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NamCollection (PlayStation 2) artwork

NamCollection (PlayStation 2) review


"NamCollection is the latest in Namco’s long line of cashing in on moldy old shit that nobody but 45 year old women want to play anymore. The difference this time is that they F’d up and accidentally included a couple good games! The main draws of this collection are Klonoa and Ace Combat 2, two of the of the finest PSX games ever produced and due to their scarcity, probably a couple that most people missed playing back in the day. Each game has a slight graphical facelift in the form of the t..."



NamCollection is the latest in Namco’s long line of cashing in on moldy old shit that nobody but 45 year old women want to play anymore. The difference this time is that they F’d up and accidentally included a couple good games! The main draws of this collection are Klonoa and Ace Combat 2, two of the of the finest PSX games ever produced and due to their scarcity, probably a couple that most people missed playing back in the day. Each game has a slight graphical facelift in the form of the textures being smoothed out; but don’t let Namco’s “technical upgrades” bullshit PR line fool you, they all look as though they have the PS2’s hardware texture smoothing turned on, that’s about it. It looks nice for sure on Klonoa and Ace Combat 2, but it’s a little disappointing Namco didn’t go the extra mile and actually graphically update any of them like they advertised. Here’s a breakdown of the games included-

Ridge Racer- One of the worst racing games ever, and time has definitely not been kind to it. The game still looks like ultimate shit even with smoothed textures, and plays even worse thanks to its super retarded handling. Seriously how did this series ever make it to #5? Anyway, the museum features some superplay videos of people doing the course (as in singular, there’s only one damn track) in record times. It’s pretty boring, and a waste of space if you ask me.

Tekken- Another shitty old game, the difference is that this series actually got good later on. The first Tekken will make you cringe with how bad everything is; the blocky characters, the horrible CG, the pathetically small move roster, hell even the music sucks. I guess it’s entertaining for about 5 minutes as you laugh at how far 3D fighting games have come, but honestly Virtua Fighter 2 still holds up today so there’s no excuse for how bad this game is. The museum section for this one is pretty sad too, just some info and some pictures, that’s it.

Ace Combat 2- Now we’re talking. The graphics are still pretty blocky, but the texture smoothing really looks nice in this once. Plus the entire game is in English! This is definitely one of the PSX’s greatest games, and it still holds up well today even compared to newer games in the series. The museum for this one features some pretty cool art for all the planes, and some info (in Japanese of course like all the other museum features so it’s pretty useless).

Klonoa- This is the shining star of the collection. In my opinion this is the best platformer of the Playstation generation, from the spot-on control to the awesome ending (for a platformer Klonoa has a great ending, probably the best I've ever seen) this game is perfect. The graphics were beautiful to begin with, but with texture smoothing they look even nicer! The museum features some awesome artwork ranging from full color concept drawings to black & white monster animations. Honestly I can’t stress enough how great this game is, it’s worth the price of the collection alone if you don’t already own it!

Mr Driller- As far as I can tell this one looks exactly like the PSX original, I couldn’t see any difference graphically. It definitely plays the same, so if you haven’t already played one of the 47 versions of it then it’s worth playing. If you’re like me though and already own the PSX version since its dirt cheap, this seems like another big waste of space. The museum features some pretty cool superplay videos of people clearing the game in insane amounts of time and some artwork.

Namco even added some dual shock controller support to the games that didn’t have it, but it’s pretty poorly implemented. For example Ridge Racer uses the sticks, but there’s no actual analog support so why even bother? There’s also no vibration which is very disappointing. Also disappointing is that there are no new secrets, no hidden games, nothing of interest to make you want to play through a game you’ve already beaten.

In the end I’m torn on how I feel about this disc. On one hand it’s awesome because of Klonoa and Ace Combat 2, but on the other hand it’s another piss poor, half assed collection thrown together for a quick buck. The fact that Namco refuses to release this in the USA (no doubt due to it requiring more translation work than yet another fucking release of Mappy and Dig Dug) pretty much tells you how lazy they are. The good in this disc is based solely on the merits of Klonoa and Ace Combat 2, it has nothing to do with Namco’s “enhancements” or “museum” crap since they are so bare bones and probably took all of 2 weeks to cobble together.


Rating: 5/10

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Community review by guts (July 21, 2005)

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