Date: 01-25-2011 05:30
Author: Jesse Dietderich

PDC profile: Jesse

The hungriest video game character with the highest metabolism has returned in the most quintessential version of a remake that I have ever seen. This PS3 version of Pac-Man is an easy purchase for anyone nostalgic of the days spent at their local arcade.

Where Did All My Quarters Go?


The Pac-Man franchise has been around for 30 years and so I have many childhood memories of playing this game. The Pac-Man arcade machines could be found in restaurants, to bowling alleys, to malls, to department stores, to grocery stores, to billiard halls, and so on. It was very difficult to find a place free from the temptation of the yellow menace. Much of the money that my parents would give to me would end up in the belly of a Pac-Man arcade cabinet, because it was such an awesome game. It had colored graphics, simple controls, fun sound effects, and easy to pick up game mechanics. In all seriousness, I have no idea why it has taken so long for me to get a home console port of this classic game.

The Pac-Man That I Remember
Much of the original is still very present in this version that has been improved upon over the last 3 decades. You are still in control Pac-Man, who looks like a cheese wheel with a wedge cut out. He is tasked with the job of eating up all the pellets and fruit on the screen while he avoids getting caught by the pesky ghosts. Of course, once you eat a power pellet, the hunted becomes the hunter, and you get to chase the ghosts and eat them until the power pellet runs out. The game mechanics remain mostly intact with a few tweaks to extend replayability.

NOT the Pac-Man That I Remember
However, like most games that have gotten the remake treatment, Pac-Man has received a few tweaks. First off, the biggest change in the game's mechanics is definitely the inclusion of bombs. You start out with a fixed amount, and once they are gone you remain bombless until you lose a life and your amount of bombs are reset. These are for when you are cornered, and you wish to send every ghost that is chasing you back to the center holding cell, saving you from having to lose a life. There are also many ways to customize how the game looks and sounds. Before each stage you can choose a visual theme for the stage, a visual theme for the characters, and the background music. On some stages there is the ability to select how difficult the stage will be. The easier the difficulty is, the more lives, more bombs, and slower starting speed you start out with. The biggest change is that on all of the stages, except for Championship I, there are sleeping ghosts throughout the stage, and they will follow you if you pass too close to them while other ghosts are chasing you. This can make for a huge line of ghosts following you and makes it very enjoyable to pick up a super pellet and gobble them all up.

More Fun Than the Original?
Absolutely, yes! This is because of minor things such as stages that morph while you play, a variety of game modes, and the fact that you don't have to put a quarter in every time you die. All of these improvements seem to really add a sense of freedom, but at the same time manage to keep it very close to the game's roots. The scoreboards are interesting to look at because it reminded me of being in an arcade looking at who I had to beat. It even gives you the ability to replay some of the top scoring runs on the Score Attack (5 min) stages. All in all, you can tell they put forth some great effort into giving people what they wanted in a Pac-Man game.

Well, I wouldn't feel right if I couldn't find something wrong with a game to complain about, so here it goes. The game is too easy. In all my time playing this game, I never failed to finish a stage because I lost all of my lives. In fact, losing a single life was a rarity on the majority of the stages. The game has trophies that are too easy to obtain. I got 23% of the trophies on the very first stage I played. I can even put the difficulty all the way up to Extreme and yet still pass the stages with relative ease. The only thing left for me to do now is attempt to get higher scores and faster times.

A Short Verdict
What can I say that I already haven't said? Get this game if at all possible. It could have had a few more features like Youtube replay uploads or some type of multiplayer support, but I firmly believe this to be the most solid console adaption of an arcade game that I have ever played. The only thing about this game that saddened me is that they didn't allow me to play as Ms. Pac-Man in this game.

Namco Bandai developed PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX for release on the PS3 via the PlayStation Network. The game is now available in both European and North American PlayStation Stores. I played the game for 6 hours in order to obtain 100% of the trophies and to complete as much of the game as possible.


9/10
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