The Namco Collection Vol 1
Do you remember the days when arcade games only cost a quarter, the gamer's goal was to beat the high score, and the song "Pac-Man Fever" was a hit? Back in those days, games that were immensely popular in the arcades--Pac-Man, Galaga and Pole Position--revolutionized the video-game industry. In fact, they were so popular that these arcade hits were transformed into Saturday-morning cartoons (Pac-Man and Pole Position), merchandise like nightlights and beach towels displayed the familiar logo of Pac-Man and lastly, Buckner and Garcia put out the album Pac-Man Fever that includes songs about Frogger, Defender, Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.
Nowadays, with the next-generation systems boasting SGI-rendered graphics and pumping sound-tracks, the games of old are all but forgotten..,until now. Namco, maker of the groundbreaking Pac-Man, has released Namco Collection Volume 1, a compilation of seven classic Namco games including Pac-Man, Bosconian, Galaga, Rally X, New Rally X, Pole Position and Toypop.
All the arcade classics included in the collection are the actual games in their original code, meaning many of the tricks used in the original games, such as the Pac-Man patterns used to avoid the ghosts, can be used in the Namco Collection games.
The Main Menu allows the gamer to toggle the sound between stereo and monaural, access a quick menu of the seven games or go to the museum.
The museum is in actuality a "virtual" museum which allows you to roam freely in first-person perspective and view the many exhibits. In the main atrium there are seven doors, and behind each of them is an exhibit displaying artifacts of a different game. The many objects in the exhibits include the actual motherboard of each game, the frames of animation used in each game, the instruction decals used on the original arcade machines, and many more nostalgic and interesting items. At the end of each of the exhibit halls is a room that has the corresponding playable arcade machine.
As stated before, each of the seven games is the original code, which means it is just like having all seven arcade machines in your home (except you don't need to insert a quarter every time you want to to play).
Fans of the arcade hit Pac-Man will be happy to know that everything has been ported over faithfully from the arcade, including the cute cinemas and opening jingle. Just like the tabletop version of Pac-Man, this Collection version has the cartoon artwork bordering both the left and right side of the screen.
Also included in the Name collection is both Rally X and New Rally X. Both games are quite similar since you must dodge the various boulders and stay away from the red cars while collecting your 10 flags on each stage. If you are into intense games, this one is for you.
Namco had some great shooters in the early '80s that are now included in this collection. One of them is Bosconian. Allowing your ship free-flight capabilities, take out all of the enemy bases by either destroying the six outer pods or shooting the center.
The other great shooter is Galaga. This is the game that is synonymous with early gaming history. Galaga really brings back memories of trying to get to the fourth challenging stage.
Lastly, Pole Position, the first big racing hit and Toypop are the last two games on the Namco collection. In Toypop, you have a choice of being either a boy or a girl. You must collect a number of hearts to open the exit door. It might sound easy, but with enemies like toy cars and toy soldiers after you, it can become difficult.
All those gamers who grew up in the early '80s should really appreciate the many games included in the Namco Collection. Even if you have never played Pac-Man, Galaga or the other five games, they will provide many hours of fun no matter how young or old you are.
- MANUFACTURER - Namco
- THEME - Multi
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1