Pacman Championship Edition DX Review

Developer – Bandai Namco Games

Publisher – Bandai Namco Games

Pacman Championship Edition DX is Bandai Namco’s followup to the classic reinvention of the Pacman franchise, Pacman CE. It was released this week for Xbox 360 for 800 MS points and will be up on the PS3 next week.

To top the universal critical acclaim of the first game Namco’s Toru Iwatani (the original creator of Pacman) had a challenge on his hand. Pacman CE was a deceptively simple game where the depth was in the classic tradition of beating others high scores. The first game redefined the Pacman gameplay by adding a continuous level with a timer where you had to clear all the dots on each half and eat the fruit that appears to refill the screen with dots. This game improves on this formula by adding 3 new features, slow motion, bombs and more ghosts. Slow motion and bombs make the game less frustrating allowing you to better escape the ghosts when in trouble. Slow motion automatically kicks in when you are very close to being eaten by a ghost, this allows you to turn and take another direction in most cases and if you are boxed in there is always the option of the bomb which blasts the ghosts back to the centre. These two additions are necessary since the addition of more ghosts make navigating the map much more hectic.

This seemingly simple change to the Pacman formula of adding more ghosts is the killer feature that justifies the sequel. The way this works is that there are sleeping ghosts on the map in which when passed awaken and join the line of ghosts following you. They’re not like regular ghosts since they are totally predictable but once a whole bunch of them are behind you there is the very similar problem that you have in the classic game of Snake, where you have to be careful of not running into it. The regular ghosts are still present in the game but seem to join the line of ghosts behind you if they cross it. The amazingly fulfilling moment is when you eat a power up pellet and devour the huge line of ghost behind you. It’s extremely fun to do and truly brings something new to Pacman.

While Pacman CE redefined the graphical look of Pacman, DX goes even further by giving you a choice of 8 different visual styles that are all visually interesting. You also get much more choice in terms of modes and levels all with their own leaderboard. Your performance is ranked A, B or C depending on how well you do compared to everyone one else playing the game, A is top 20%, B is average and C is below average. The different modes are the 5 and 10 minute modes, time trials and ghost combo mode where you have to see how much ghosts you can eat in a row. In addition to all this there is more transparency in the underlying mechanics where now there are speed and power up length indicators which are very useful.

It is rare now to see a downloadable console game released for 800MS points but in the past month we have seen this game and Super Meat Boy come out at this price point. At this price I would fully recommend this game to anyone.

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Posted on November 20, 2010, in Completed Games, Recommendations, Review, Video Games, Xbox 360 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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