Pac-Man CE Review – Just another Pac-Man Game?

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Whether you’re a video game veteran or new to gaming, somewhere at some time you probably have heard of Pac-Man, or even seen some sort of Pac-Man paraphernalia around. In my opinion, Pac-Man is just like Marmite: you either love it or you hate it. I have to be honest; for the longest time, I hated Pac-Man. I found the game dull and repetitive, though I could see how the game was popular when it was first released back in 1980. But, after thirty years of clones and remakes of the game, I really started to hate Pac-Man with a passion. That is, until now. Pac-Man Championship Edition has actually managed to breathe life into an old game without losing its roots. Whilst it has had a huge amount of success on XBox Live, we have had to wait over three years before Namco Bandai finally ported Pac-Man to our much loved handheld console.

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When starting up Pac-Man Championship Edition, I was a little surprised by the lack of music in the background of the menu screen. In fact, I actually checked to see if the sound were up loud enough on the PSP. It wasn’t until pushing the Start button that I heard the familiar noise Pac-Man makes while he eats Pac dots when I navigated through the menu screens. Once selecting play, you are soon welcomed with the sounds of Pac-Man and the ghosts who are playing behind the mode select screen. You are given six game modes to play; each one has a different time limit to rack up the largest score possible. What makes this Pac-Man game different from the other Pac-Man games out there is that instead of your main objective being to survive for as long as you can, in this one you have to get the highest score you possibly can within the time limit. Although there isn’t a big difference between each mode, each one will require you to slightly tweak your style of play. For instance, with Challenge Mode 2 the maze is in complete darkness and is only visible just around Pac-Man, which isn’t too bad until you eat most of the Pac dots and then have no idea whether that’s a wall or an opening above you when you’re being chased by the ghosts. Unlike previous installments of Pac-Man where you clear the maze of Pac dots, this time you have to collect patterns of Pac dots. After collecting a full pattern of Pac dots, another pattern will appear within the maze. To make things even more interesting, half of the maze actually changes after you collect the items. The item only appears if you have collected all the Pac dots on the opposite side of the screen. I found myself spending hours without even realising it while playing Championship Mode trying to beat my old score and opening up new sections of the maze as I went on collecting each item.

When starting any of the modes, you are welcomed with the same Pac-Man tune as you hear at the beginning of most Pac-Man games. After that, the only things you can really hear are Pac-Man and the ghosts; however, if you listen very carefully, you may just hear the sound of what almost could be described as techno music being played in the background of the sound effects. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way of actually turning the very faint music up or even off completely, but no need to worry as chances are you probably won’t even notice it unless you are caught by the ghosts. As you progress further on in the game, you will find the ghosts and Pac-Man will start to speed up, making quick reflexes a necessity and not just a bonus.

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If trying to beat your high score on six different challenges isn’t incentive enough to keep you playing for hours on end, Namco Bandai have also included awards for you to earn throughout the game, such as eating 8 ghosts consecutively or earning a high score of 400,000. There are only twelve awards in total for you to earn, but that was more then enough to keep me coming back and spending hours at a time, trying to beat my previous scores on each challenge and earn every single award, although I’m still yet to do this.

The only thing I felt that was missing was the fact that the original Pac-Man game was not included. Although I’m not a Pac-Man fan, as a bonus it would have been nice to include the original edition for all the fans out there. This doesn’t make the game lose any of its charm, though, as there are plenty of modes and awards to contend with. Pac-Man Championship Edition should keep any gamer playing for hours.

9/10

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Comments

18 Responses to “Pac-Man CE Review – Just another Pac-Man Game?”
  1. jvm says:

    Any chance we’ll see this in the U.S.? I’d practically kill for it, at this point. :(

  2. djax says:

    One of the best minis just now, very challenging…

  3. thumbbandit says:

    I really like the use of bright neon colours in this game. ;)

  4. onmode-ky says:

    I didn’t expect to see this here. . . .

  5. onmode-ky says:

    The things Pac-Man eats are usually called “pills,” in my experience; the official Namco term for them is “cookies.”

  6. thumbbandit says:

    Pac-Man was originaly going to be called Puc-Man… and the arcade game cabinet was to be black, with the name in yellow… but they thought that with the crafty use of a black marker the name could be changed to something ofensive (read funny). :D

  7. Takao says:

    Hey, I watched Scott Pilgrim too ;P

    Anyways, Grace Chen and Scamco, feed JVM’s desires! I want it too…

  8. Dan says:

    @ onmode-ky
    Usually the things Pac-Man eats are called either “pills” or “cookies” but for some reason in this version of the game they are referred to as Pac dots (page 1 in Help & Controls under how to play) it also contains some good tips in that section you should check it out ;)

  9. bob says:

    can’t wait for it to com out in the us!psp needs more classsic arcade games like dig dug and galaga

  10. Twinkie says:

    I agree with bob (up) i love pac man and want to bring it with me where ever. cant wait for us relese

  11. Andrew says:

    Please…oh please…do you have any info on when this game is going to be made available in the U.S.? I understand there is a version available to those with PS’s, but I only have a PSP.

  12. cOolZkidZ says:

    seems great just what i needed!
    im lovin psp minis small and simple but stil sick!

  13. Eric says:

    I recently got a PSN card and I’m seriously considering picking this up. Thanks for the review!

  14. min says:

    eric, you should get this its great. Its a shame that it doesnt have an online leaderboard for it would get 10/10 if it did. If u do get it you can lookup on google for other peoples high scores so you can try to beat them

  15. Eric says:

    Thanks for recommending this, I bought a copy and already finished it. I wrote a review about it and I would like to share it, but I don’t know if I can do that here in the comments. If it is let me know, I’ll love to hear other opinions!

  16. onmode-ky says:

    If you’re interested in opinions and other discussion, I’d recommend joining the site’s forum rather than commenting here. The forum is a more active area, and there’s a category specifically for user reviews, as well.

  17. min says:

    this is my review.

    Once you have downloaded this game and start it, it doesn’t take long until you are in the main menu and deciding what type of game mode you would like to play. You can play a 5 minute average game, a 10 minute super fast game and even a game mode where you play pac man in the dark. Overall, the game has 6 of these game modes(its worth noting that there is no unlimited game time, they are either 5 minutes or 10)and the game comes with a lot of medals for you to unlock(the games version of trophy’s) but the medals don’t unlock anything, they are just there for completing. And completing will take a while. It taken me probably 1 hour to compete 1 game mode(the easiest one I must add).Once you get the hang of it though, its a great, top-of-the-range mini that is all most essential for every psp owner. The only downside to it is what happens once you have completed all the medals and finished all the game modes. if you feal like you will play this game without the need of an online leaderboard then you should never be found without this game.
    Hope you enjoyed the review and it helped you on getting it or not.
    If you found this review helpful, please comment below or if you got this game.

  18. Ben says:

    Pac Man CE is the only Mini I’ve purchased, but I was a bit let down by it. It was good at first but it peters out rather quickly. The achievements are easy to attain so youll be putting the gane down soon. Theres nothing else to really do in it. Here is where I noticed the game could use improvement: 1) No score tables. Only your best score in each level is displayed. It would have been nice to have your top 5 (at least) best scores displayed since that way you could see how much you are improving. It would have also helped you see by how many points you fell short of your best score and how many times you did better. 2) No way of telling the levels apart. It would’ve been nice if the levels had distinct names or of they had pictures displaying their layout as you are selecting them. You end up picking the same levels because you don’t remember which one you had played last. Anyway, these seem like minor complaints, but I feel they would have went a long way.

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