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Namco Museum GBA Classics

Namco Museum lets you play old Atari classics on your GameBoy Advance. These include Galaga, Galactica, Dig Dug, Pole Position, and Ms. Pac-Man!

This is of course a great idea in theory - I *love* some of these games. But while the games might be really fun to play on a big-screen console, they are REALLY tough on the tiny screen. For example, Ms. Pac-Man comes in two modes - a full screen mode and one that scrolls up and down showing you a partial screen at a time. The full screen mode has REALLY really tiny ghosts and characters, you can barely time your movements and often get stuck on walls. The scrolling mode is better in the sense that the characters are larger, but now you can easily scroll down into an enemy and the same character control issues occur.

On Pole Position, it's all about sliding left and right as your racecar goes around curves. With the arrow-control of the GBA, it's one light tap to make a hard turn. If you accidentially press too hard on the arrow, you smash into the side signs or nearby cars. It makes driving very difficult.

Dig Dug is a great game, where you burrow in the ground and try to drop rocks on the heads of dragons. Is this Revenge of Smaug? Again, I love the game but the controls make it difficult. You can be planning a careful tunnel to a rock and end up off by a bit, making the tunnel useless.

Galaga and Galaxian are both classic space-shooting games. Galaxian is a "secret bonus" in that it's not mentioned on the box but is provided on the cartridge. I really love both of them, but the controls are just as sluggish and imprecise here. With Galaxian having the penalty of "only one shot on the screen at a time", those missed shots make a huge difference in playability.

If you have a regular console, I'd recommend these games on a differnet system. I love the games themselves! But the GBA version is rather awkward. Everyone I had try this out got frustrated very quickly.

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