Namco Museum

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It's time to enjoy old games on a new system with the release of Namco Museum, a collection of five classic games, for the Game Boy Advance. Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug, and Pole Position have all been brought back and spruced up in color to fit the platform.

Ms. Pac-Man challenges users to eat all of the Pac-Dots without being attacked by menacing ghosts that scavenge the mazes for prey. The title character can start the game with one, two, three, or five lives. Lives are lost when Ms. Pac-Man is attacked by ghosts, but can be gained back by accumulating 10,000, 15,000, or 20,000 points depending on the user's designated preference. In addition to searching out the Pac-Dots, Ms. Pac-Man also enjoys devouring power pellets because they make the ghosts vulnerable to be eaten for points. Finally, fruit randomly appears in the mazes and also add to the point total when consumed.

Galaxian is a space game in which the user controls star fighters, attempting to destroy enemy fighter formations and advance to the next level without being struck by missiles. After scoring a designated amount of points, additional star fighters can be added to the user's force. Destroying different types of enemies awards the user different amounts of points. For example, taking out the escorts and the bosses at the same time can earn up to 800 points. Star fighters have the best chance of advancing when they attack the opponents early and quickly, before they have a chance to fire multiple missiles and surround the good guys.

Staying in the space setting, Galaga again pits user controlled star fighters against enemy forces as they fire missiles and fly around the screen. The original amount of lives can be set to two, three, four, or five, and like the other games, additional lives can be picked up during game play by accumulating a certain amount of points. The Dual Fighter mode is initiated when two star fighters are combined into one, giving the user more fire power and the chance to conquer the enemies. The two fighters can be combined when the user successfully rescues a captured fighter from the head opponents, Boss Galaga. This is a risky mission, however, because star fighters can accidentally shoot one of their own.

Moving from outer space to the inner parts of the earth, Dig Dug challenges the user to dig through the layers of the earth, while at the same time fighting off enemies using a pump or rocks. The game starts with one, two, three, or five lives, with the same life gaining option as in the other games. There are three available levels of difficulty for users to attempt to conquer as they move through the stages. During play, vegetables will appear throughout the mazes, and more points are awarded at higher levels of play.

The final game in this collection is Pole Position, a car racing game. Users must achieve a fast qualifying time, and then head out for the main race, either a three or four lap event, which includes other computer-operated cars, tough obstacles including rocks and puddles, and hairpin turns. The level of difficulty for the qualifying lap can be set from one to eight, and the qualifying time can be designated at 90, 100, 110, or 120 seconds. The "A" button controls acceleration, the "B" button applies the brakes, and the "R" button shifts gears.

At any point during any of these five games, users can go back to the main menu, and choose a different classic from the Namco Museum to conquer.

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