Wii

North America

Namco Museum Megamix

by Pedro Hernandez - December 13, 2010, 10:01 pm PST
Total comments: 10

5

Namco recyles its classics... again.

You know, I really enjoy retro collections. Even if I own some of the games in their original form, I just like the idea of owning many classic games on one cartridge or disc. Thus, I love the concept behind Namco Museum Megamix, which is to have ready access to all of your favorites, along with new mini-games to spark your nostalgic arcade memories. Unfortunately, the execution here leaves a lot to be desired, especially when you consider that this is an "enhanced"  re-release of 2007's Namco Museum Remix. Yes, for some odd reason Namco decided to release this game again. This time they included a new retro game, but it isn't enough to mask what is in reality a mediocre collection.

The minute you load the game, you encounter the first problem. Rather than a menu from which you can select which game to play, you are taken to a hub world that forces you to roll Pac-Man into buildings to play each game. It is a neat idea that adds a lot more character to the presentation, but Pac-Man is hard to control, going very fast and making a full stop a chore. This is more notable in the arcade section, where the classic games are stored. You must stop right in front of the arcade cabinet before you can select a game, and often you'll end up in front of another cabinet if you are not careful. As ingenious as the idea may have seemed on paper, its execution is very poor.

The original arcade games run very well, so no complaints there. The problem is that they are a rather bland selection; you get the expected Namco classics such as Pac-Man, Dig-Dug and Galaga, but then you have titles like Pac-Mania, Super Pac-Man, Mappy, and Rally X. While fun, they don't leave a lasting impression, lacking the nostalgic appeal of some older titles.

One glaring problem lies in how the game maps the controls. You are forced to use the Nunchuk for the hub world, but when you play an arcade game, you have to switch out to your preferred control method (or just stick with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk). This is a problem that could have been solved with a traditional menu, but instead it complicates matters.

The remixed mini-games are okay, if rather forgettable. The idea behind them is that they take the basic concept of one of the arcade games, such as Galaga and Rally X, and place Pac-Man in them. It is a very neat way to add something new to the collection, but the gameplay becomes very repetitive.

Retro collection titles are not known for their graphical prowess since they are a showcase of older titles, but Namco Museum Megamix tries to liven things up with the previously mentioned hub world. Unfortunately, both it and the remixed games look very basic. It does sport some nice details like the individual designs of the arcade cabinets, but overall, it is unimpressive. The original games look just like they did all those years ago, so for retro junkies it is a treat to experience them in their glory.

In summary, Namco Museum Megamix is, for all its ambitions, an average classic games collection. The idea of the hub world makes navigation a chore, the actual collection of arcade games lack that endearing magic that makes revisiting these titles so great, and the remix games lack any real purpose.  There are better classic compilations out there.

Summary

Pros
  • Plenty of games to choose from
  • The idea of the hub world is neat
Cons
  • Basic presentation
  • Lackluster collection of games, both classic and remixed
  • Switching control methods is tedious
  • Troublesome hub world navigation

Talkback

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2010

Compare the 2010 release with the 2007 release and you will see an almost identical boxart.

In the age of the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade, a retail arcade compilation has to be really good to warrant attention. From the sound of this review, this one is nowhere close.

spitmanDecember 15, 2010

The review seems like a repeat also.  What's the point of reviewing the game if you aren't going to comment on Grobda (the one brand new game)?  instead the review wastes space complaining about stuff like how hard it is to roll Pac-Man around...  disappointing...



NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 15, 2010

Quote from: spitman

The review seems like a repeat also.  What's the point of reviewing the game if you aren't going to comment on Grobda (the one brand new game)?  instead the review wastes space complaining about stuff like how hard it is to roll Pac-Man around...  disappointing...

I'm sorry, but the whole game revolves around controlling Pac-Man around the hub world in order to experience the other games. This isn't a minor extra, it composes a great chunk of the gameplay, hence why I "wasted space" talking about it. Like I said, the idea is pretty neat but the execution needed a bit more work. Same with the selection of games and the other controls issues. It doesn't matter if a game package has a ton of bonus content, if I am having issues with it I will talk about it.

TJ SpykeDecember 15, 2010

Quote from: insanolord

In the age of the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade, a retail arcade compilation has to be really good to warrant attention.

Not really, it just has to be competent. Even if it is just a bare-bones collection, it will still save you money compared to buying all of the games individually.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 15, 2010

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: insanolord

In the age of the Virtual Console and Xbox Live Arcade, a retail arcade compilation has to be really good to warrant attention.

Not really, it just has to be competent. Even if it is just a bare-bones collection, it will still save you money compared to buying all of the games individually.

That's true. For example, an SNK arcade game will set you back around 900 Wii Points. You can get many games on the SNK Arcade Collection for under 10 bucks.

JasonMaiviaDecember 15, 2010

Just what ARE the differences between this and the last release besides the hub world?


I mean, if one to really want to play these games again, and don't own an older version, what's in this version that makes it a "better" game than the last?

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 16, 2010

Quote from: JasonMaivia

Just what ARE the differences between this and the last release besides the hub world?


I mean, if one to really want to play these games again, and don't own an older version, what's in this version that makes it a "better" game than the last?

The hub world was already in the original game. The whole game is the 2007 version with the following games:
Bosconian, Dig Dug II, Galaga, Grobda, King & Balloon, Motos, New Rally-X, Pac-Man, Rally-X and Grobda Remix.

Save for those, this is the exact, same game as the 2007 release.

TJ SpykeDecember 16, 2010

That is just plain lazy, at least in the past they would add a bunch of new games to their compilations. If this is basically the same as the 2007 release but with one new game (and the one game being something I bet most people have never heard of), then how can they expect people to buy this if they have the original?

ShayminDecember 16, 2010

Quote from: TJ

That is just plain lazy

No, that's just plain Namco.

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Namco Museum Megamix Box Art

Developer Namco Bandai

Worldwide Releases

na: Namco Museum Megamix
Release Nov 16, 2010
PublisherNamco Bandai
RatingEveryone
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