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Namco Museum

Reviewed by Yardbird Namco Museum is a compilation of five Arcade games from the years 1979-1982. The games are Pole Position, Ms Pac Man, Galaga, Galaxian, and Dig Dug. Obviously this game will probably be enjoyed more by people who actually played the Arcade versions and have that warm feeling of nostalgia when they pick up this cartridge. However, anybody that appreciates addicting, simple gameplay will also find something they like on this collection of games. The games Pole Position: A racer that became the inspiration to almost every racing game that followed it. Dig Dug: A weird game in which you go underground to kill monsters with a pump. Galaga: A fun shooter in the same vein as Space Invaders. Galaxian: A not quite so fun shooter and the sequel to Galaga. Ms Pac Man: Possibly the most popular sequel ever. My views My least favorite of the five is Galaxian, though Dig Dug runs a close second to it. Galaxian is a slower Galaga and it didn't improve in ANY way on the previous game. Graphically it is not better, in the gameplay there are no improvements either. So what is the point of Galaxian? The point was just to rehash a game that had became quite popular at the time, Galaga....But Galaga itself was just a game playing on the popularity of another game, Space Invaders. To ME though, Galaga is much better than Space Invaders. I can't say the same for Galaxian. Pole Position is an elite racing game and it's not going out on a limb to say it was a very influential game. I think almost every racing game released after 1982 owes something to Pole Position. The female voice calling to the player "Prepare to qualify" brings back vivid memories for me and to hundreds other as well that can remember playing this game at the Arcade. Arcade perfection? Not quite. The most notable here is Ms Pac Man. You can play this game in 2 views, either as a full screen view, which is how it appeared at the Arcade, or as scrolling. Full screen is very small, but it gives a full picture of the playing field. Scrolling closes in on the area of the screen where Ms Pac Man is, which allows for a better visual idea of the game, but it doesn't seem like the real Ms Pac Man at all. This poses a dilemma for it in its impure form or play it as a full screen and not be able to see everything in close detail. This is all graphical quibbles anyhow, though it does take away a lot of the Arcade feel of the game. The game is just as addictive as always, making this the best reason to have this collection of the games. The little scenes that ran at the Arcade of Pac Man and Ms Pac Man meeting, having a courtship, and a little baby Pac Man are all here. Pros *Ms Pac Man is as addictive as always *Portable Arcade classics...the portable factor adds a whole new dimension to the collection *Fairly faithful to the originals Cons *Galaxian is a poor sequel to a Space Invaders clone *Dig Dug is an acquired taste *The scrolling takes away the Arcade feel of Ms Pac Man *The full screen version of Ms Pac Man isn't detailed or large enough. Namco Museum --- the Final Word The portable factor brings this all up a point. It's worth a purchase if you like any of these games and you want to be able to play them anywhere. BUT it's nothing outstanding....

Overall: 7 out of 10

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