Review By: Siou Choy
|# Of Players:||1|
|Accessories:||Xbox Live, Hard Drive (required)|
Ever get stuck in one of those stupid grab bag things for Christmas on the job? You know, the “secret Santa” thing, where everyone pulls a name from a hat and gets a crappy gift for whoever’s name they pulled, and nobody walks away happy? Why am I bringing that moldy oldie up, you ask. Well, Namco just dropped something of a mixed bag on our heads – while pointless and certainly un-asked for, the operative difference here is that some people may actually walk away mildly happy this time.
The intention was to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary with the release of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX for the Xbox Live arcade. The first question that comes to mind is WHY…in God’s name, WHY!?!? The original Pac-Man C.E. was released three years ago and to be generous, it wasn’t very good. OK, I’m being very generous – in point of fact, it sucked the big one. But while the title may sound familiar, the DX version does represent something of an improvement and adds yet another new spin to the Pac-Man series.
The original Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, even Super Pac-Man were classic arcade games, which retained their fun factor despite suffering several dodgy console transfers over the years. But CE? Just kinda sucked, like some kid was tripping on ecstasy, LSD or both while playing Pac-Man and thought, hey, wouldn’t it be a great idea to insert randomly flashing, strobing lights, hallucinogenic ghosting effects, and a hell of a lot of echo chamber reverb so you can trip out on Pac-Man without even scoring any of “the good stuff” to do it? Sober gamers scratched their heads confusedly and promptly went back to the originals.
Something about Pac-Man CE DX is different though. Although some of the drug trip elements are still present, there’s a hell of a lot more going on this time. As you might expect, it’s a lot more fun and playable therefore.
The basic Pac-Man concept never really changes: you’re a pizza with a slice missing that travels around a maze at breakneck speed, eating pellets while 4 ghosts of varying color chase you. When you eat a power pellet, the ghosts turn uniformly blue and you can turn the tables, pursuing and eating them for hundreds of points apiece. That’s basically been it from day one, regardless of system it’s been ported to or variation in title – Ms. Pac-Man was faster and had a bow – that’s about it. Super Pac-Man added locked rows which you had to gather keys to open and those weird “extra power” pellets that made you huge and invincible for a few seconds. CE was just a developer on drugs, plain and simple.
Posted: 2011-04-02 12:40:39 PST