Namco Museum Virtual Arcade Hands-On

Here's another Namco collection of oldies but goodies.

For those who are still stuck in the '80s and can't get enough of classic arcade games, Namco Bandai is coming out with another compilation that you can play from the comfort of your own couch. Namco Museum Virtual Arcade includes more than 30 titles--some of which are older than certain people here at this office--but on top of all that, a few Xbox Live Arcade titles are bundled in, as well as new arrangements for Galaga, Dig Dug, and Pac-Man.

The lovely Ms. Pac-Man.

The XBLA games have been available over Xbox Live for a while now, but if you want them all without having to download anything, you can do so via Namco Museum Virtual Arcade. Galaga Legions, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Mr. Driller Online, Pac-Man, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Xevious, and New Rally-X are all included so that you can keep your Namco arcade games organized and in one place. If you're an achievement junkie, you can get your fix here, because these are exactly the same as the downloadable versions. However, when you decide to jump to another game from here, you'll get kicked out to the dashboard instead of returning to the main menu of Namco Museum. This seems to happen only with the XBLA games.

The museum menu includes more than 20 old-school arcade games that you may remember from your childhood, only these come in high-definition. They include Baraduke, Bosconian, Dig Dug II, Dragon Buster, Dragon Spirit, Galaga '88, Galaxian, Grobda, King & Balloon, Mappy, Metro-Cross, Motos, Pac & Pal, Pac-Mania, Pole Position, Pole Position II, Rally-X, Rolling Thunder, Sky Kid, Sky Kid Deluxe, Super "Pac-Man," and the Tower of Druaga. These games were challenging back then (especially because this encouraged people to drop more coins into the machine). Now you don't need a pocketful of quarters to continue; instead, you just have to wait through some very bright and somewhat long loading screens to get to your desired game. No changes have been made to these classics, so you can play them as they were meant to be played (only without the oversized joystick and buttons). There's a certain charm to these games that you don't necessarily find in games today. It could be that these old games are so ridiculously simple--many of them require just one button and the analog stick. Some of them may not look like much, but once the nostalgia factor kicks in, it doesn't matter.

It's fascinating to see how racing games have evolved since Pole Position, and even though Pac-Man has gone through various makeovers and spin-offs (several included here), some of the fondest memories are from the original. If you haven't purchased any arcade compilations thus far, this would be a good one to look into. It doesn't have any added features or content that might make the bundle more interesting, but it does have some of the most memorable arcade games ever. Look for Namco Museum Virtual Arcade when it's released on November 4.

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10 comments
phanstar330
phanstar330

Wow. Can I really play Pac Man in High Definition?!? OMFG I CAN'T Believe this!!!! No really. Is that seriously a perk to buy the same game comp they have been releasing for at least a decade?

no_cultureicons
no_cultureicons

How many Namco Museums with the same games on do we need?!? Galaga was great though, I used to play that to death. I wonder if in another 10-15 years they'll include Tekken and Ridge Racer...

gshell
gshell

aren't these games on the last 2 compilation discs from last generation? why do they keep repackaging these games?

Dernholm
Dernholm

@Mush_Mouth Yeah, I got a namco-colltection for the nintedo DS. And these games are better off portable.

flywheels
flywheels

So you'll be able to get achievements for the same games in this collection even if you down loaded the Live Arcade games individually? Am I reading that right?

ExpEgg
ExpEgg

Shoot, I would be all up on that if I hadn't already bought Galaga and Mr. Driller Online. It's kind of nice to see that there are 30 games in this one. Including some with graphical updates, and some new games from XBLA. That's a step up compared to the measly 10 or whatever included in their hundreds of previous Namco Museum releases.

Soulreavercross
Soulreavercross moderator

This is one bundle I'm looking forward to because of the Live Arcade titles. I don't own any of those games and I'm sure this package will be cheaper than downloading the games individually off live

Mush_Mouth
Mush_Mouth

There are 3 certainties in life: Death, Taxes, and Namco releasing the same "Museum" every single freakin' year.