As a kid, I had a chance to play Pac-Man World, and I experienced Pac-Man like never before. It excited me to see the ghost-eating yellow round man in an interactive platforming adventure. Playing Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures revisited that experience, but in a mediocre way. The color, whimsical feeling, and fun are still there, but creativity in levels, as well as the story, is lacking.
To give some background, in case you haven’t seen any episodes of the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures television show, here is a quick overview. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is the return of Pac-Man back in 3-D in a new platformed adventure filled with wonkiness, classic references, and familiar characters who work together to keep Pac-World free and safe from the ghosts. The story begins as the menacing ghosts escape from the creepy Netherworld to invade Pac-World. The frightening ghosts, ghouls and goblins with which many are familiar from the classic titles wreak havoc on the citizens, and cause nothing but trouble wherever they go. Pac-Man and friends rise to the challenge of protecting their home and embark on a journey to rid the ghosts from Pac-World and free those who were captured.
Starting the game up, players are introduced to the problem that is afflicting the denizens of the Pac-Man universe, the ghosts, though the reason for their invasion is up in the air. Players also meet many of the other characters that they will meet throughout the journey. The story seems very linear, but to a youth or entry-level gamer, this can actually be a positive aspect, allowing one to dive right into playing the game without worrying about an overly complicated premise.
It is very simple for anyone to pick up and play the game. Players can use square to attack, cross to jump, and triangle to use special abilities. I enjoyed the way that special abilities were introduced in the beginning of the game, rather than having the player perform various meaningless tasks to obtain them like many other games — a great addition for youngsters. The freeze and even the chameleon come in handy in the beginning of the game to defeat the troublesome ghosts.
As players progress through the adventure, different abilities are useful to defeat specific foes. An ice level may need a fire ability to stun enemies before a quick defeat. Another enjoyable aspect is how players can string ghosts together for a combo kill, which reminded me of playing Pac-Man DX, gobbling ghosts as much as possible. Both veterans and newcomers to Pac-Man may share the same enjoyment.
Here is where I cut to my concerns with this title: the story and levels. This title is inspired by the TV show series of the same name. I have never watched it, but the story of the game does not intrigue me. The only thing that kept me immersed was seeing if the levels would get better and if Pac-Man would gain cooler abilities.
The levels in the beginning the game were not favorable, and they felt like an extended tutorial, even up to the fifth stage. There were a lot of missed opportunities, but younger gamers may enjoy the game more than the diehard Pac-Man fan.
Most games are worth a chance, but players who were expecting a fun and interesting 3-D platformer that will keep their attention at all times may be disappointed by Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.
The graphics are a bit outdated; it seems like Namco played it a bit safe. It’s possible to create challenging levels in a game designed to include younger players. It seems like Namco’s goal was to create an approachable game for the younger fans of the TV show, but games that are too easy aren’t fun for anyone. Playing it safe leads to mediocre elements that any gamer, no matter what age, would pick up on. I hope to see future 3-D Pac-Man games and mix the challenge of the older games with the story of the universe of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.
Verdict – 5.5/10
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Edited by Zachary Bridge
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