Namco Museum Virtual Arcade Review

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Namco Museum Virtual Arcade Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Namco Bandai Games

Platform: Xbox 360
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Namco has packed 34 games into its Namco Museum Virtual Arcade compilation, including games from the days of coin-operated arcades (both popular and obscure) as well as more recent updates previously released on Xbox Live Arcade.

Kyle Ackerman

Plenty of companies have chosen to cash in on their long-ago efforts by repackaging old-coin-operated games and early console efforts into compilations, but the Namco Museum Virtual Arcade is easily the best deal yet. Not only does the compilation include a slew of classic coin-op games from Namco, it includes access to the updates of these classic games that have been released through Xbox Live Arcade. For $30, you get games worth around $60 individually, along with lots of obscure and classic arcade hits.

A Trove of Xbox Live Arcade Classics

The strength of Namco Museum Virtual Arcade is in nine polished, updated games that have been released in recent years for Xbox Live Arcade. If you've already purchased and downloaded many of these games, then Namco Museum Virtual Arcade won't be of any interest. If not, you get all of the following games:

  • Galaga Legions
  • Galaga
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Dig-Dug
  • Mr. Driller Online
  • New Rally-X
  • Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition
  • Xevious
That's $60 worth of XBLA games, along with all the older titles. If you've an interest in only half of the XBLA games, that's still a decent deal. Also, since each of the XBLA games has 200 Gamerscore points' worth of achievements, this compilation gets Gamerscore junkies 1,800 possible points for $30. That's nearly twice the possible Gamerscore points at half the price of a normal premium game.

Clearly, I'm not going to present an in-depth review of each title – that's been done elsewhere. Suffice it to say that these are clean and intuitive ports of the original games presented on the Xbox 360. Some, such as Galaga Legions and Pac-Man Championship Edition are powerful re-imaginings of the original games. Anyone with a fondness for pump-another-quarter-in reflex-based play will find something to enjoy, before even venturing past the XBLA games.

Add 25 Classics to the Pile

The rest of the collection consists of 25 games ranging from absolute classics like Rolling Thunder, Mappy, Pole Position and Rally-X to obscure games that even the most hardcore fans (or at least those old enough to have wandered arcades when nothing cost more than a quarter) may not remember, like Baraduke, Grobda and King & Balloon.

The games all feature a clean interface and controls that are at least as responsive as the original games. While there are some classics to enjoy, these games are best thought of as icing on top of the XBLA cake, unless you just have an insatiable hankering to relive your Rolling Thunder glory days. The only disappointment with these classic games is that they don't earn the player achievements or Gamerscore points, but given that the assembled XBLA games provided in this compilation offer a total of 1,800 points, that's not a big deal.

Simply put, for the $30 price tag, Namco Museum Virtual Arcade offers more than enough play for your dollar to easily justify this purchase.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 19, 2008 11:25 PM.

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