Namco Museum (Switch)
If you’re looking to get retro on your Nintendo Switch, Bandai Namco is here to help you out with the launch of the Namco Museum. Is the collection worth picking up or should it stay in the past? Come inside to check out my full review!
When you’re hankering for something old-school in video gaming, you’re heartbreakingly out of luck on the Nintendo Switch. Since launching in March, the company still hasn’t given fans any idea about when/if their Virtual Console will make a return so fans can play all their old favorites. As a huge retro gamer, whose entire Wii U memory space is taken up with VC games, this is a major bummer.
As such, I was pretty happy to see the Namco Museum make it’s way to the console/handheld hybrid. I’ve legitimately lost count of the number of “Museum” titles Namco has released over the years on various consoles (I still have the one on the Nintendo 64!), but considering how long the company has been around, the classic nature of their backlog...it’s hard to complain.
The version on the Switch comes with a total of 11 games:
Dig Dug (1982)
The Tower Of Druaga (1984)
Sky Kid (1985)
Rolling Thunder (1986)
Galaga ’88 (1987)
Rolling Thunder 2 (1990)
Tank Force (1991)
Pac-Man Vs. (2003)
This isn’t a bad list, but there are a couple head scratchers. I’m not sure why we ended up with two versions of Galaga, but Xevious is nowhere to be seen. Tank Force is a solid top-down puzzle/shooter but looks like a MUCH older game than it is. Namco had some solid 3D fighting and racing games back in the day as well, but those are absent as well.
Regardless, it’s really not a terrible list, but considering it’s called Namco Museum, it would have been nice if the game has spent some time doling out information on these titles (really tap into the Museum/archival element of the title). Instead, you’re presented with a fairly standard menu from which you can choose the games you want to play.
It’s plain, but the UI is incredibly functional and easy to use. Moving over a title brings up a mini video that gives you a peek at what’s in store. This is ideal for gamers who may have never played these titles before who want to see the type of game they want to play. For old gamers like me, it’s a great way to remind you what type of games these actually were!
The highlight for many, in this compilation, will be the inclusion of Pac-Man Vs. which is updated for the Switch console to allow you the chance to play with friends online fairly easily. The other games on the line-up are presented in great quality and run smoothly. I played through every title for various lengths of time and never once noticed lag or stuttering that sometimes occurs when old games are ported to new systems.
Not Robust, but Solid Retro Gaming on the Switch
The developers have done an excellent job of bringing these classics to a modern system. They’re still fun to play and look great while doing it. In many ways, the Namco Museum for the Switch is pretty much exactly what you would expect from the compilation. There’s no real surprises here and it runs much like all the other Namco Museum games that have released over the years. This isn’t a bad thing, however, and at $30, it’s a pretty good bundle of retro games to enjoy on your Switch.