Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Chances are if you’ve ever picked up a video game in your life, you’re well aware of Pac-Man. Well, the gaming icon has returned with a new twist in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Will this game bring up the nostalgic feelings that made Pac-Man a household name, or should you save your quarters for the next game? Grab the power pellets, here’s the review.
The Usual Suspects: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX has the same premise as the classic game – eating pellets and fruit, avoiding ghosts, and eating power pellets to turn the tables on the ghosts, allowing a powered-up Pac-Man to become the predator. That’s where the similarities lie, but the game takes those classic elements and then turns them on their head by making it a much faster-paced game.
Instead of clearing an entire maze, portions of the maze have regular pellets leading up to fruit. Once cleared, new pellets and fruit appear on either the left or right side of the maze, depending on which side the player cleared. The ghost mechanic has gone through some slight adjustments as well. Rather than originating from the box in the center of the maze, only one ghost at a time emerges from the box to move around randomly. Other ghosts appear in a stationary position until Pac-Man gets close to them, which is when they start pursuing him.
Should the player get stuck between ghosts, the game will slow down to give the player time to move out of the way or use a bomb to clear the way. Using a bomb is a temporary fix, as the ghosts will pursue the player again. Eventually, a chain of ghosts piles up, leading to a great moment when the power pellet is activated, as the ghosts will maintain their path, allowing Pac-Man to consume the entire chain of ghosts.
While playing, the speed of the game will increase gradually as you progress through certain modes. Score Attack allows you to play the game for a five- or ten-minute period, while Time Trial basically tasks the player with clearing the screen as quickly as possible. Ghost Combo mode gives the player up to five minutes to gather the longest chain of ghosts they can, and the longest chain created during that time is counted as the final score.
Don’t Sit Close To The TV
During the initial gameplay, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is very flashy and over-the-top. If a player is sensitive to the bright effects then the game can be adjusted, although that does take a little bit away from the game itself. To satisfy the old-school gamer, adjustments can be made to give the game all the different looks the Pac-Man franchise has had over the years.
The soundtrack combines new techno background music with the classic Pac-Man sound effects that gamers remember. There isn’t much else to say, other than the music being almost unnoticeable if a player is so heavily involved with the actual gameplay.
DING DING DING DING DING! (Extra Life)
The drawbacks of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX are minor at best. Starting up the actual game does take some time, although later load times are very short. Also, while some players might lose themselves during gameplay, there isn’t enough to keep the player engaged for hours on end. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it still scratches an itch for gaming.
In the end, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is indeed a very fun game. For $10, the game makes the most of what it is: an entertaining game. It is worth the money, and whether it’s the leader boards or the addictive gameplay, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX will keep gamers coming back for more. It reminds gamers why the classic arcade games were so great and at the same time adds very welcome new twists to the gameplay. Having Pac-Man eating a chain of ghosts from ten to who knows how many is among one of the new “simple yet satisfying” aspects of modern gaming.
Final Verdict: Pac-Man Championship Edition DX gets 9 Pac-Man ghost chains out of 10.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX by Namco Bandai