Namco Museum Battle Collection for Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) lets you relive your youth when you use to pump quarters into Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Xevious, and more at the local video game arcade. Namco has also decided to upgrade four of the more popular games (Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Galaxian, and New Rally X) with new 3D graphics, more levels, boss battles, and multiplayer options and added “Arrangement” to the title. If you want a game for your PSP that gives you a bunch of pick up and play game choices then Namco Museum Battle Collection is a good choice.
The graphics for the classic games ported to PSP have not been touch, so if you remember what Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Rolling Thunder, Mappy, Galaga, etc. looked like in the arcade or on other systems or emulators then you will be happy to know they look the same on the PSP. You also have the options in the games to stretch the layout to fit the PSP’s widescreen and some of the games, Pac-Man for example, allow you to rotate the screen 90 degrees and play the game long ways on the screen as you hold the PSP with the left side down.
Namco Museum Battle Collection’s new 3D graphics games are decent and I don’t think they could’ve made the games look any better without totally departing from the originals they were trying to emulate. Pac-Man Arrangement has more colorful screens with 3D walls and dots that flow up and down like waves and almost make you nauseous. Dig Dug Arrangement doesn’t look that much different than the original, but now all the characters are in 3D and the levels have more colors and detail in the dirt you are digging through. Galaga Arrangement’s 3D graphics reminds me a lot of the 3D shareware shooter computer games that are out on the market and looks good, but is not really anything special. Lastly, New Rally-X Arrangement has 3D cars and the buildings you race through stick up and block your view sometimes. There is also dirt and sand you have to go through that throw up clouds of dust.
All of the Arrangement games stick to the same formula that made the original games so successful. They all, except for New Rally-X, have the addition of Boss battles which adds something different to the classic games you remember. Pac-Man Arrangement also has warp panels to move you from one area of the maze to another, elevators to take you to different levels of the maze, doors to block your path, and more. Galaga Arrangement has new fighter styles you can gain by letting the enemies capture one of your fighters and then releasing it by shooting the same enemy. Doing this will give you access to nine different firing patterns. New Rally-X Arrangement has new items also, and they include jump ramps, dash points, sand pits, etc. Lastly, Dig Dug Arrangement has pipes, geysers, lava and other things to get in your way of digging. All of these new features enhance the classic games and add more variety to the standard games of the past.
The controls of the games in Namco Museum Battle Collection are decent but most games are not the same with a digital pad as they were in the arcades with the arcade stick. I was eaten multiple times by ghosts in Pac-Man because I missed a turn that I know I would’ve made with an arcade stick. I don’t think they will ever be able to make the digital pad simulate the true arcade stick experience, but Namco has done a decent job with the PSP controls and they are not any different than playing Pac-Man and the other classic arcade games on Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, etc.
Namco Museum Battle Collection also has the same classic music and sound effects you remember from the old arcade games with their limited digital synthesized sound. The four 3D Arrangement games have upgraded sound effects and sound but still keep the classic theme. None of the sound effects or music are groundbreaking but this fits the games well and I have nothing to complain about, and really wouldn’t have expected anything different.
Also included in Namco Museum Battle Collection besides the single and multi-player games from old are wireless multi-player for the new Arrangement games that lets you compete against or team-up with up to three of your friends that own PSPs and Namco Museum Battle Collection. If your friends only have a PSP but no game they can play the first level of ten of the classic arcade games by using the Game Sharing feature built into the PSP and included with the game.
Namco Museum Battle Collection includes 17 classic arcade games from Namco’s history along with four newly created 3D Arrangement versions of Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, and New Rally X. All of the new 3D games are enjoyable to play for short periods of time and with the continue feature built-in to them you can stop whenever you want and continue next time where you left off. Some of the classic games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Galaga are a lot of fun, but others like Tower of Druaga and Dragon Buster seemed a little lacking and this is probably why they are not as well know as others. All-in-all, Namco Museum Battle Collection is a great bunch of classic and updated pick-up and play games that allow you to play for short or long periods of time and they should keep you entertained on your next road trip or flight.
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