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1 Player

Game Type

Coin-op collection

Mem. Card

Review Date

April 1997

Setting the Scene

It may not be flared trousers and kipper ties, but Namco Museum Vol. 3 is a slice of nostalgia that will transport you back in time for a mixed bag of games that were the pastime of your forefathers, or indeed yourself, if you are over twenty one and remember hiding from the Daleks. The six games featured in the 3rd of the Namco collection spread between the years 1979 to 1993 and appear in the very form that they once graced the arcade machines.


Galaxians is a shoot-em-up that would grace any machine and is probably the most famous of the package.
Ms. PacMan is a gobble-em-up maze game and is identical to the original PacMan except for a pink bow on her head.
Pole Position 2 is the ancestor of F1, minus the bugs.
Phozon is a puzzle game that involves the strategic skill of shape matching.
Dig Dug is a cross between Boulder dash and an underground PacMan.
The Tower of Druga is the maze game that appeared on the NES.


Criticizing the graphics in 1997 would be similar to slagging off The Bionic Man or Charlies Angels. In their heyday they were the business and should be left alone at that, but the two games that stand the test of time are the highly addictive Galaxians that still looks sharp and neat as the brightly colored aliens swoop down over your ship while the popular Ms. PacMan retains the charm of the original.

If you have never seen any of the Namco Museum games before, then the player is first offered a guided tour of the 3D museum for an educational journey through the past. Once you have registered your name at the information desk, you may roam the corridors and enter various rooms that exhibit the games and various items of memorabilia connected with them.

Sounds and Effects

Back in the late seventies after a visit to an arcade, your ears would be reverberating with that sole laser shooting noise and the 'de de de diddle de dee' that blasted from the speaker as your coin dropped into the machine. No change here, so let's just hope that a Namco Music Museum Compilation is not on the cards.


This remains a firm old time favorite of mine. It's basically Space Invaders with the added excitement of swooping aliens that drop bombs on you. I always thought that it was unfair that the aliens could drop multiple bombs whereas your lone rocket could only have one missile on the screen at a time, but never the less the high score catch remains the main hook. Your ship sits alone at the bottom of the screen, moving left or right while the rows of aliens line up above to take it in turns to bomb the hell out of you. When a screen is cleared....up pops another. You can pick off the aliens as they nest on their line or collect the bonus scores by picking them off in mid-flight with a top bonus for picking off the two red aliens and the yellow mother ship, in that order.

PacMan was probably the most played arcade game during the eighties and still holds its ground on the home systems in the nineties. Steer a safe course around the maze, eat all the pellets while avoiding the four chasing ghosts to proceed into the next round. By chomping a power pellet, Ms PacMan can eat the ghosts while they remain dark blue and the more ghosts you eat in succession, the more points they are worth. When fruit treats appear they can be munched for bonus points. You can't fault straight forward addictive gameplay.

Back in 1983 when this game hit the arcades, the queues were ever present and it probably created a reaction similar to that which received Formula 1. These were the next generation graphics of the eighties but the stunning looks were accompanied by an over responsive control that in all honesty, sucked. Still every dog has it's day and although you may be tempted to try out a lap or two, you best leave Pole Position well alone and stick with the memories. For those tempted, there are four different race tracks with each featuring a different background. To enter a Grand Prix you must first qualify by producing a fast time in a one lap time trial. If successful, you will be given your starting position for the four lap main race. The course has a number of checkpoints that must be reached in the allowed time while a collision with another vehicle, or an off course signpost, will see your racing car burst into flames leaving wheels littering the course.

I don't remember this one but I became absorbed with the gameplay for an hour or so. It is one of those 'just one more try' puzzle games that would cost you a fortune playing it over and over again in the arcades. The aim is to move the chemic around the screen and catch the floating molek. There is a shape in the centre of the screen that you must copy to reach a win status. If a molek attaches to your chemic in the wrong position. it can be jettisoned away by pressing the fire button and if that all sounds confusing then how about the Alpha rays that destroys three pieces of molek when touched, the Beta ray that will destroy one piece and a contact with the Atomic will end the game. Look, just match the pretty shape in the middle to win.

This was a massive hit in the arcades and was found to be quite tricky at certain stages. The player controls Dug as he tunnels beneath the ground, avoiding and destroying the enemies by pumping them up until they burst or, quite simply, dropping rocks on them. Bonus points are awarded for eating the vegetable treats which appear if you drop two rocks during a round. The game plays quite fast and it plays like an underground PacMan.

This game is the oldest of the collection and by God it shows. The game speed is ultra slow and you can see which direction your character should head but it takes an age to get there. You begin in a maze as a knight who must pass by a selection of enemies to retrieve a key that will unlock an exit. To kill the enemies you have to charge through them and double back a couple of times with your trusty sword drawn. There is a treasure box that will appear on each floor if you perform a certain action or sequence of actions but I wouldn't bother as it will only extend the game.

Value for Money

If you do not have a copy of Galaxians or PacMan then this will be a worthy addition to your collection, but be warned if you are a new recruit to console video games as these titles appear in their original arcade format and are extremely dated in comparison to your Tomb Raiders and Tekkens.




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The memories will flood back when you load up Namcos little box of nostalgia but the appeal will be short lived as each game has a lastability of only a few hours. I cannot imagine myself sitting up 'til the late hours trying to reach the final level of PacMan but I shall always return for an hour of Galaxians. The game score is for memories and not up against Tomb Raider.


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I guess that those old game that we used to play just weren't that good after all.


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