Namco has been releasing its classic arcade lineup on modern game consoles for years. The company started its retro kick by releasing a five-volume series on the PlayStation, starting in 1996. Since then, various incarnations of these collections have showed up on the Dreamcast, the N64, and the Game Boy Advance. Now, Namco is bringing the PlayStation 2 into the act. While Namco Museum is fine for PS2 owners who are looking for arcade classics, players who own most of these games in another format needn't bother adding this to their collection.
From the classic arcade era, Namco Museum for the PS2 contains Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug, Pole Position, and Pole Position II. Achieving certain score goals in some games will unlock Pac-Mania and Pac-Attack, the Tetris-like puzzle game with Pac-Man in it. The game also features arranged versions of Galaga, Dig-Dug, and Pac-Man--these games were released in arcades in the mid-90s when Namco released combo cabinets containing these updates along with the original versions. While the arrangement versions of these games are neat--Galaga Arrangement being the best of the three--you'll probably agree that the classic versions are still the better games.
Graphically, the games look the same as their arcade counterparts, and in some cases cabinet graphics are drawn around the game screen. Nitpicky fans will likely complain that the picture quality of a television set is far lower than that of most arcade monitors, and that some of these games look a little squashed and blurry as a result. Extra-nitpicky fans will notice that the sound in Galaga is low-fi when compared with that of the other games and that the pitch on a few sounds is off. But aside from that and a few occasional bugs--on one occasion, Pac-Man loaded up and started playing with the sound from the game's menu screen instead of the real Pac-Man sounds--the games play just fine.
In the end, if you don't own any of these games on other versions of the Namco Museum series, or if you're a fan of the arranged games that make their home debut in this package, then this game will satiate your appetite for classic gaming. You could make the argument that several other classic Namco games should have been included, given the small size of the old Namco games and the fact that lots of them ran on nearly identical arcade hardware, but this package contains the major hits that most fans are after.