Setup & Timing
Out of all of the games I've reviewed so far that have any real amount of content, Namco Museum DS has the simplest, most user-friendly interface in regards to Single-Card Download by a long shot, which is not surprising since the developers put a focus on Single-Card Download. Right on the main menu is "Pac-Man Vs." and, below that, is "Demo" (which, when tapped on, sends you straight to a list of games). The opening credit sequence is short and mostly bypassable. Download times (depending on what you're downloading... decisions, decisions) are quick and efficient. It's a shame for them I don't give bonus points.
Menus & Navigation
The menus consist of humongous, well-labeled buttons that are as big as they can possibly be and maintain a respectable buffer space between them. Even if the host has no stylus, is forced to use their finger, and is only half paying attention, they'll still get to where they wanted to go.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Gameplay varies from game to game. Most of the gameplay in the demos consists of the direction pad and one or two buttons. Pac-Man Vs. also sticks to a more classic control scheme, excluding the touch pad, and there's nothing wrong with that. Throwing the touch screen in "just because" is not what it was intended for. The touch screen is there for when the touch screen can be a benefit. Here, touch capabiliets are limited to the use of a few buttons in the demos: "Pause" the game, "Reset" the demo, "End Demo" (which doesn't need expanding), "Screen Settings" to change screen size (and shape and orientation), and "Sharpness" to toggle between a cleaner, updated picture and a older, more "classic" look.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
Pac-Man Vs. has a more updated look, but the games are otherwise older. They look older. But they're supposed to look older. But the demos don't just look older, they look true to their original versions, using only one screen for each of the demos. All of the games maintain their original music/sound effects. As far as features go, every game in the pack is available as a demo and Pac-Man Vs. is, obviously, Vs Play.
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
The seven games in this collection were all released between 1979 and 1985, and are preserved beautifull in this collection. Each and every one of them is available to downloaded as a demo. In addition, Pac-Man Vs. is included as well - a more recent (2003) variation on the classic Pac-Man that allows opponents to play as the ghosts. In all truthfulness, there's very little more that could have been added to the current game list in regards to Single-Card Download play. The developers thought about it long and hard, and did so with great success. As far as the demos are concerned, they'll be a return to glory for some older players and a new way to pass some time for younger players, assuming their individual attention spans aren't too short. As far as Pac-Man Vs. is concerned, anyone who doens't find the lack of map when playing as a ghost too daunting will the enjoy the experience (which, by the way, is enhanced by talking smack at all of your opponents in the room). As far as I'm concerned, this is an excellent game I know I'll be pulling out again and playing. There could have been more games, but I'm working under the presumption there's a volume 2 (and 3 and 4) "in the works" for eventual release. In any case, considering what they gave themselves to work with: congratulations on a game well made!
Allow for two-player games in the demos (hot-seat mode).
Include a set on in-demo instructions for each game (for players unfamiliar with the original games).
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 86 / 100 (a.k.a. 43/50)
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