If you’re a fan of any classic arcade games from Namco, then you’ve probably come across the many different bundles and compilations that have come out from Bandai Namco. The Namco Museum Arcade Pac from Bandai Namco is a diverse compilation of arcade games from gaming’s past. From Pac-Man and Galaga to Rolling Thunder and Tank Force, there are many classics to relive again or experience for the first time. But while it brings together a number of arcade games from back in the day, this package may not be as filling as you would’ve hoped for.
There are two main parts of the Namco Museum Arcade Pac. You have the options of playing the Namco Museum or Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus. If you’ve played Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus before, you’re not getting anything new within this arcade pack. You can check out our review of Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus here for our full thoughts about it for specifics, but it’s the exact same game as its previous release. It’s a fun game for those that have an affinity for Pac-Man or enjoyed its predecessor, but there’s not much different about it within this collection.
The majority of time spent for most players will be exploring all of the games within the Namco Museum. Here is where many of the classic Namco arcade games can be accessed, as well as a number of additional features that can be changed for each individual game. There’s a total of eleven arcade games, all of which have options for Leaderboard Rankings, customizable controls, screen rotation, and additional game settings that can be tinkered with. The diversity of the types of games compiled here is good, but there are some major titles that are completely absent. There is no Ms. Pac-Man or Pac-Man Jr. here, no Pole Position, no Mappy, or many of the other Namco classics that people have enjoyed throughout the years.
The games are not big in size, so why they weren’t also part of the collection is questionable. It can be argued that having those games instead of something like Rolling Thunder or Tank Force would’ve been more interesting, but that depends on how well you know about Namco’s lineup of arcade games from back then. Though it would’ve been a far better choice to include those additional arcade classics with this collection instead of bundling everything with Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus. Why this was done is anybody’s guess, but the offering of Namco classics here doesn’t truly feel like a true museum of all of Namco’s best.
Another major exclusion from this collection is any kind of bonus features or unlockable content. There is no concept art, arcade unit photos, or anything related to the history of the eleven games that are included here. You can play all of the games and top their online leaderboards as many times as you like, but there’s nothing else beyond that. The best part of collections like this is supposed to be looking over the history and importance that these games had back when they first released in the arcades.
But no effort was made to include such a thing within this collection, not even for arguably Namco’s biggest arcade release, Pac-Man. As it stands, most people will probably play some of the games once and then completely forget about them afterwards.
The Namco Museum Arcade Pac is for those who enjoy playing retro games and getting to the top of leaderboards, but it won’t offer much to anyone else. The games included in this collection is diverse, but some big classics in Namco’s portfolio are missing, which will stand out to some people. The lack of bonus extras that give insight into the history of these games is a real bummer and drops the value of this collection. Having Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus included does make this collection seem a little bigger, but if you’ve played the game before you’re not getting anything new out of it here.
This review was based on a physical review unit of the Namco Museum Arcade Pac for the Nintendo Switch, provided by Bandai Namco.