Week in Arcade: Mad Riders, More Sega Collections

Three releases this week, and everything is $10 each.

Mad Riders

From developer Techland comes this superior off-road racer that, with the exception of limited locations, could compete with the mega AAA racers on the market. Cruising through jungle roads is exhilarating, and tracks are primed for super jumps and tricks. Mad Riders misses the mark on crashes -the game merely stops and resets upon impact- but the sense of speed and immense turbo boosts keep the track action furious. It looks superior with a glaze of cel shading and bursts of sunlit brilliance. Awesome work.

Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe

Yes, the three games in this set, the three Genesis games in the Golden Axe series, are available on the Ultimate Genesis Collection, although sans online play. The first Golden Axe also had a single release on XBLA with online play. This $10 set offers a challenge mode and online co-op, so that’s something. Golden Axe III is also one of the most vastly underrated titles on the hardware which never saw Stateside release, but again, you might own a copy if you bought the physical collection. Had Sega gone the extra mile with say, Revenge of Death Adder (an arcade follow-up), this digital offering might have carried more weight.

Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage

Following Golden Axe, the same rules apply, only it was Streets of Rage 2 that saw the light on XBLA previously. Value is marginal for most die-hards, leaving the sole option for $10 purchase down to online play. Streets of Rage is outclassed by its sequel, and the third game pours on technique with infinitely less style. It’s a nice package on the exterior and the emulation is nice (if  not perfect), but we’ve been here before.