One of the few certainties in the gaming world is that every single generation of consoles will have a new Namco Musem iteration. This is no exception for the Switch, as Bandai Namco has just released an “exclusive” version of the series, an okay-ish iteration with a less than okay pricetag.
Namco Museum features 11 games, ranging from the obvious classics such as Pac-Man and Dig Dug to less known games like Tank Force. The collection’s highlight is easily the inclusion of the ultraviolent classic Splatterhouse, complete with all the original blood and gore.
One nice addition to the collection is the possibility of rotating the game’s screen 90 degrees, leaving the game with a vertical resolution just like the original arcade cabinets. Admittedly, it’s not quite practical to find an appropriate surface to leave the vertical Switch completely still in order to play it like a cabinet, but it’s a nice addition nevertheless.
While having games like both Rolling Thunders, Tower of Druaga and Splatterhouse is a fantastic plus for this collection, I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed with Namco Museum‘s overall selection of games. A gigantic lot of classics like Rally X, Pole Position, Xevious, Bosconian and Dragon Spirit are put aside for less-than-interesting titles such as two Galagas (one is fine, but do we also need ’88?), Sky Kid and the Gamecube Pac-Man Vs. from 2003, which requires multiple Switches in order for you to access the full game. Granted, that’s all opinion-based, but the fact so many classics were left behind in favor of some carbon copies or games which aren’t even that old yet is a little frustrating. If that’s a strategy for a Namco Museum 2 or if Bandai Namco just wanted to innovate a bit with its game’s library, we might never know.
Namco Museum is a nice way to have a handful of classics on-the-go, but its roster of games, coupled with its pricetag, makes it hard for me to recommend it to everyone. While having stuff like Rolling Thunder and especially Splatterhouse is great, the overall selection of games, and its overall scarcity, isn’t very interesting, with a lot of obvious classics left behind and a handful of boring titles included. Then again, Splatterhouse. I finally have that bad boy on the go.
Given how it’s not fair to judge the game by the looks and sound of its arcade ports, Namco Museum just gets an overall verdict. A 6.5 for it. Get it at a discount, not for its current 30 dollar price. All of you eventually need to own Splatterhouse.