|System: PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jul. 16, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
My biggest complaint with this title is that the controls are woefully inadequate. Frankly, the PS3 controllers' analog sticks and D-pads simply aren't made for this kind of gaming. As such, don't expect to be setting solid high scores until you've invested several hours getting used to the gummy, inaccurate directional controls. In fact, old-school gamers would be best served investing money into a quality fight stick rather than sinking time into adjusting to the controls. Besides, doing so will serve you well for future retro titles and the pantheon of must-have arcade fighters out there.
Sounds in the game are nearly perfect. The old tunes from yesteryear are of good fidelity, and the ability to collect and change the musical themes is nice. Visually, Essentials is also very well done. Naturally, the HD remake of Xevious is sterling, and the variable backgrounds behind the classic titles do a great job of enhancing the arcade cabinet feel. Of course, most of these games are simply ports of 80's titles, so don't expect to have your socks knocked off. Then again, the quality gameplay on offer in these Namco classics isn't really in need of fancy graphics (this holds true for Xevious Resurrection too).
Namco Museum Essentials is a quality title for old-school gaming aficionados anxious to have access to a few classic arcade titles on their PS3. That being said, those same gamers have likely purchased these games on a previous console. The inclusion of Dragon Spirit and Xevious Resurrection keep things feeling fresh, but they're not substantial enough to get gamers excited. Of course, at just $10, it's nice to have ready access to these classic Namco titles.
CCC Editor / News Director