|Join the Pac-Man Conga Line!|
- Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: Mine Loader Software
- Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO
- Release Date: 25 Sep 2013
- Time played: 4.1 hours
What is itMine Loader Software is a company based in China that usually helps other game developers with the development of 3D characters, assets, animations and backgrounds. They also develop games outright too. One such game is the game being reviewed today called Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ on behalf of publisher Bandai Namco.
I don't really think I need to explain what Pac-Man is but here's a quick re-cap anyway: Back in 1980, the company Namco released an arcade game called Puck Man but changed its name for international release to Pac-Man.
The premise of the game is simple: direct your character (Pac-Man) around a maze filled with dots which he can consume. There are four ghosts that will follow Pac-Man and if they manage to reach him, he will lose one life. Lose all your lives, and it's game over. Pac-Man can however consume large flashing dots called "power pellets" where the hunters (the ghosts) become the hunted for a limited amount of time: if Pac-Man can consume the ghosts during this period of time, the player gets awarded bonus points.
Pac-Man was a huge success with 15 Pac-Man titles being released at the arcades over the years as well as 23 on consoles and PC, and 20 on mobile (this doesn't even include games which feature Pac-Man or Pac-Man clones). Despite the original game being 40 years old, it looks like there's no stopping new versions of the classic game to this very day.
PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ was a critical success with a Metascore of 86 and also fared well on Steam with a rating of "Overwhelmingly Positive" based off 3,454 user reviews.
How I got itIn April 2019 I acquired some games from the Humble BANDAI NAMCO Bundle 3, mainly because I wanted to experience the WW1 game 11-11 Memories Retold, however, another game I managed to get out of the bundle was PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+.
I do appreciate a quick game of Pac-Man from time to time and considering the game is family friendly, I decided to try it out sooner rather than later.
|The game offers lots of customisation options|
What I like:
Like the original but betterAt its core, this is still the same Pac-Man that came out of the 80s: you still control Pac-Man as he travels around the maze eating dots and you still dodge ghosts unless you happen to eat a power pellet. However, this version of Pac-Man has been enhanced by exciting time trial modes where you race against the clock to clear levels of dots and bonuses (such as cherries). They're kind of like puzzles with time limits and such a simple concept brings a new lease of life to an old classic. Speaking of the simple things, one aspect of the game I really enjoy (and one that is really helpful for those without insanely good reflexes) is when the game slows down when you pass dangerously close to ghosts; it not only gives you a chance to escape imminent doom but it's really exhilarating too as the speed of the game oscillates between really fast to slow mo.
Heaps of customisation optionsThe game has a whole bunch of customisation options, allowing you to change the maze visuals, music, characters and even the colour schemes. There are even packs out there that can transform the game into looking like other Namco classics such as Dig Dug and Rally-X.
Authentic sound effectsThe game has all the classic sound effects you'd expect in Pac-Man such as the iconic "waka waka" as Pac-Man moves, the jingle that plays at the start of every level and the bleeps you hear when consuming a power pellet.
SoundtrackThe game has an adrenaline-pumping dance soundtrack that perfectly fits the mood of the game. The music even plays in time with the level finishing.
Family friendlyIt's Pac-Man so it's a kid-friendly game. And if you don't believe me, the Australian Classification Board has rated the game "G".
Works on Steam LinkI did have some input lag but I think this was an issue with the controller or the network. Other than that, it works fine on the Steam Link.
Steam Achievements and Steam LeaderboardsThe game has 12 Steam Achievements you can work towards but sadly has no Steam Trading Cards you can collect. It is however integrated with Steam Leaderboards which makes perfect sense with a retro single-player arcade game like Pac-Man where it's all about comparing high scores with your friends and the Steam user base at large.
What I dislike:
You have to love arcade gamesThere's not much to fault about this game. It does everything a tribute to a retro arcade game should. Its only flaw is that it's an arcade game, and that's only a flaw if you're not into arcade games. I'm ambivalent when it comes to arcade games. They're not my favourite genre but they're not something I'd turn my nose up to either. While I enjoyed playing this game it's not something I see myself playing anymore in the near future. But if you're a competitive arcade gamer, then you can ignore what I just said!
Score – 9/10 (WAKA WAKA WAKA)The best contemporary single-player version of Pac-Man I've played to date. If you want to play a couch co-op endless runner version of Pac-Man, get PAC-MAN 256 but if you're seeking a frenetic, customisable single-player experience where you can compete with others to achieve a high score while enjoying an awesome soundtrack, this is the Pac-Man you're looking for.
Is the game worth $14.50 AUD?: Yes. Although it'll probably only take a few hours to unlock all the levels there is heaps of replay in this game in the old school sense as you try to beat the high scores of your friends and the Steam community at large.
If you like this game, you might like…
[ LINK: Steam - PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ ]