Namco, one of the leaders in arcade games, brings you this restored collection of classic arcade games — one of three to be released on the PSP. And we're going really old school here with real classics dating back as early as 1980.
'Namco Museum Battle Collection' consists of two collections of games — the first collection consists of 16 original 80's arcade games. They include 'Pacman', 'Galaxia', 'Rally X', 'Xevious' and 'Dragon Buster'. The second collection, called Arrangement, consists of four revamped games, 'Pacman', 'Dig Dug', 'Rally X' and 'Galaga'.
20 games, all in all. Talk about good value for money!
The original games are perfectly emulated — they look and sound exactly like the arcade machines from 20-odd years ago. The first thing you will notice though is that the PSP screen is wide, while the arcade machine screens were long. This leads to the game taking up a small piece of the screen.
There are a few options on resizing, stretching and even rotating the screen to be vertical. The vertical view looks the best, but results in you holding the PSP in a rather awkward way. Obviously, the graphics are not mind-blowing.
The controls are spot on when using the D-Pad, but less so with the analog disc. While I look back fondly to this era of gaming, I somehow managed to forget how challenging the original arcade games were. Simple in concept, but challenging to beat. Remember, these machines were designed with the ulterior motive of taking away every 20c piece you could get your hands on. (Tokens? What are those?)
The Arrangement versions are pretty good remakes with updated 3D graphics, nice effects, and new power ups. The subtle changes in gameplay are welcome and the new versions are designed to fit on the PSP screen. 'Pacman Arrangment' has power ups like "Sprint" and "Jump" as well as themed mazes, and boss fights. The other remade games are equally good with their enhancements. They are also substantially easier, making them more accessible to casual gamers.
Because these games all come from the same era and from the same developer, you'll find that there are many similarities in gameplay. Good examples of this are 'Rally X' and 'Pacman', which both having similar mechanics of avoiding enemies in a maze. Then there's the host of different space fighter type games of course. You'll find yourself playing only a handful of the games and ignoring the rest.
'Namco Museum Battle Collection' is a fun trip down memory lane and is definitely a keepsake for nostalgia's sake at the very least. Hats off to the legends of the arcade for bringing a respectable collection to your PSP. If you can justify the retail price for a selection of old games, then just pick it up and play — no (further) coins are needed.