Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 and 2 bring back classics in two separate collections, each offering 11 games. Titles originate from both arcade and home console, and span an acceptable range of genres, as well as including its most famous IPs, such as Pac-Man and Galaga.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, both volumes lean into the shmup genre the most, and include the likes of Gaplus, Super Xevious and the excellent Dragon Spirit. Otherwise, there’s a good selection of platformers, one or two RPG titles, arcade essentials like Dig Dug, and Japanese exclusives like the adorably horrifying Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti. Each game emulates well in terms of sound quality and inputs, though multiplayer is somewhat lacking as almost every title that offers it uses the original ‘one player at a time’ system in lieu of creating something more communal.
Volume One also includes a demake of 2007’s Pac-Man Championship Edition, which boasts the most complete ‘Pac’ experience yet as well as a refreshingly rocking soundtrack. Most classics are accounted for across both volumes, though with three Pac-Man games it seems odd that Ms. Pac-Man is notably neglected.
Both Museum Archive volumes utilise the same basic user interface and generic retro music that is serviceable, if a bit dull. They also employ the same settings, including a screen size modifier and a rewind system that makes any game laughably easy when abused. Having exactly the same functionality in both games also raises the uncomfortable question of why these collections had to be separated into two volumes at all.
Still, they both offer a good selection of nostalgic gems, the odd so-so title like the frustratingly sloppy Mappy-Land, as well as a disappointing lack of unlockable extras. If it were one complete collection it’d be easily recommended but, as two separate purchases, these are for hardcore Namco fans only.