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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Classic Games

 

Publisher

Namco

 

Developer

Namco

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2005

 

 

- A bunch of classics for cheap!

 

 

- Archival info?

- Not much has been added over previous iterations of the Arcade Collection

 

 

Review: Midway Arcade Treasures 2 (GC)

Review: Activision Anthology (PS2)

Classic Review: Miner 2049er (Colecovision)

 

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Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

Disclaimer: In the last few years, Namco has released many different versions of the Namco Museum.  Obviously, if you own any of those versions, you can safely give this particular version unless you really need to have the two new additions: Rolling Thunder and Sky Kid.  I have had no experience with these past compilation titles so I'm coming at this review with that perspective.

 

Namco turns 50 this year and this compilation of classic videogames comes amidst a flood of other classic compilations.  But this is Namco we’re talking about!  Creators of Pac-Man – it doesn’t get more classic than the little yellow guy gobbling pellets and trying to avoid the machinations of fours ghosts in a maze with no exit.

 

namco museum arcade collection          namco museum arcade collection

 

Clearly, the most important title on the disc is Pac-Man and not just because it can keep my wife entertained for hours on end.  It’s a bit of gaming history and it’s emulated perfectly here.  Really the only thing missing is the smell of stale cigarette smoke to really get that arcade feel that I will forever associate with the arcade unit.

 

Here’s a list of the games included (unlockable games included in brackets):

 

Pac-Man
Ms. Pac-Man – Ever wonder if it’s just Pac-Man in drag?
Galaga
Galaxian
Dig Dug – Blow them up!  Blow them all up!
Pole Position
Pole Position II
Rolling Thunder – I forget how much fun this game was.
Rally X
Bosconian
Dragon Spirit

Sky Kid
Xevious – One of the earliest arcade games that I remember clearly.
Mappy

(Galga-88)

(Pac-Mania)

 

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Although the main selling point is obviously pure nostalgia, it’s also a good starting point for younger gamers.  By “younger” I’m thinking in the 6 to 7 year-old range because these games are the basics that they’ll need before moving on to more complex 3D games.  After all you would just drop Pythagorean Theorem on some poor kid and have them succeed.  No, you’d start with basic math – addition, subtraction, etc. – so they have a solid foundation before moving onto more complicated stuff.

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On the presentation side, there are a few beats missed.  Though getting into each game is easily done and the music tracks that play during the selection are great (Fine Young Cannibal’s “She Drives Me Crazy” is a guilty pleasure), the overall impression of this being a “museum” just aren’t there.  The games have not been revamped to accommodate lower-resolution television displays so many of the games appeared somewhat smeared.  And unlike Midway’s Arcade Treasures series there’s nothing in the way of background, historical or inside information on the titles, which seems to me to be a massive misstep.  I know the history of Pac-Man but only because I’ve been a gamer since I was a wee tyke.  Joe Shmoe Gamer won’t and this collection doesn’t offer any insight.

 

namco museum arcade collection

 

Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection is a good buy ($20US) if you need another hit of nostalgia but if you already scooped an early version or want more meat with your potatoes it can be safely missed.

 

- Omni

(September 19, 2005)

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