Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection E3 2005 Hands-On Report

What we're gonna do now is go back. Way back. Back into time.

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Namco is known for its classic arcade games, which the company has trotted out in various compilations for the last 10 years or so. Another compilation is in the works to coincide with the company's 50th anniversary, and so far, it looks to be more of the same.

The GameCube version of Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection contains a handful of games, though the final version will contain more. Right now, it has Ms. Pac-Man, Xevious, Dig Dug, Rolling Thunder, Pac-Man, Mappy, and Galaga. Rolling Thunder is the only horizontal monitor arcade game of the bunch, and it fills up the whole screen and looks fine. The vertically oriented games sit in the center of the screen and look a little squashed and blocky at the moment.

The games do appear to be emulated, at least partially, and most have their standard arcade boot-up, including a crosshatch. But some of the sound seems a little off. The shots in Xevious sound pretty bad, the timing on some of the sounds is off, and most of the music sounds like it's playing at a slightly higher pitch than the originals.

The gameplay in these games, however, feels just fine and works well with the GameCube's D pad. We'll have to wait to see how an analog game like Pole Position handles, since some of the games aren't in yet. The entire package is scheduled to ship in August.

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