My Arcade Namco Museum Mini Arcade Cabinet

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

Anyone growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, most likely, have fun memories of the daily ritual that was playing video games in the arcade. Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Street Fighter and many other classic games.
While the mid 1980s was the golden age of arcade video gaming, coin-operated video arcade games date as far back as the late 1960s. Computer Space and Pong are said to be the first two coin operated arcade game machines commercially available to the public.
Today, you can get mini arcade cabinet versions of the full size arcades such as My Arcade Namco Museum Mini, which does a pretty good job at recreating the feel of the retro arcade machine arcs, plexi-glass screen and art theme on the sides of the cabinet.
On the right side of the Namco Museum Mini arcade cabinet, the art theme contains five games that come pre-loaded into the machine, namely Dig Dug, PacMan, Galaga, Rolling Thunder and Galaxian.
On the left side side of the Namco Museum Mini Arcade cabinet, the art theme contains five other different games, namely Xevious, Sky Kid, Splatter House, PacMania and Mappy. There is also artwork detailing along the sides of the screen and a large Namco Museum marquee, which lights up. The control panel has plain solid colors with a red, blue and yellow color scheme.
There are a total of twenty genuine Bandai Namco arcade games, including Battle City, Dig Dug, Dig Dug 2, Dragon Spirit, Galaga, Galaxian, Mappy, PacPanic, PacMan, PacMania
There is also PacMan 2 The New Adventures, Phelios, Rolling Thunder, Rolling Thunder 2, Rolling Thunder 3, Sky Kid, SplatterHouse, SplatterHouse 2, The Tower Of Druaga and Xevious.
The plexi-glass protecting the screen measures 12.5cm wide and 11.5cm tall but, the actual screen area is smaller, measuring 5.5cm wide and 9.5cm tall so, the screen is taller than it's wider.
The screen size of some arcade machines is wider than taller, making the screen closer to a horizontal rectangle than a vertical rectangle such as in the case of the Namco Museum Mini Arcade screen, which is full color and can also be stretched by selecting the stretched screen mode before playing a game.
The overall dimensions of the Namco Museum Mini Arcade machine are 24cm tall, 13.5cm wide and 16cm deep. The control panel makes the Namco Museum Mini Arcade wider and deeper. The weight is 654 grams so, just a fraction of the weight and size of an original arcade machine which is 136 kg, 100cm wide, 81cm high and 68cm deep.
As far as the control panel, the Namco Museum Mini Arcade control panel is closer in style to an 8 bit console controller. It features a d-pad, four game buttons and three smaller buttons. There is a bat top style joystick in the middle of the d-pad, which can be unscrewed.
Original arcade machines would either have a ball top joystick or a bat top joystick. Depending on what part of the world you were at the time, you were probably only used to ball top or bat top arcade sticks. Places like the UK and Europe, had a mix of bat top and ball top arcade machines.
The bat top joystick on the Namco Museum machine has an 8mm diameter and measures 2cm tall. The dimensions of the Namco Museum Mini Arcade control panel are 13cm long (side to side) and 6cm wide. The game buttons (A,B,X,Y) have a 10mm diameter, while the smaller ones have a 5mm diameter.
Instead of concave buttons, the Namco Museum Mini Arcade control panel uses convex pushbuttons, which were also used on original arcade machines. Some arcade fighting game machines such as the CVS2 arcade machines (Capcom vs SNK 2) used a combination of convex and concave buttons for kicks and punches. For long gaming periods, convex push buttons are, definitely, easier on the fingers, especially with fighting games where you are constantly slamming buttons.
The Namco Museum Mini Arcade control panel d-pad doesn't have a pivot in the middle of it so, you can press the d-pad inward at the centre like a button. Having a centre pivot is super convenient though, as it allows you to easily rock the thumb from one direction to another without accidentally pressing a different directional input.
A d-pad with a pivoting centre is useful when carrying out some special attacks such as Guile's sonic boom loop, which requires holding left on the d-pad and then quickly pressing right on the d-pad. Depending on whether you are used to dragging your thumb on the d-pad or tapping on it, you may or may not find this a problem.
Functionality-wise, the Namco Museum Mini Arcade machine takes 15 seconds to boot up and around 10 seconds to load up a game. Some loading screens can be skipped on some games. The game controls screen cannot be skipped. The resolution of the games is good with readable text, although the text on the select game screen can be hard to read because of the small font size.
High scores cannot be manually reset and you cannot save high scores. Game play is accurate without any apparent FPS drop, although if you're hardcore gamer, you will probably find some FPS drop somewhere. The coin button lets you add up to a maximum of 9 credits, while the reset button takes you back to the main menu. The coin trap is also illuminated and acts as the power button.
The Namco Museum Mini Arcade machine has two front facing stereo speakers located on either side of the bottom of the screen, which deliver clear and accurate sound effects with decent volume level.
You can wear a pair of earbuds too, thanks to the 3.5mm headphone jack on the back of the Namco Museum Mini Arcade, which delivers good volume amplification.
The Namco Museum Mini Arcade machine is not battery operated nor is rechargeable so, it requires to be connected at all times to a power source via a micrr USB cable (a 2-meter long micro cable is included). You can power the machine from a wall socket via a USB adapter or computer USB port since the Namco Museum Mini Arcade machine runs on 5 volts.

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