While I wish Namco had rounded out this package more, there's a lot of value for a very fair price here. There's a great mix of titles that range from all-time greats to at least mildly interesting. Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 is well worth your time if you love the classics or are merely interested in them.
The other standout here is demake of 2007’s Pac-Man Championship Edition. It’s probably a little unfair to compare it to any of the other ten games on this compilation, seeing as its design has the benefit of 30+ years of hindsight, but it’s still an incredible take on an incredible game that feels alive in a way that none of the other games here do. Is it enough to singlehandedly make Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 worth picking up? Probably not…but it’s good enough that I’d at least have to think about it before answering that question. At the very least, it justifies the collection’s existence, even if the rest will probably only appeal to you if you want another version of games that, mostly, have been available elsewhere for decades.
The name "Museum archives” perfectly embodies the essence of the Namco Museum Archives - Volume 1 collection. Not all games have retained their fascination, but this is a great way to look at the game history through the early works of Namco.
There are many, many ways that NAMCO MUSEUM ARCHIVES Vol 1 could be better, but as a whole, fans of retro gaming will definitely love this. Apart from the greedy idea of separating 20 super-old games between two collections, the only thing really holding this back right now is its price. So, put it on your wishlist… and wait.
It is overall hard to recommend Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 aside from checking out old Famicom and NES versions of games. The two major exceptions are Pac-Man Championship Edition and the previously Japan-only Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti. If you want to see a neat demake of a great Pac-Man game or a cool never-before-seen Namco platformer, by all means go dive into this collection. But aside from those two games, there isn't much here but NES and Famicom versions of arcade games.
Namco Museum Archives is a collection of the company’s NES classics, no more, no less. While the emulation is great and the original games are a good touch, the “Museum” part of the title rings hollow.
With the exception of the PAC-MAN: Championship Edition demake, Namco Museum Archives Volume 1 is really only ever going to appeal to old fogeys similar to myself who want to latch on to the past and stuff them into a Nintendo Switch. Sure, many of the games don’t hold up well, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be celebrated. It’s just a pity that Namco can’t seem to be that bothered. While M2 does a fantastic job as always in actually handling the emulation process, the disappointing lack of extra features leaves a lot to be desired.