Pac-Man 99 Review


Pac Man 99 is a pretty interesting title. It really arrived out of the blue to jump on the whole 99 game craze and that was a really good idea. One, it helps to bring some more attention to Pac Man and two, it’s just a fun format. It’s definitely not going to come quite close to taking down Tetris 99 as the ultimate game of this genre without some big updates but the gameplay lends itself really well to this style.

When you boot up the game you are taken right to the menu where you can jump into the main mode. Essentially what happens is the game starts off with normal Pac Man gameplay although you’ll notice that the level changes the position of pellets in each match although there are only a few variations. When you eat a ghost you summon a ghost pac to another player’s screen. If you touch the ghost then it slows you down a little bit giving the ghosts time to catch you. You will need to get to a power pellet to be safe here.

There is also the signature fruit that will appear on the level but it has a different feature than usual. In this game touching the fruit will automatically respawn all of the pellets and power pellets. It also brings back the mini white pellets which you can use to summon a bunch of extra ghosts. Why would you do that? Well, they all chain to one ghost so then when you eat him, you can summon over a dozen ghosts to another player’s screen. It’s really worth building your playstyle around the ghosts.

The game also feels a lot easier than Mario 35 or Tetris 99 but it probably depends on how familiar you are with each game. For example, I got several victories on the first day with Pac Man but never got one on Mario or Tetris. Of course I do pride myself on being a bit of Pac expert so that’s something to keep in mind for sure. Heh heh. So the gameplay is a lot of fun and since it’s effectively classic Pac Man gameplay at its core there is a lot of replay value here. As you last longer into the match you will also meet red Pac Mans which are fatal if you touch them so make sure you stay away.

Technically there is a way to survive a single blow but I’m not sure if it’s luck or something. The game makes a shiny sound effect and you live so maybe you are always allowed 1 hit but I didn’t really test this. I just stay away from them as much as possible. When you use a power pellet then they will stay in place so one of the big things to consider is that you don’t freeze them in a position where they block your exits. If you do that then you will really end up being sunk.

My only real problem with the game is that everything is hidden behind a paywall. Tetris did it right where you could unlock a bunch of levels and emblems for free while locking the modes behind a paywall. The issue here is that Pac locks literally everything behind paywalls. There are 0 unlockables in the entire game which seems a bit excessive. Surely at least the emblems could have been something you could unlock as you progress through the levels right? It just feels like the game is being a bit cheap.

What this means is that you literally only have one mode of play but absolutely 0 rewards for playing more than 1 game. You have to purely play to have a good time but with only 1 level to play over and over even the most intense Pac Man fans will likely get bored soon and then just move on to the classic game where you at least have a high score to chase after. Now that’s the way to go.

Still, when you consider that the game is completely free that does help matters. The soundtrack is pretty classic although it’s got a bit of a techno vibe to it the way that Tetris 99 has. The graphics are standard but they look pretty smooth so I’m definitely on board with it. The game wants to look like the original title after all and it captures that style well.

Overall, Pac Man 99 is a good game. I do think it could have been a whole lot better though. The title is playing it extremely safe by not having anything other than the most basic mode but maybe they will expand that at some point. Honestly they could have a lot of fun with it too like allowing you to play as the ghosts or something. Surely changing the character model can’t be a big hurdle since it’s working with fairly retro effects. Either way if you have a Switch you should definitely check this out since it’s for free. You’ll have a good time for a while at least.

Overall 7/10

Pac-Man Geo Review


PAC Man has had a lot of games over the years but it’s been a while since he had anything fresh and different. While this app game may not be the homerun hit fans have been waiting for I would say that it’s not terrible or anything. It’s got a lot of missed opportunities and flaws inside of the package of course but at the end of the day it has some interesting ideas. With a little polish this can be a really good game in the future. Unfortunately for Pac that day isn’t now.

The idea of the game is that you can have a lot of custom Pac-Man maps based on real world locations. You can zoom around New York or London. Eventually I imagine they’ll want to grab all of the levels although right now it’s just a limited amount that cycle through. You eat up the ghosts and prove to the other players that you have what it takes. There are also limited tournaments that are run from time to time where you can get a higher score. They all boil down to the same issue that I have with the game in general though. I’ll get to that in a minute but I have to say that the game has some deep flaws if you ask me.

The gameplay is the same as your classic Pac-Man experience. The goal here is to collect all of the pellets. By absorbing the larger ones you can quickly eat up the ghosts that get in your way and prevent them from launching a counter attack. It’s a pretty good strategy if you ask me and it’s a fun gameplay style. There’s a reason why the original game is so iconic after all. Lets talk about why this game lacks compared to that original: Progression. In the original game a lot of the fun is in seeing your high score and trying to top it. Unfortunately you don’t have that here. There is no high score that the game saves. Worse, you can’t tell which levels you have already completed after exiting. That to me is a huge problem with the game. I absolutely need to know what levels I have beaten because nobody wants to play the game levels more than once if they don’t know it.

I’d like to beat old levels again to improve my score of course but right now there is really no benefit to doing so. If you don’t know what your score is then there’s no point. I’m just puzzled as to how the game would launch without this. It’s such a core concept to any game like this where you are trying to complete levels and improve your standings. Without a sense of progression then it’s like you’re just spinning your wheels and not going anywhere. I expected better out of Pac-Man Geo. I’m hoping it’ll add some new content soon but this is something they really should have had at launch. Due to that I’m certainly not keeping this game around.

The graphics aren’t bad, but they’re definitely nothing special either. It’s basically standard fare of what you would expect and the game doesn’t feel particularly high budget. It’s basically Pac-Man just in mobile format and for that you can play the normal game. The soundtrack is okay, the theme is pretty true to form for the series and fairly catchy. At least on a technical level I wouldn’t take any credit away from the game. That’s good since poor visuals and music would have definitely done some extra damage.

Overall, Pac-Man Geo is not a game that I would recommend. I’d give it a middle score because at the end of the day I don’t think it’s a bad title. It’s just lacking in a whole lot of content and I don’t see the point in really playing through it. That being said, if you’ve never played Pac-Man before then you may get drawn in simply for the gameplay. The gameplay style itself is fun, I just need more of a reason to play. Hopefully they’ll give Pac-Man a more impressive title the next time one of his big anniversary milestones rolls around.

Overall 5/10

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Review


It’s time to look at the Pac-Man Championship Edition title now that it’s free on the PS4 for a little while. I’ve always been a fan of the Pac-Man style gameplay. It’s simple yet effective. You could play it for hours as you try to get a higher and higher score. After a while though when your score is super high you have to play for very long periods of time before you even think about smashing the record. Well, this one’s a remixed style of the game. It’s not quite as fun as the original, but it still works out well and it’s nice to see Pac-Man experimenting.

When you boot up the game you’re forced to run through a bunch of tutorials. These shouldn’t take you long though and there is a second wave that is optional. I’d recommend playing through them as well. Then you jump into the mission mode where you take on a bunch of levels and try to get good ranks. Eventually this unlocks the Adventure Mode where you blast through worlds with a bunch of levels and a boss at the end. It’s pretty fun although fairly similar to the Mission Mode. I think you could have put them in the same category but the more content the better right? I played through a bunch of the levels although there are quite a lot so I didn’t beat them all.

The levels tend to all be about the same in the end with some slight differences in between them. For the Score Attack levels you have 5 minutes to get as many points as you can. You get infinite lives in the meantime I believe or at least it never seemed like you were in danger of losing them all. I got a few A ranks but it seems like it would be incredibly hard to get an S rank. Perhaps there is some kind of trick to moving faster or getting more points. It was pretty fun though and I do like how high-tech the gameplay feels. Even the fact that you can bump into ghosts intentionally to get them out of the way is definitely something new.

One area where the game missed out on though was not having the original game as an option here. I would have very quickly jumped on that. Pac-Man is just so much fun to play and I suppose the developers would be sad to see you playing that instead of their game but at least it would push sales a little more too right? It’s a win-win in my book. My main issue is that the variety of content seems very low. You’ve got a lot of levels to play through here but they’re all effectively the same level in the first mode and in the Adventure Mode they’re all super short. There isn’t really a mode here where you can just free play until you’re defeated and match scores with everyone. At least you can match scores on the 5 minute levels but in those you know you could have lived longer if they didn’t cut you off.

The graphics here are definitely pretty solid. I like the colors and the backdrops. It all works out pretty nicely if you ask me. It’s not like it’s AAA level but it’s all very clear and I like the art direction. As for the soundtrack, it was nice enough. It’s very fast paced which is important for a game like this. I dare say that you need fast music since slow tunes would throw you out of your rhythm very quickly.

It’s hard to say quite how long a game like this is. If it’s about how long it’ll take for you to beat all of the levels then I’d say around 7-8 most likely. Of course you’ve also got the replay value of trying to increase your score or getting the Platinum Trophy. It seems to me like that would be incredibly hard and even a lot of the individual trophies are tagged as Ultra Rare on the site which is not something you see every day. The game doesn’t have a lot of trophies so if you’re really good at Pac-Man then this could be one to go for.

Overall, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is a pretty solid game. I never got the first but this seems like it would be a solid sequel. At the very least it does hold up on its own which is always the important thing. I don’t know how long it”ll be free or even if it still is so I’d advise dashing if you want to play it. Who wants to turn down a free game right? This is the perfect opportunity to make a move for it so you should definitely do that. In the meantime I’ll keep on waiting for a new Pac-Man game to show up. I feel like it’s been ages since we got a big title.

Overall 7/10

Pac Man and The Ghostly Adventures Review


PAC Man is a legendary icon and one of the most recognized characters in all of media. It’s no exaggeration to say that more people know about him than heavy weights like Luke Benson or even the great Parappa The Rapper. Surprisingly he hasn’t had dozens of games to exploit this fact and at one point he went for such a long time without a game that it felt like the franchise was cancelled. This led to this game, a reboot in which PAC Man the Family Man was transformed into PAC Teen, a revel who breaks the rules and can’t control his urges for food. Would it be a success?

The plot is pretty light as the game prefers to let its gameplay do the talking. An evil ghost from the Netherworld named Betrayus has kidnapped PAC Man’s two friends and also threatens the entire world with a new weapon that he had developed. Our young hero decides to stop him but he will have fun along the way because he never recognizes Betrayus as a legitimate threat. Honestly that is probably pretty humiliating for the guy and I’m tempted to feel bad for him. That’s the plot in a nutshell and trust me when I say that the game never wants you to take it seriously either. It’s pretty much all played for laughs.

Fortunately the gameplay actually is pretty smooth. Each stage will typically have an assortment of objects to jump or walk around as you progress. You can eat ghosts or even cause objects to open so you can eat the power pellets that come from them. Along the way you will obtain various Super forms like fire and ice which each have their own special ability. Defeating the ghosts is easy no matter what form you use so I recommend making the most of them since most of the forms come with Silver trophies for eating 100 ghosts. You will get the hang of the controls pretty quickly since they are fairly limited while the levels vary in design and difficulty, the basics carry over. It is funny how some skills don’t pop up until near the very end of the game but I suppose it had to end at some point so it’s nice that they gave us more powers.

The game’s length is reasonable although definitely erring on the short side. You’ll have it beat in a matter of hours. Part of why it is so fast is because it is so easy. You likely won’t lose many lives during the game unless you get hit by glitches or try to rush a little too much. The bosses are easy and even a novice to the platforming genre should pick up on what to do before the levels get difficult. There is some replay value in the game though like obtaining all of the trophies. This will require you to complete the game twice which automatically doubles the play time. The rest of the trophies will take some time as well like clearing all of the arcade games you unlocked but they aren’t too difficult either. It’s a very achievable Platinum and one that I would recommend going for in consideration of that.

Graphically the game holds up quite nicely. The colors are vibrant and the level designs are solid. PAC Man’s design will certainly cause you to take a step back though as you wonder what the animators were thinking. His eyes are always half closed as he gives a nervous smile. Everyone else has a decent design so PAC sticks out. The rest of him is good though so it’s a relatively minor detail. There isn’t a wide variety for the music but the main theme is always fun and certainly holds up well. It’s fast paced and is a good remix of the classic theme. You definitely won’t be bored as you play through the game with the fun levels to look at and listen to.

Now the game does have some issues. Uninspired plot aside, the game can be rather glitchy. You will suddenly be stuck and unable to move at some points and you will fall through objects as you plummet to your doom. I’ve certainly seen and played glitchier games but considering that this is for the PS3 it is definitely noticeable enough to mention. It was the cause of a few deaths for me and the moral is always to slow down a little to let the game catch up to you.

Now, was PAC Man himself as bad as they say? Well, the burping gimmick does get old very quickly. He burps at the end of every single levels. Sometimes he is proud of it and other times he does seem to regret his actions. He does this in the show as well, but with no remorse and burps several times each episode. That’s his worst quality but beyond that we don’t see his other negative traits from the show so he comes off as at least a decent main character. At the end of the day he just wants to eat a lot and save the day along the way. He may not be as heroic or selfless as the original PAC Man but as far as edgy redesigns go it wasn’t half bad.

Overall, PAC Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a fun title. The plot may not be particularly good, but the gameplay is surprisingly solid and that makes quite the difference. PAC Man can move really fast which makes the platforming fun and the game did a good job with his powers. You always feel very powerful against the ghosts which should always be the case when you’re playing a PAC Man game. The soundtrack and graphics are good so that makes for a very complete package. The cover and the idea of a reboot for PAC man may put you off the title but you’d be missing out on what is actually a really good game. I’m definitely hyped for the sequel since I’ve heard it’s even better and can be compared to the legendary Super Mario Galaxy 2.

Overall 7/10