"I could never get into the original Pac-Man. Every single time I tried to play that game, I would just become bored after the first two or three stages. Recently, I downloaded the demo version from Live Arcade, just to see if I still felt the same about it. I couldn't even get past the first stage. Going into Pac-Man: Championship Edition, I thought I was going to experience the same type of feeling. But, as I was a minute or so into playing this title, something shocking was happe..."
I could never get into the original Pac-Man. Every single time I tried to play that game, I would just become bored after the first two or three stages. Recently, I downloaded the demo version from Live Arcade, just to see if I still felt the same about it. I couldn't even get past the first stage. Going into Pac-Man: Championship Edition, I thought I was going to experience the same type of feeling. But, as I was a minute or so into playing this title, something shocking was happening: I was enjoying Pac-Man. How could this be? I mean, it's just like the original game, right?
Not so. Quite a number of modifications were made in Championship Edition, to the point that it's basically a different game. The premise is the same, where you collect dots in a maze and avoid or eat the ghosts that hunt you down. However, how you go about doing that here differs. The first thing you'll notice is that the maze is much bigger, horizontally; no longer are you crunched in that small maze from the original. The other things you'll take note of is that there's only one stage to play through, and depending on the mode you've selected, you'll have to play through it for five or ten minutes straight.
Sounds like it would get pretty repetitive, right? Amazingly, no, it's actually really addicting. The thing that makes the gameplay fresh as the minutes fly by is that the maze's layout constantly changes. But that's mostly up to you. Basically, you'll have to collect all the pellets on either side of the maze, and once you've completed doing it on one of them, a fruit will appear on the opposite side. Make your way over there, eat the fruit, and then watch as the section of the maze you were previously on be washed over with a new layout, complete with new pellets to chomp on.
Now, include that with the ticker and the fact that you and the ghosts gain speed as more time passes by, and you have one hectic game of Pac-Man on your hands. Namco also included six different modes to pick from, making sure that you won't get tired of this title anytime in the near future. And they're quite different from each other, that's for sure. In one mode, you instantly begin the game as a speed demon, racing through the maze as if your life depended on it. Of course, the ghosts start out the same, as well. And in another mode, you'll have to navigate through a maze in the dark, with only the immediate area around you, the ghosts, and the pellets being visible.
It's a shame there weren't any type of multiplayer aspect included in the game. Imagine how cool it would have been to play against another player on the maze, seeing who could get the most pellets. Or maybe a co-op mode. Still, Pac-Man: Championship Edition is a fine and engrossing game that's definitely worth purchasing on Live Arcade. Even if you're not a Pac-Man fan, I'd recommend getting it if you like games that constantly keep you on your toes. Gameplay-wise, of course...
Community review by pickhut (April 04, 2008)
Alternative tagline: Hit the Road, Jack.
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