Customer Review

55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's hard to recreate the past, October 9, 2007
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Namco Museum - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Maybe it's a result of my getting older but I recently felt a wave of nostalgia for the 80's and one of my fondest memories was playing arcade games. The arcades from my youth have all long since closed but I still have feelings for games like Crystal Castles, Pengo, Marble Madness and so on. A little while back I bought the DS version of Bubble Bobble containing a spot on translation of the classic game. Despite being over 20 years old Bubble Bobble is still loads of fun. After searching for some more classic games on the DS I discovered that two I have particularly warm memories of were being released in the new Namco collection. These included Xevious and Mappy. I wasn't sure why Namco was releasing Galaxian since it's almost exactly the same as Galaga except not nearly as good. So is it worth the investment?

I must say that none of these games compare to Bubble Bobble but in their defense they were all released prior to Bobble. The first thing I noticed is how shallow these games are. The wonderful memories I held for Mappy were soon replaced by the boredom of the games repetitiveness. Xevious has more variety but I found the game bloody hard and difficult to see on the small screen. You can set up the game to play tilted at 90 degrees and it looks far better but then you're holding the DS at an extremely awkward angle. Most arcade games were built with a tall screen but the DS screens are built wide so either you play the games with black bars on either side or tilt the system. Neither is a great solution. Galaga is fun but it just doesn't feel the same without a big chunky joystick controlling your fighter. I only played Dig Dug II briefly because it's junk compared to the original Dig Dug.

I have to give Namco credit for trying its best to recreate the arcade experience on a handheld system. Games have simulated mother boards with dip switches that can be set as if the player were an arcade owner. Players can even play with known bugs on or off. The kicker for me was the inclusion of a faux screen burn on Xevious. Now THAT is the sign of a loving crafted game.

Some people have complained about the selection of games and although I would have swapped out Dig Dug II, Towers of Druaga and Galaxian others have complained about the inclusion of Mappy so for each his own. The main problem with the games is that the DS screen dimensions differ significantly from the original arcade games but there's not much Namco could do about that. Something that Namco COULD have done something about was the inclusion of continues. I mean if you're trying to recreate an arcade experience players should be able to simulate popping in another quarter. Unfortunately every game gives you a quarters worth of play and Xevious is damn hard. At 20 bucks it's a bargain game but I must confess that I lost interest faster than I expected. Still, it's fun to have many of these games available in portable form.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2007 2:26:33 PM PST
You might want to try Konami's DS arcade collection. It's a broader selection with rather more substantial games.
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