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  • Writer's pictureFrankieW

Game Review #541: Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 and 2 (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Frank Wood @WoodmanFLG

Developer: B.B. Studio

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Category: Arcade, Collection

Release Date: 6/18/2020

Price: $19.99

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Buy Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Namco Museum Archives Volume 2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Blast from the past!

Do you miss the glory days of feeding quarters into big machines to show you big chunky pixels and loud bleep bloop music? I’m talking WAY early, no crazy visual Taito titles, filling your screen with bullets, or punching down screens full of baddies, we are going all the way back with this amazing collection of titles, put on a modern console with a little bit of extra love for the 8 bit era. This two part collection has 11 titles on each of them, 10 classic ones, and then each of them have one special version of a game they have made to fit into 8 bit aesthetic and gameplay, just for this collection!

It’s a pretty cool idea to see these titles with a fresh face of paint, even if it's technically a visual downgrade, I love it regardless. Also, these are upgraded with some convenient, more modern functions, like the ability to quick save essentially anywhere, and probably the most welcomed addition is a single button rewind, for when you make a mistake and you are out of quarters! You have to remember, some of these are absolutely quarter eaters if you don’t know what you are doing, so these allow even more casual fans to enjoy the later levels of play for these games. Let's talk a bit more about what is contained in each of these compilations, shall we?

Spaceships, Dragons, Jason and Dirt

Our first little collection has some early entries in series that got many more, some of them the most famous series from the old 8 bit arcade games! Here we have fantastic shooters like Galaxian, Dragon Spirit, Sky Kid and Xevious to satisfy your urge to blast down spaceships and other things alike. These were some genre defining games back in the day, and they deserve your respect. We also have some other stuff, Pac Man, Dig-Dug and Mappy that were big entries in the arcade world, in addition to some more western fantasy feeling games like The Tower Of Druaga, and Dragon Buster.

I REALLY loved getting to play the Japanese only Splatterhouse, it was great fun, and the special addition to this collection was an 8 bit sized version of Pac-Man Championship edition which I had a good time with, only seeing videos of Championship edition before, I really liked the additions to the classic Pac Man gameplay contained within. All in all, a good selection of titles that helped pave the way for many genres, and series that grew greatly after their initial release. Let's move onto number two, shall we?

Some Sequels and Some Newcomers

Number two has some sequels, some spin offs, and some whole new experiences! Rocking Galaga, Dig Dug II, Super Xevius, Dragon Buster II and Mappy-land for sequels. These games introduce new mechanics, while elaborating on the old ones. It's always nice to see games go in the right direction sequel wise, so this does just that and very well. And then there is Pac-land, the less said about that weird Pac-Man spinoff the better, its not very good.

Picking it back up, we have some more original titles like Battle City, Legacy Of The Wizard, Rolling Thunder and Mendel Palace! Legacy of the Wizard I specifically have some good memories of as a kid, as in I had no actual idea what I was doing in it, but I still enjoyed it. I liked revisiting it as an adult and kinda understanding it more. Rounding out this collection, we have Gaplus, a kind of sequel to the Galaga franchise. It has been fixed up to fit in with the rest of these titles, and looks different from its original incarnation. All in all, another great collection that fulfills its purpose.

Wrapping Up

This collection certainly succeeds at what it sets out to do: bring you some old classic titles to your home console, with a few modern utilities to make it a more bearable experience for those not used to the idea of “Nintendo Hard” or arcade titles designed to take your quarters. It's a little barebones honestly, and some historic added content would have been nice to have. Arcade cab artwork, manuals for console games, things like that. We have so many collections being released on Switch that it's hard to give high scores for one that is just hitting par for the course, but it is still a good collection, and I’m glad to have it on my Switch! I give Namco Museum Archives an above average 6/10.

Score: 6/10

Buy Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Buy Namco Museum Archives Volume 2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Follow Bandai Namco:

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*A game code was provided for review purposes.

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