Pac-Man Championship Edition Review
Pac-man is an icon. Let’s face it, we may now have Mario, Sonic, Link and Snake but for older gamers, only the yellow man will be firmly installed in people’s memories and is probably the icon that heralded videogames and characters today.
He’s been all over the planet on various merchandise from sweets to tattoos and has starred in countless games along the way. This has what has made Pac-man a cult icon in the games world. But despite this status and the addiction the Pac-man games brought with them, things got a little desperate with the 3D versions on the PC and poor remakes of the old games.
So enter, Pac-man Championship edition which is for me the best Pac-man game I’ve played to date. Alright so scrapped is the never-ending Pac-man of original, but enter various stages or challenges which test your wits as a Pac-man player.
Visually the game brings a breath of fresh air to the series which was always very dated in that department. Everything from the colours and vibrancy of the games means it all feels more tech and modern but without destroying the soul of Pac-man and the ghosts which of course look better for it. The background will flicker and throb as you gobble the dots and in some levels with the blink of an eye new mazes will have appeared and other exits will have become blocked off and all this in beautiful HD.
With the enhanced visuals comes a thumping new soundtrack, with beats galore and a pounding baseline which really creates a good gaming atmosphere and resembles some trashy Euro Trance song. At the heart though the game is the same; gobble the dots, avoid the ghosts and occasionally eat them.
However Championship edition adds new intensity and pace to the series which relied on gamer skill to avoid dying and the patience to continue. As you gobble away, the ghosts and Pac-man himself become ever faster, whipping up this intense frenzy and panic amongst the player. The movement of Pac-man himself with the control stick feels far more fluid than the original Xbox Live arcade titles with enhanced response and reactions. You can tell that Championship edition was designed for this.
Five new modes are on offer, one more traditional, the rest throwing new elements of risk such as a faster game speed and mazes which change as you eat the dots as previously mentioned. Each challenge has a time limit of around 5 or 10 minutes depending on the map; so although the end-less element of old has gone, this brings a fresh new outlook to the series and a sort of ‘completion’ feel once you’ve succeeded, especially when unlocking achievements along the way, and boy it isn’t easy!
Pac-man Championship may seem a tad overpriced at 800 Points but you’ll soon be hooked trying to complete the challenges and as the timer counts down the last ten seconds, you’ll be praying that last life won’t be prised away from you. It all has turned out to be a very solid re-make indeed and is the most fun I’ve ever had with Pac-man. More of this in the future please Namco!