Proof that games have gotten better.
Although the prospect of playing games of your youth (those classics by Namco) may have sounded exciting when they first announced the product, it has quickly gone down hill since. The first collection had several great games almost everyone remembers - like Pac-Man and Galga. If they had ended the series with just that collection it would have been adequate.
Instead, Namco continued to release version after version of their virtual "museum." This got ugly quick - obscure and bizarre games that sometimes weren't even released in the United States started appearing in the collections.
That brings us to Namco Museum #4 - containing only one game that is worth playing (and albeit, that one gets boring too) and a bunch of other games that you should steer clear of.
It's hard to review a pack of 'classic' games. You can't comment on the graphics or sound - since they are exactly the same as they were in the arcade. So instead, I'm going to do a bunch of mini-reviews for each game. I may seem overly harsh to your halcyon memories of these games, but most of these games truly do suck.
Pac-land -- One of the stupidest games of all time. All you do is walk to the right and jump over things. Sounds a little like the original Mario Brothers, but it's different in that it's boring and has absolutely no fun factor. Stay away from this stinker. F
Ordyne -- An obscure, but surprisingly fun shooter. Will actually entertain you, unlike other games in this collection. This is the latter half of the two games that you might actually want to play in this collection. B-
The Return of Ishtar -- A boring dungeon crawler that has you controlling two different characters at the same time. Confusing and difficult, Return of Ishtar proves only one thing: games that sucked in the 80's still suck now. D+
The Genji and Heike Clans -- A blatant rip-off of Ninja Gaiden, The Genji and Heike Clans is a Japanese game that most likely never saw US shores. And that was a good thing too, the game tries to meld three different playing styles together - what does it end up with? Mediocrity. C-
Assault -- By far the best game in the collection. You drive a tank around and blow up things - a plot that is still intriguing by today's standards. However, unlike some repetitive blow-em 'ups that exist now, this one is actually fun. B+
Namco Museum 4 could have been saved by a slick interface, and although the 3D first-person walkthrough is interesting, it's more annoying than anything else. This collection truly has no classics - you're better off getting one of the earlier editions instead. And I mean, come on, who in their right mind would ever want to be reminded of (shudder) Pac-Land?