Namco Museum 64 review
Can we finally relive the 70's?
Namco is back yet again with another collection of past arcade favorites. This time they have given us Pac-man, Ms. Pac-man, Galaga, Galaxian, Pole Position, and Dig-Dug. There is not much to begin with, but I have one question. Can this game have the addictive feel that the arcade versions once and still do have?
Pac-man is a fairly simple game. You control a small circle shaped character whose main objective is to clear all of the dots out of a maze, by eating them. At the same time, you are avoiding contact with four enemy ghosts that are chasing you. If you touch a ghost you lose a life. The game goes on for hundreds of mazes, and gets harder each time.
Ms. Pac-Man is basically the same game as Pac-Man, but with some new features. First of all, you now control a female version of the circled creature that loves to eat dots. As you clear mazes, you venture onto completely new boards, whereas Pac-Man stays on the same designed maze the entire game. Also, the fruits that appear throughout the board now move around the board instead of resting in one place. So overall, this is a harder game.
Galaga is a favorite game for many action seekers. You control a space fighter moving through space that is being attacked by alien warriors. You battle it out in stages, while they get harder each time. To pass each stage, you must destroy the wave of enemies that attack you.
Galaxian is basically a slow paced version of Galaga. Your fighter reloads much slower than in Galaga, which makes each stage take a lot longer to complete. Each wave also contains more fighters then in Galaga. The graphics are also less detailed. I honestly do not know why this game always makes it into Namco Museum games. If you played Galaga, you would just find this game boring.
Pole Position is a racing game. You control a manually automated race car whose goal is to race as long as possible. You are given a limited amount of time, and you must make it through a checkpoint to gain more. The more distance you cover, the more points you get.
Dig-Dug is a very unique game. You control a man who digs through dirt and must destroy each enemy with some kind of pump to pass each level. As you go on, you find more out to kill you. If you touch an enemy, you die.
Overall, the game controls surprisingly well on the Nintendo 64 controller, but it still doesn't compare to the joystick control that so many have come to love. Each game contains a settings page that can change up the gameplay. You can change the amount of lives you have, how many points it takes to gain an extra man, etc. Namco also threw in a nice way to give you an arcade feel when playing the game. They gave you the option to make each game start the way an arcade machine would. It isn't much, but I thought it was cool.
In all, the game is decent. Namco threw us a nice selection of games, but the controls just do not compare to that of an arcade machines. If you are a huge fan of arcade games, then give this a try, it is a solid game. However, if you don't enjoy arcade games, don't bother.
- Namco Museum DS2007