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Namco Museum 50th Anniversary PlayStation 2

Published by Namco
Developed by Namco/Digital Eclipse
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £24.99

Namco Museum 50th Anniversary, an introduction.

Regular readers will know that we've been having a real spate of classic collections of late. Some have been great and some have been not so great. With Namco amazingly celebrating their 50th Anniversary, it's no surprise that they too have got in on the act. Namco Museum 50th Anniversary features some of Namco's finest titles including a couple from their ghost munching mascot, Pac-Man. Let's take a look and see if it's a compilation that does Namco's fine history justice.

What's the game about?

Namco Museum 50th Anniversary is a collection of 16 games from Namco's illustrious past. The usual suspects are here including Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian and Dig Dug. Galaga, Rally-X, Pole Position, Pole Position II, Xevious, Dragon Spirit, Bosconian, Rolling Thunder, Mappy and Sky Kid are the other titles you'll initially have access to whilst there are two extra unlockable games, Galaga '88 and Pac-Mania.

What's good about the game?

The games are essentially arcade perfect versions and play exactly the same as the original versions. Each game allows you to resize the screen although most do not fill the screen as the games always retain their correct aspect ratio. Directional movement in the games can be carried out by either the directional pad or the left analogue stick and for the most part both work well. Of course the biggest advantage you have with these versions is that you don't need a pocket full of coins to play them and unlike some of the classic collections out there, you won't need to insert virtual coins in order to obtain a credit (as in the Taito Legends games).

What's not so good about the game?

The main problem with this compilation is that many of the games have appeared numerous times before and the chances are that if you are an enthusiast of these golden oldies you probably already own those you're interested in. The asking price (£24.99) also seems a little steep and it has to be said that most places aren't selling it at this price and I've seen it for as little as £14.99, which is actually a more appropriate price tag for what you're getting here. The presentation of the game leaves a lot to be desired. There's no detailed history of each game or developer interviews. Instead you'll only get to alter a few settings such as difficulty levels and the amount of lives you'll have in the game. You select your game by moving a rotating display of arcade cabinets left or right. Whilst this may look OK, a simple list would have been far more pleasant and allowed you to choose your desired game far more quickly.

How does it look?

The games look exactly like they did in the arcades all those years ago. Of course given that today's home consoles are many times more powerful than the arcade machines of yesteryear this is hardly surprising. By today's standards the games look crude but in all honesty I'd rather have them in their original state than have a modern day equivalent that just doesn't look right.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

There are no problems with the Namco Museum 50th Anniversary for deaf gamers. As with many classic compilations the games use very simplistic sounds and none of these are important. The game manual explains how to play each of the games, rules, tips and also lists the configurable options for each title.

Final thoughts.

There's little doubt that Namco Museum 50th Anniversary contains some of the true early gaming classics. The collection is not as good as most would have hoped for though. The presentation is lacking, the method of selecting a game is rather annoying and it's a decent bet that you if you are a huge fan of some of the games on here, you'll probably already own them in one form or another. The asking price does seem a little steep for what you're getting however, as we mentioned above you can find the collection for considerably less if you look around online.

Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10

Deaf Gamers Classification:

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Namco Museum 50th Anniversary is a decent collection of Namco's earlier classics. The overall package is a bit lacklustre though and you can't help but feel a better package should have been created to celebrate a great 50 years.