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Long before there was ever a Pac-Man, or even a PONG, for that matter, there was Namco. The popular company actually began its life five decades ago creating mechanical rides for children. Eventually, Namco turned its eye towards the budding video-game industry and created the single most popular video game of all time: Pac-Man. Now the company is celebrating its golden anniversary with a new collection of some of its greatest arcade classics.
Game Informer Magazine
Although using the analog stick or d-pad doesn't compare to the arcade joysticks of old, I appreciate being able to tweak the number of lives you get for each game. With a nice price under $20, new-school gamers could learn a trick or two from getting some time in on these timeless classics.
In Namco Museum 50th Anniversary, one of the oldest companies in the video game business takes gamers back to the days when joysticks weren’t analog, pixels in character graphics were countable and it was necessary to leave the house with a pocketful of quarters. Ah, gaming in the ‘80s…
The PSP version at least feels new; but this is
essentially the same old (great) games being
re-used yet again. Add in the fact that there
are few options (none of the vertical games
have a ’Tate mode for example) and this is a
compilation that’s likely to only appeal to the
more mainstream gamers out there.
Bereits auf dem N64 hat sich Namco in den USA als Lieferant von Klassikersammlungen einen Namen gemacht und kürzlich eine PSP-Compilation mit 16 Oldies und 4 Remakes veröffentlicht. Anlässlich des 50-jährigen Bestehens der "Nakamura Amuse-ment Machine Manufacturing Company" schnürt Namco nun eine Jubiläumsedition und packt 16 Klassiker auf eine Scheibe.
Ich habe ein starkes Faible für Retro-Compilations, aber irgendwo muss auch mal gut sein – ich kann schon lange nicht mehr zählen, wie oft ich schon Pac-Man, Galaga, Rally-X oder Pole Position in anderen Sammlungen oder irgendwo als Bonusgame gesehen habe; mittlerweile dürfte es mehr Classics-Compilations als tatsächliche Classics geben. Wenn das Ganze wenigstens einen greifbaren Bezug zum 50ten Geburtstag von Namco hätte, aber auch hier gibt’s nichts zu sehen. Wenn ihr einen Namco-Rundumschlag haben wollt und noch keiner der Titel in irgendeiner Form bei euch zu Hause herumsteht – prima, greift preiswert zu! Wollt ihr jedoch eine Retro-Sammlung, die diesem Namen auch gerecht wird, dann empfehle ich auch dieses Mal gerne wieder die Capcom Classics Collection, die einfach alles richtig macht!
Remember the arcades? The deep-fried french fries, Coca Cola, a pocket full of change and a couple of friends playing games in the back? Pac-Man, Rolling Thunder, Galaxian... enough to make any evening complete. So, still munching through your snacks, you tip the machine a coin and the quest to put your initials on the illustrious high-score table begins. Must have been one hell of a quest! Unfortunately, I wasn't around to see it. I entered the world too late to see the glory days of the arcades, but, that said, I do carry a great love of giant black boxes with games in them. So, trying to see what I missed, I played through this collection of retro titles. Judging by this collection, that chapter in video gaming's life was filled with horrible music, lousy interfaces and boring multiplayer modes. Of course, it's not fair to judge it by today's standards, yet today's standards are where we're at, and Namco should have checked them before throwing this title out on the market.
It's official: There are now more Namco Museum compilations in Namco's library than there are actual classics. With constant releases for any platform that will support it, Namco seems desperately dedicated to making sure you can always find a version of Bosconian whenever and wherever you need it. With a standard list of games that's been given this same compilation treatment before, as well as a very low-frills presentation, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary is an ill-fitting tribute to such a long-lasting and classic collection of arcade games.
Namco latest compilation of its early-80s arcade classics, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary, is roughly the dozenth attempt the company has made to cash in on video gaming nostalgia. Reviews of the five PlayStation Museum collections complained that the whole thing was getting stale almost a decade ago, and after all this time it's not really feeling any fresher.
If Namco had released more bare bones compilations of its classic IP in the past, the 50th Anniversary edition of Namco Museum could probably get a pass. Sadly, it fails to live up to its predecessors in the quality of the presentation or the breadth of content. As a consequence, it can only be recommended to Gamecube owners for whom better quality re-packagings are inaccessible.
Remember the excitement you felt the first time you laid eyes on Pac-Man in your local arcade? How about the exhilaration of taking the checkered flag in Pole Position or the thrill of facing down an armada of alien spacecraft in Galaga? Yeah, me neither.
If Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary is how Namco commemorates company milestones, I don't want to show up to any of its parties. This "celebratory" compilation is so tame and unenthusiastic that there's barely any pride inserted in its backlog of arcade games from more than two decades ago. Many of the games included in this package are still as pick-up-and-play friendly and as fun as they have always been, but that's all you're getting. No history, no cool development anecdotes, no creator notes. Nothing but the games. And for a commemorative package, that just doesn't cut it.
En jetant un oeil en arrière, je me rends compte que Namco Museum 50th Anniversaire ne méritait pas un test aussi long. La démarche de Namco est en effet assez critiquable, dans la mesure où le titre n'est pas la compilation ultime qu'on nous annonçait. Les 14 malheureux titres proposés pour 40 euros ne justifient pas l'achat de ce soft qui n'est pas à la hauteur des autres compilations disponibles chez les concurrents. Dans le genre, tournez-vous plutôt vers Taito Legends 2 par exemple.
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Add to the general feeling of disappointment some dreadful presentation, the inexcusable loading times for some of the games (not massively long, but still…) and the hopeless 80’s soundtrack - seemingly consisting of about 4 tunes on repeat play in the “arcade” hub where you choose your game, and one of them is “Come On Eileen” - and you’ve got a total waste of £20 on your hands.