Namco Museum Review
If you are old – and we are talking born in the 70s – you probably remember playing a number of classic arcade games like Dig Dug, Pacman, and of course, Galaga. If you ever really enjoyed these early 80s and 90s games, you can now get a good number of them in the Namco Museum title which recently released on Nintendo Switch. Included in Namco Museum are the following titles:
Games Included in Namco Museum
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), and Pac-Man Vs. (2003).
For the most parts, these games really play like their original counterparts, but what sets Namco Museum apart on the Nintendo Switch – from all the other Namco collections that have been released on a multitude of platforms – is the inclusion of Splatterhouse, which for todays standards are pretty tame, but still net the game a T rating in North America.
The other title worth mentioning here – which is also available in a few other Namco collections – is Pac-Man Vs, which was released in 2003. If you remember that title, being able to play that with friends was incredibly expensive as it would have required multiple Game Boy Advance units, connection cables, and much more. It’s great to have this added to this collection, and playing with others has never been better.
One of the coolest features available here is the ability to play these games in vertical mode. Since most of these titles were built for classic arcade cabinets, playing horizontally doesn’t make a lot of sense as most of the screen is wasted space. Sure, the developers are able to spruce up that useless space with some great artwork, but honestly, no one is paying attention to that when they could be playing rounds of Galaga, or digging around in Dig Dug.
Vertical mode with the switch allows you to remove those borders and focus solely on the game you are playing. Here is where I would recommend getting a universal stand that will hold your switch, whether in horizontally or vertically. I was able to convert and old cellphone holder to do the trick, but I’m sure there are a number of great Nintendo Switch stands that would facilitate this type of gameplay. For my part, I used the Pro Controller exclusively while placing the Switch screen vertically. It was a fantastic experience overall.
THe unfortunate reality, however, is that every experience – whether boring or outstanding – has a price, and the 29.99 tag on Namco Museum is a tad high in my opinion. Despite Virtual Console not being available on the Nintendo Switch yet – and it will be soon I’m sure – many of these titles can be had via that service for much cheaper than this entire bundle. That being said, there is a good amount of added value in Pac-Man Vs. and Splatterhouse that will quickly draw some players in.
We were given this update from Namco regarding Pac-Man Vs.:
In PAC-MAN VS., three players work together as the iconic ghosts and hunt down the fourth player, who has taken on the role of PAC-MAN, as they evade the ghosts and clear the maze of Pac Dots. Two Switch units are required to play as up to three ghosts play on one console and the PAC-MAN character plays on the other. A free downloadable app will be available via the Nintendo eShop that allows 1-3 players to join a multiplayer session of PAC-MAN VS. hosted by a Switch system, allowing for full multiplayer session using two Switch consoles and one copy of the full game.
This is value added in my opinion, and if this is what you really want to play, the 29.99 cost is well worth what you will get, especially with a free eShop application to play with friends who do not have a copy of this game. I commend Namco for that decision, as it caters to the fans first, and their bottom line second.
Namco Museum is an interesting title that some will love and some will hate. Everyone would want the game to be 19.99, but in reality, there area ton of people eagerly ready to pay 29.99 and not think twice. To those people I say, “Go for it!” The experience really is great, there is not getting around that. It is the price, however, that might alter the opinions of those on the fence.