One of Namco Bandai’s latest releases is another classic game compilation. Namco Museum Megamix for Wii comes with 18 arcade games and six remix games, bringing the grand total up to 24 games. Not all the "classics" are classic though, and some of the remix games are lackluster additions.
First, here’s the list of all the classic games you’re going to get in Namco Museum Megamix:
- Cutie Q
- Dig Dug
- Dig Dug 2
- King & Balloon
- New Rally-X
- Pac & Pal
- Super Pac-Man
And the six remix games are:
- Galaga Remix
- Gator Panic Remix
- Grobda Remix
- Pac ‘n Roll Remix
- Rally-X Remix
As you can see, not all of the games in the Namco Museum Megamix are fan favorites you’ll recognize the second you hear their names. Also, you’re getting three versions of Rally-X and five Pac-Man variations. Not that Rally-X and Pac-Man aren’t good, but a little more variety would have been nice. Maybe add in games like Pole Position, The Tower of Druaga, Sky Kid or Rolling Thunder instead. You know, like the GameCube version of Namco Museum 50th Anniversary did.
By now, you may be getting a feeling of déjà vu. "I’ve seen those ‘remix’ games before, and that title sounds eerily familiar." That’s because Namco Bandai released Namco Museum Remix three years ago. The only difference between the two are nine classic games and one new remix game – Bosconian, Dig Dug II, Galaga, Grobda, King & Balloon, Motos, New Rally-X, Pac-Man, Rally-X and Grobda Remix. (Unfortunately, the only newly added classics worth really owning are Dig Dug II, Galaga and Pac-Man and the Grobda Remix is a floundering mess of a tank-shooting game.) Namco Museum Remix and Namco Museum Megamix even share the same price; they’re both $19.99 if you buy them new.
This they share similar problems as well. Despite the three year gap, where things could have been fixed or upgraded, nothing has changed. Like Namco Museum Remix, Namco Museum Megamix is organizationally challenged. Instead of just providing a clear menu that would lead to the remix games and classic games, Namco Bandai decided to go with a hub area that players must roll a ball-shaped Pac-Man around to navigate. It isn’t exactly easy to see where everything is, and difficult to remember too! I’d have to roll Pac-Man all around to find the remix games I was looking for. The Carnival Arcade section was worst, because you’d have to make Pac-Man roll up to every machine just to find the one game you wanted to play.
And good luck to you if you’re not a fan of the nunchuk control scheme. Namco Museum Megamix more-or-less forces it on you, just like Namco Museum Remix did. You can only use the nunchuk to navigate the central hub and Carnival Arcade section. For most of the remix games it’s no big deal, because they all require either a nunchuk or Wii Remote control scheme. The 18 carnival arcade games also have Classic Controller control schemes. While the Classic Controller is more comfortable to use, it’s a chore when you’re forced to use the nunchuk to find the right machine, select the machine and the switch to the Classic Controller to play. Then, when you’re done, you have to make sure you switch the Classic Controller out and pop the nunchuk back in so you can find another game. If the two peripherals used different ports, I wouldn’t bother mentioning it, but I found it quite troublesome while playing.
See why I was wishing for plain menus? You’d think Namco Bandai would have taken the time to fix the navigation problems, especially since they’ve had three years.
Speaking of controls, almost all the remix game controls suffer from precision issues. Which is unforgiveable because A.) the remix games had the same control problems in Namco Museum Remix and B.) because control issues can seriously hurt you in these games. The only one that has no control problems is Galaga Remix, but that’s because you’re using the Wii Remote to point and shoot. Personally, I think Namco Bandai made the control schemes terrible in an attempt to make the remix games more difficult, because even with unreliable controls they’re incredibly easy to play and beat. The reason I say so is because Grobda Remix, the new remix game making its debut in Namco Museum Megamix seems to have the worst controls of them all.
Some of these control problems even spill over into the classic games. If you’re a fan of them, you’re probably going to need to relearn how to play some of them. For some reason, the classic games just don’t seem to play or feel right with the Wii Namco Museum Megamix control schemes. I found the Classic Controller controls seemed a smidge more accurate than the rest, but even then, it took me about five tries playing Mappy and over seven attempts at Pac-Man to get back into the groove.
There also are some graphical quirks. None of the classic games automatically show up as full screen games. I suppose it’s understandable, since these were originally arcade games, but it would have been nice if Namco could have done a little tweaking so they’d naturally come up looking a bit better. Perhaps use the NES ports for some of the classic games, instead of the arcade versions. There is an option to adjust the presentation of each classic game, but if you try to stretch them out it just doesn’t look right. And, you guessed it again, this was an issue in Namco Museum Remix as well.
But wait, I’ve neglected to talk about the only new game in the collection – Grobda Remix. This should be taken as an indication of how bad it is. In it, Pac-Man jumps into a little tank, is placed on a level with a bunch of other little tanks and a few obstacles and must shoot the other tanks to win. Good luck with that, since the tank is difficult to accurately control with the nunchuk. Odds are you’ll manage to get Pac-Man killed before taking out anyone else. All it adds are some bland 3D graphics and a horrible graphics update. I played it five times, because I had to and wanted to see if maybe it got better or I could get used to the controls, then never touched it again.
Namco Museum Megamix is a game you’re going to be buying for the classics included, not for the remix games since Galaga Remix and Pac ‘n Roll Remix are the only good remakes. And, if you already own Namco Museum Remix, it’d be pointless to get Megamix since it’s practically the same game. This may sound silly, but if you own a Wii and want some Namco classic games, you may be better off looking for a copy of the Namco Museum 50th Anniversary GameCube game. It may not look as good, but it’ll be cheap and come with Bosconian, Dig Dug, Dragon Spirit, Galaga, Galaga ’88, Galaxian, Mappy, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Pole Position, Pole Position II, Rally-X, Rolling Thunder, Sky Kid and Xevious.
Food for Thought
- At least you don’t need to do any unlocking to access all the games.
- The classic games are good, once you adjust to the controls and the way they’re presented. They’re really the only thing that make Namco Museum Megamix worthwhile.