|Digital Eclipse handled this rather middling rehash of Namco classics. I only got it because I wanted Rolling Thunder--I have Rolling Thunder in Namco Museum Encore (see entry 182), but that PS1 title runs poorly on a PS2, and I don't have my PS1 hooked up these days. I'd have got this 50th Anniversary on PS2, since none of the versions support progressive scan anyway (boooo!), and in fact I did get the PS2 version (see entry 873), but it turned out not to support my standard ASCII joystick, so the GC version was my last hope.|
Fortunately, it supported my Hori stick. Huzzah. Now I have a properly running Rolling Thunder again, and life is complete as far as that goes.
If I'd been hoping for anything else, say, perhaps, a real vertical version of Ms. Pac-Man, I'd have been bitterly disappointed. None of the games in here that were vertical in the arcade, like Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaga '88, etc, have vertical screen support; they're all shrunk down for a regular horizontal screen orientation. Blurry and icky. Bluch.
The collection, aside from the games, is very bare-bones. In fact, there's nothing there other than the games except for a really annoying "virtual arcade" main menu haunted by a horrible licensed "80's soundtrack that takes you back to the glory days of arcade gaming..." UGH! Turn it off! Oh wait, you can't.
Digital Eclipse got some things right. For one thing, each game saves high scores. They didn't anti-alias games that could run at full resolution, like Rolling Thunder. That seems to be all the rage these days, for some stupid reason. And the games run well. You can't load them up with more than one credit at a time, though, which means that if you die you have to sit through the whole game over sequence before you can restart, which is just silly. Hm and as for the resolution thing, games that are rescaled look really bad (due to lack of progressive scan, the vertical ones look even worse than those on the GBA version--see entry 875), and all of them have this stupid "screen size" option that lets you scale them up or down by about 10%--why we need to do that, I don't know, and there's no apparent way to reset the scaling to default, so if you were to nudge it say a few percentage points up, blurring it, you'd be out of luck if you wanted to set it back. I think--I didn't dare try.
The games are: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Pole Position, Pole Position II, Xevious, Dragon Spirit, Bosconian, Rolling Thunder, Mappy, and Sky Kid; then two you can unlock by getting certain scores in the regular games: Galaga '88 and Pac-Mania. Most of these, of course, have appeared in previous Namco Museum offerings. I only like Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, Rolling Thunder, Galaga '88, and Pac-Mania. I also kind of like Bosconian, to my surprise. But due to the ugly-ass rescaling, you'd be better playing these in, say, DC or PS1 Namco Museum compilations--except for Rolling Thunder, and I think Galaga '88, which hasn't been in any of them before. And Galaga '88 ain't all that. And the rest of the games stink.
So you're pretty much getting this for Rolling Thunder. But Rolling Thunder rules.