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Namco Museum review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Switch
Also On: N/A
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes
ESRB: E-MA

It’s a great time to be a Nintendo Switch owner. At first, I, like many others, were skeptical of the third-party support given Nintendo’s track record. So far, so good with tons of indie and mainstream releases since it launched in March. Even Previous gen titles coming to the hybrid console is a nice touch.

Namco Museum is one of those compilations that’s been released on just about every video game console imaginable. So why is this release any different? Well, for starters, you can take it on the go. That’s a major value with the Switch. Being able to take a game like Splatterhouse on the go is just one of the many enjoyable points with Namco Museum.

While I’m not a fan of most of the games in the collection, most nostalgic fans will appreciate the inclusion of games like Galaga, Tower of Druaga, Sky Kid and Rolling Thunder 1 + 2. For fans of PAC-MAN, the inclusion of PAC-MAN Vs is a pleasant surprise. The game offers a multiplayer component that uses two Switch consoles, one for the player using PAC-MAN and the other will be for the three players using the ghosts. It adds a new layer to playing local multiplayer.

All the games are ports of their respected arcade releases and offers the usual, visual tweaks to make it smooth or even add scanlines. The games also keep the traditional adding credits to the games which helps keep the integrity of the ports. Some of the games even offer an option to change the difficulty which is a nice touch.

I would have to say the best addition to this compilation, once again,  comes in the form of a feature that could only be pulled off with the Switch. That is the ability to turn the screen sideways and make the console like a mini arcade cabinet. This displays a narrower screen like the original releases. Even in standard handheld or TV mode you can adjust the aspect ratios, but turning it sideways, is just more satisfying and gives me hope that other retro compilations put out games with this option.

One last bonus for the multiplayer component of PAC-MAN Vs is that the 2nd console can download a free version of the game to join a multiplayer match without having both players needing to own the game. In the end, this feature may be enough to persuade someone to pick it up after a few games.

Namco Museum is a worthwhile release and the inclusion of Splatterhouse was a win-win for me. For $30 I think it’s worth the price to revisit some of Namco’s classic games and have the option to play them anywhere.

Grade: A