Showing posts with label Namco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Namco. Show all posts

A Quick Look At Namco Museum

Namco's output on the Dreamcast is curious. The Japanese arcade masters came out all guns blazing with the launch of Soul Calibur, and the game was never bettered as far as arcade fighting games go. Many tried, but ultimately the likes of Dead or Alive 2, Project Justice et al - while amazing games in their own right - never usurped Soul Calibur as the king of the 3D brawlers on the Dreamcast. After Soul Calibur though, Namco seemed to go a little quiet. The only other games the firm released on Sega's little box were retro compilations or games in that mould.
Mr Driller was a variation on the earlier Dig Dug; while Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness was an updated version of the classic dot-gobbler with added 3D platforming elements thrown in. Both of these games are of above average quality, that's undeniable, but these were hardly the types of offering many early Dreamcast adopters were hoping for as follow ups after the initial impact made by Soul Calibur. Namco did release another game for the Dreamcast though and - surprise - it too was a retro-themed title: Namco Museum.
Namco Museum was only released in North America and was a continuation in the trend of repackaging older games for a new audience. The Dreamcast played host to a number of these compilations, with things like Atari Anniversary Edition, Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits and Yu Suzuki Game Works representing the higher end of the genre, and Sega Smash Pack occupying the opposite end of the spectrum. Where does Namco Museum fit into this little party? Well...somewhere in the middle to be honest. It's a collection of Namco's most important arcade games repackaged for play on a home system, but it's not perfect by a long shot. Before we delve into the reasons for this though, let's have a look at the games included on this compendium of Namco's rich history...

The Lost Content Of Soul Calibur (Now Found!)

Man, I love the Internet Archive's Way Back Machine. It's literally a real-life version of the chronoscope as described in Isaac Asimov's short story, The Dead Past. Well, not quite...but you get the idea. In The Dead Past, the chronoscope is designed to view the real world of the past, as opposed to the internet, but the similarities are there. Also, I just wanted a reason to mention Isaac Asimov because the dude was a freaking genius. If the chronoscope ever does become a thing, I'll be hitting him up to write a guest article for the Junkyard. Anyway, the point of all this is that I was browsing the internet of 1999 with Way Back Machine, with a specific mission.
See, I was trawling Namco Japan's old site looking for the fabled special VMU save file that gave players access to a hidden Voldo costume, but I inadvertently found myself looking through the pages of the old Namco US site, too. Naturally, I navigated to the Soul Calibur sub-site and my, what a treasure trove that is. There are tons of downloadable files, images, guides and walkthroughs for the game, but perhaps the most interesting thing was the desktop themes section. Yes, Namco created some official Soul Calibur themes for Windows 95 and while the files themselves are no longer accessible, these screen shots are...and I thought they were worth sharing.