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What's it about?
The idea for NAMCO MUSEUM DS is simple: Namco lets you play eight old but classic video games: Pac-Man, The Tomb of Druaga, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug II!, Xevious, Mappy, and Pac-Man Vs. Of these, the two Pac-Man games standout as classics.
In Pac-Man, you control a little half-rounded figure who eats dots that appear in a changing maze. You dodge ever-faster ghosts in the pursuit of dots, power pellets, and fruit. With Pac-Man Vs, you can play a multiplayer version of Pac-Man using only one game cartridge, but each player must own a DS. One player becomes Pac-Man while up to three other players become ghosts that chase him through the maze; whichever ghost catches Pac-Man gets to become Pac-Man in the next round.
Is it any good?
Unfortunately these games were built to be played in a vertical coin-operated system and the DS screen is horizontally shaped. Even with this not ideal screen fit, the controls are terrific, and the game selection has a few bona fide hits in it. For some people, Pac-Man Vs. is reason enough to own this museum. You can't play it in single player, but if you have friends with DS units, this is a great game to play together.
Namco Museum DS is not a bad deal if you want a trip down memory lane but it becomes a definite purchase if you have friends who enjoy playing Pac-Man Vs together. It would have been a better compilation if it had included fan favorite Ms. Pac Man. Your kids won't believe how simple and how primitive video games once were. But they'll be impressed -- or frustrated -- by how challenging they still are.
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