Saturday, 12 August 2017 19:16

REVIEW: Namco Museum (Nintendo Switch)

Written by Staceface_Mayhem
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If you mention the words “retro game” out loud, you can bet the crowd you are in will list some sort of Bandai Namco game. They made lots of cult classics and they made them well.

‘Namco Museum’ available on Nintendo Switch, is a library with a wide selection of arcade games they produced from the 80’s and the 90’s. This collection includes:

• Pac-Man (1980)
• Galaga (1981)
• Dig Dug (1982)
• The Tower of Druaga (1984)
• Sky Kid (1985)
• Rolling Thunder (1986)
• Galaga '88 (1987)
• Splatterhouse (1988)
• Rolling Thunder 2 (1990)
• Tank Force (1991)
• Pac-Man Vs. (2003)

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Game play is simple, but that was the beauty of a timeless game. Most games were one button to shoot, or one button to jump. It was a choice between the joy sticks or the D pad to move. You can rotate the screen 90 degrees for what I thought was a better gaming experience, as the ratios fitted better. Without it you were squinting at a tiny game screen, which kinda ruins the retro experience. Whether it be handheld or docked, each game is partitioned or pillared with unused space around the outside, it is a shame each game didn’t have a feature to zoom, but purists will not be phases by this. Challenge modes freshen up these games, with online leaderboards and time trials. Each game has tasks you can do in a certain time, but these are only entertaining for so long.

Graphically, each game is thriving with personality. Bold, bright colours of the 80’s are splashed everywhere, vivid and modernly pixeled, like a tornado each game sucks you into it to play. From the neon echoes of the alien bugs raining down on you in Galaga (my favourite in the bunch) to green slime and blood-soaked backgrounds of Slaughthouse, each title is beautifully redesigned.

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The most modern of the list, and the most unique of the bunch is the mutliplayer, ‘Pac-Man Vs.’. With up to four players, you and your friends can take turns being either the ghosts or Pac-Man himself, in localised play.

What would have been a nice feature, is like the RARE replay collection, a menu with extra features, backstories, development history etc.. I need a context of why these games were slammed together, and why Namco wanted these particular titles to shine.

Don’t get me wrong the classics are fun, Splatterhouse had be hooked for a while, but at the end of the day they are classics, outdated, nothing more nothing less. I very quickly found myself getting bored with them and moving onto something that was a bit more stimulating and with the next new thrill. On a handheld/ console such as the Nintendo Switch these dusty fillers, seem just like a place holder till Namco deliver standout content for Nintendo.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out now
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Namco, Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Publisher: Namco, Nintendo, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bandai Namco Holdings
  • Genre: 2D