itself has held up well as it's a very fun isometric racing game with loads of personality, tight controls, and cool weapons and power-ups. My only complaint is that it's sometimes hard to judge the road ahead and I often slammed into corners after touching them by what seemed like nothing more than 1 pixel.
Finally, we have Blackthorne and its Super NES, Sega 32X, and Definitive Edition variations. For the unfamiliar, it may look like an action game but I see it more as a puzzle adventure game because the challenge almost entirely relies on your ability to discern situations and work out the best way to progress. Sure, you'll shoot enemies but only after you take advantage of their movement pattern and time your attack so you emerge unscathed. Meanwhile, it has extremely deliberate controls which haven't aged well and take a lot of getting used to but once you do, it can be a satisfying adventure. In the end, it's a solid experience, especially if you have nostalgia for it.
Now that we explored each included game, I'm happy to say that Blizzard Arcade Collection is bursting with extra content. First, there's a huge gallery with artwork, photos, and box, manual, and ad scans. There's also a menu that lets you learn more about the games via story tidbits and how their graphics were made. Next, my favourite inclusion is a handful of video interviews with the creators of these games that add up to about an hour. Oh, and there's a music player, too, although it lacks the Rock N Roll Racing soundtrack. Anyway, you can also watch playthroughs of The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne, alter each game's controls, change filters and borders, and rewind time in the classic games if you mess up. I wish more retro compilations would include this many extras; great job, Blizzard!
It may not contain any arcade games but Blizzard Arcade Collection provides a collection of 3 solid old-school gems with plenty of ways to enjoy them. That being said, it still only includes 3 games so its value will be parallel to how much nostalgia you have for these titles.
- + Rock N Roll Racing is great fun and features awesome new multiplayer options
- + Definitive Editions make the games better
- + Loads of options, features, and bonuses
- - The Lost Vikings and Blackthorne haven't aged as well as other classic games
- - Essentially only includes 3 games
- - Arcade Collection is a misleading title