Namco Museum: Battle Collection
We let you know what to expect from this completion game from Namco. Our full hands-on report.
For years, Namco's been working their classics into overtime, reintroducing the world to such favorites as Galaga and Pac-Man through their Namco Museum game releases for both platforms and handhelds. But this time around, they've produced something with a higher amount of gloss and appeal, and that would be the Namco Museum collection for the PSP, which is bound to be a hit both overseas and in the US, once it's announced for release. I managed to get a hands-on test with the game to see what all it has to offer.
This Namco Museum collection does have a few classics to its credit, including the classic dot-munching Pac-Man, the follow-up Ms. Pac-Man, the shooting game Galaga, the overhead racing/dodging game Rally-X, and the underground digging/blowing-up game Dig-Dug. But it's not all about old stuff- there's also freshly remixed versions of these games that feature contemporary touches, like revamped graphics and new stage items that are bound to perk up those who are used to formula. These are called Arrangements.
For instance, let's talk New Rally-X Arrangement for a minute. This game features the same overhead racing action as the original, as you must avoid colliding into robotic cars in the meantime using dodgeful tactics and a smoke screen that's occasionally available. But this new version features a neat scrolling effect similar to the Grand Theft Auto games, where the buildings are represented in real-time and add a little depth to the atmosphere. This is my favorite new game of the bunch, but the others are a blast as well.
Another noteworthy title is Dig Dug Arrangement, which is a remixed version of the one featured in the console editions. Dig-Dug's still digging underground and taking on enemies, but the level layout is different, to help format the PSP screen and still provide action similar to the arcade original. Needless to say, it works well. Pac-Man Arrangement and Galaga Arrangement also follow suit, crammed to fit the screen but still looking fantastic and playing like fun old-school efforts.
Namco hasn't yet given Namco Museum a US release date, but we'll probably get one around E3 2005, where the classics are sure to make an impact somewhere in their booth. I know you may think that all these games provide are older thrills, and you're partially right, but the games are still fun and that's what's important. Namco Museum should make for a great release on the PSP, dots and all.