Further adding fuel to the accusations that the PSP is merely a port-able system, comes Namco Museum Battle Collection, a best of collection featuring arcade highlights such as Dig Dug, Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Rally X (featured on PSP's Ridge Racer - you know the one that you have to turn off so it doesnít auto load), Xevious, Bosconian, Mappy, Tower of Druaga, Dragon Buster, Grobda, Dig Dug 2, and King & Balloon.
Whilst a fair few of these games have attracted classic status, the lack of new material of any worth smacks of cheapness, and the newly remixed versions of these classics, (a case in point is Pac Man: Arrangement) smack of mediocrity. With collections like this, it becomes pretty obvious why Sony is really trying to crack down on homebrew games and especially the ability to run emulators - these games are achingly simple to emulate well and are available relatively easily (albeit illegally).
The emulation for each and every arcade port is pretty flawless. From my eyes, it seems that every intricacy of the original code has been kept intact and not really tinkered with. The AI is still quite basic, where applicable. A nice touch during Pac Man is the ability to tilt the screen to view it horizontally, closer reflecting the original coin machine.
The disc supports the game share function from one UMD, but itís pretty hopeless. Who wants to play one level and then manually start it all again? What could have been a very good feature has been reduced to a pretty worthless feature.
I was pretty disappointed to see a complete lack of extras. Small bonuses like original covers, pictures of the original arcade machines and maybe a few commercials would have rocked and would certainly have gone a long way to justifying the premium price.
Audio wise, Namco Museum Battle Collection is pretty limited to the original bleeps and bloops. The newly arranged versions of games have a bit more going on, but the music can be a bit irritating, especially so as in Pac Man. I defy anyone to play that for more than 15 minutes before muting it.
Overall, Namco Museum Battle Collection is a relatively solid collection, highlighting some of the best arcade games ever made. Unfortunately, as a whole the collection is let down by a lack of polish and the absence of any form of extras. I thought a museum should have more in the way of items.
Review By: Ben Gourlay