Game collections seem to be quite commonplace these days, as a sucker for nostalgia they always seem to call me. Also not too new to the fray is remaking titles, and adding a modern twist such as the excellent two games in the Pac-Man Championship edition series. Namco hit two winners with those games, and I had some excitement when the Namco Museum Megamix showed up at my door. That joy was short lived however. Megamix features a grand total of 24 titles, six of which are subtitled as Remixes of classic games and the others are emulated versions of arcade titles such as Rally X or a spin on Pac Man (full list will conclude this review.) The six Remixed have all been released already in a collection exactly like this – the big difference here is that one new Remix is included (Grobda) plus non-remixed versions of each Remix. Confused yet?
The game has a main interface for selecting each title that seems like an overworld scheme, not unlike many Mario titles we’ve seen in recent years. Only this time you roll Pac-Man up to a building which houses a Remixed title and one which is a classic Arcade setting where you roll up to each game you feel like playing.
Each arcade title is accurately emulated and each features the classic game in all of its glory. From Super Pac-Man eating oversized fruit to laying down smoke screens in Rally X, each game is exactly how older gamers would remember it. The biggest flaw is the control scheme for the games, and this goes for both classics and the remixed titles. The controls require that you use the nunchuk to move around the overworld and optionally use the nunchuk for controlling the actual video game. The problem here is that each game has two or three options for controlling it, and that in itself makes things difficult to manage. I found I had to disconnect the nunchuck when I wanted to use only the Wii Remote for playing, as if the analog stick was jostled while playing it affected my game. So imagine having to constantly change your configuration every time you wanted to change games – not the best design implementation here guys.
The Remixed titles are actually somewhat embarrassing to play in my opinion. Slapping the Galaga or even Pac-Man name on the abominations that I ended up playing is a disservice to the games, the fans of the games, and even the original developers of the games. Nothing about the remixed games were much fun, and any connection to the classic title in some of the titles is farfetched at best. Galaga Remixed has you moving Pac-Man down a level towards a goal, while pointing the Wii Remote at the screen and shooting down bugs loosely inspired by Galaga. Sure, they take up some classic formations, but otherwise it’s a wash. The overworld of Megamix took on more of a Pac and Roll vibe than the remix did – which offers up a poorly implemented bumpercar-esque game where you push bugs and spheres off of a platform. Again the controls here are problematic, with the nunchuck being required for all (but optional for some like Rally X Remix) – and like a lot of poor games, there is some haphazard motion control shoehorned into the title.
Yes, the game is budget priced – and if it wasn’t for the poor controls and the abysmal remix titles I’d almost suggest this is good for fans of the collection offered. But I fear that would only entice more remixes to be released which would tarnish the good name of many other classics that Namco has yet to touch. I’ll repeat however that they do create some gold in remade titles – and everyone who enjoyed Pac-Man at any level should check out the Championship Edition or the new CE DX edition as those are proof positive that Namco does things the right way.
The titles included in this collection are:
- Cutie Q
- Dig Dug
- Dig Dug II
- King & Balloon
- New Rally-X
- Pac & Pal
- Super Pac-Man
- Grobda Remix
- Pac ‘n Roll Remix
- Galaga Remix
- Rally-X Remix
- Gator Panic Remix
- The well done emulation of the classic titles can’t save the horrid controls and abominations that are the Remixed titles.
Platform reviewed: Nintendo Wii
— Jeff Paramchuk