Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary

It gets increasingly difficult not to be cynical about these retro compilations sometimes. Sure, they're great games, or are obscurities that otherwise might be hard to experience, but at what point do you stop forgiving companies for re-releasing the same products over and over? I think Namco passed that point a while ago. This disc is more or less a greatest hits compilation of their excellent multi-volume "Namco Museum" series on PlayStation 1. Unfortunately for all of us, it's actually a downgrade from those compilations. All extra features have been removed, all you get is the games and a rotating arcade interface to select them with. It's particularly disappointing given the amount of space available to them on a DVD, and the fact that they gave such a limited subset of their games. You get a grand total of 14 games, with two more that can be unlocked by achieving specific scores in certain games. Given that the original Museum releases had an average of 5 or 6 titles per disc, and there were 5 volumes released outside Japan, and at least 1 more within Japan, that's pretty pathetic.

The conversions are certainly all right, and you get a few 80s tracks to listen to while navigating the "virtual arcade", but it's unfortunately rather pointless, unless you can't get your hands on the PlayStation 1 releases. The titles included on this release include:

Wii Cruis'n? Well, it's not Bosconian, I'll tell you that for free.

Pac Man
Collect dots and avoid ghosts for high score.

Ms Pac Man
As above, only without a penis

Classic shooter, everyone and their mother has played this. I'm lousy at it, always have been. Sad, really.

Predecessor to Galaga with the world's most annoying sound effects.

Dig Dug
Mr Driller's dad in the original digging adventure.

Shite Pac-Man-esque racing game.

Pole Position
Wink Wink

Pole Position II
Why put 1 and 2 on the same release when there's so much more stuff in their back catalogue?

Brilliant shooter but I'm convinced they've stuffed up the sound on this version.

Dragon Spirit
Vertical dragon shooter where you grow extra heads as you power up.. interesting, eh?

Top view multi directional scroller. Fun enough to have a go on now and then.

Rolling Thunder
Run and gun fun, I mainly remember this for the horrific Commodore 64 conversion.

Bouncing mice and evil cats. I never liked this, but some do.

Sky Kid
There are a lot more important things to deal with than Sky Kid. Like what? Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.

and the bonus games:

Pac Mania
Unlockable with specific scores on Pac Man or Ms Pac Man
Galaga 90
Unlockable with specific score on Galaga

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