Namco Museum
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameBoy Advance
Publisher
Namco Hometek
Developer
Mass Media
Genre
Arcade
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Everyone
 
Grade
The Good

• Classic arcade games
• Easy to pick up and play
• Solid reproduction of originals

The Bad

• No high-score saving
• Where's Pac-Man?
Galaxian and Galaga feel a little too similar.

 
Grade
B-

It appears that a recent trend in the videogame industry is the revive old games, repackage them and sell them off (or give them away as incentive) as collections. Nintendo has their Zelda bonus disc and Super Mario GBA games. Midway has their own collection. There's even a disc full of Intellivision games. So, it's no surprise that longtime game developer/publisher Namco should do the same with their own games. In this cart, Namco gives players five old arcade games to carry around with them.

Ms. PAC-Man - Probably one of Namco's greatest properties is the yellow ball with a mouth known as PAC-Man Ms. PAC-Man is basically the same game with a feminine "marketing". Players move Ms. PAC-Man around a maze, gobbling up pellets, while trying to avoid four colored ghosts. In each of the corners of the level are power pellets that temporarily turn the ghosts blue, allowing you to eat them for points and on occasion floating food will wander into the maze for extra points. Once you've eaten all the pellets, you're given another maze to work through. The point of the game is to keep going until you run out of lives. On a side note, I have to wonder where the misconception that Ms. PAC-Man is married to PAC-Man came from (as found in the cartoon). Wouldn't she be known as MRS. PAC-Man?

DigDug - In DigDug, your goal is to dig around under the earth, trying to sneak up on the enemies and use your pump to blow them up. Enemies will start each level moving back and forth in their openings but have no problem sneaking through the soil to get to you. Once you get down to the last guy, he'll make a break for the exit.

Galaga - Galaga is your classic 2D shooter. You have a ship at the bottom of the screen that you can move back and forth as groups of alien ships fly up into the top portion of the screen and fall into formation. Once all the surviving ships are in formation, they'll start to swoop down for attack. Of course, all this time you should be blasting the crap out of them. Keeping shooting through stages until you run out of lives.

Pole Position - If you recall this game from the arcades, with its steering wheel, gas and brake pedals, then you'll be pleased that this racer has been translated well. The game only has one track, but it's more than enough. You start your race with a qualifying lap, which sets you position in the race. As you get up to speed, a click of the R Button will shift you from Low to High gear. As you progress, you'll need to dodge other racers or hazards on the track while completing each lap in time to continue on.

Galaxian - When you first play this one, you may mistake it for Galaga, and you wouldn't be too far off. Galaxian starts you off with a full formation of enemies to shoot at from your ship at the bottom of the screen. The ships do send off the occasional attacker to rush you. At the top of each formation are boss ships that are worth more points. After playing Galaga, Galaxian feels slow and sluggish in pace.

Mass Media has added options to each game, allowing you to alter the number of lives or bonus level you can gain in each title. Also, Ms. PAC-Man can be played in either scroll mode or all the stage visible at once. The scroll mode is preferable as the view in the other mode is so small it detracts from the game. Graphics, sound effects and music are all emulated perfectly. Since none of the games are overly complicated, the GBA is more than enough to play these games with.

This cart does prove to be a nice sampling of the old Namco games. I wonder why Namco chose to give us Ms. PAC-Man and not the original PAC-Man, but since you can play a modified version in PAC-Man vs. I guess it's no big deal. I would say that having both Galaga and Galaxian on the same cart is a bit of a waste as they play so similarly. The only real complaint I would have is that there's no way to save high scores to the cart, which would have been a nice feature.

For fans of the old arcade games, this proves to be a nice handheld diversion, especially if you no longer have an arcade nearby. The games may be dated, but they still do prove to be fun in short bursts.

- - Vane

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