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Pac-Man: Championship Edition (Xbox 360) artwork

Pac-Man: Championship Edition (Xbox 360) review

"Pac-Man is an icon of video game history. He is in fact not only a video game icon; he has also touched the pop culture world. In his 25 years of existence, he has had many games and spin-offs. Though most of them have been clones of the original game or adventure games that have taken Pac-Man of his original setting, puzzle games. "

Pac-Man is an icon of video game history. He is in fact not only a video game icon; he has also touched the pop culture world. In his 25 years of existence, he has had many games and spin-offs. Though most of them have been clones of the original game or adventure games that have taken Pac-Man of his original setting, puzzle games.

Pac-Man Championship Edition takes us to that past that made the original Pac-Man so addicting and popular: running through mazes, collecting fruits and items, eating ghosts, etc. It takes us to relive those glorious days before the arcade fighting craze and arcade shooters took over that scene.

You may be thinking now, “What is so good about this game if it is like the rest I have already played?”

Let me tell you that though the game play and objective may be completely the same, this is a totally new version of Pac-Man. It can be considered the official sequel that the series was waiting.

First of all, you have 6 different game modes, divided in 3 groups: Championship mode, Challenge Mode and Extra Mode. Challenge mode gives you a timer of 5 minutes. What do you have to do? Make as many points as possible before time runs out. This is the main mode of the game and it is pretty simple to play, though instead of waiting for the maze to change when you grab all the pellets, it changes instantly, this makes the game more progressive and fast. As time runs out and more fruits you have eaten you move faster than before. But sometimes this can make you take a wrong turn and lose time or get eaten by the ghosts and make the game pretty frustrating in the end. And the X-Box 360 controller does not help either. Championship Mode only has one type of game play and when you have mastered it, you can play either Challenge Mode or Extra mode.

Challenge mode has two different types of game play, but unlike Championship mode, these last 10 minutes and are way harder to complete. The objective is the same; grab as many points possible and don’t get eaten, but this mode will not make it easy. In Challenge mode 1 you don’t have one or two power pellets per maze change, instead you have a whole bunch in one maze and it will be awhile after you can get more power pellets again. This can either help or work against you. The ghosts have a more intuitive A.I. that makes them more difficult to evade. They pretty much follow your every move. Challenge Mode 2 offers the same difficulty and game play found in Championship mode, but there is a catch. Now you have to get through the mazes in almost complete darkness. You cannot see the walls and your only guide are the pellets, so once their gone you cannot see where you are going. Luckily, Pac-Man emits a glow that can help you travel through the maze and power pellets also make that glow a little bit brighter. This mode is made for Pac-Man experts and offers a greater challenge for those Pac-addicts.

Extra mode gives you three different types of game play and different style of mazes in each one. Extra mode 1, also known as the Speedway mode, is only 5 minutes long. But it goes pretty fast from the beginning requiring you to have pretty good skills at handling Pac-Man through this speed maze. Extra mode 2 and 3 offer the difficulty from Challenge mode 1 and a different style of mazes. These mazes in comparison to the Championship/Challenge mode are way different. The ones in Extra mode 2 are bigger and have more options to move around and escape the ghosts. Extra Mode 3 has closed mazes, meaning you have to move around pretty quickly to escape the ghosts since you have limited options of moving around the maze and makes it pretty difficult considering that, as I mentioned before, the controls are not very helpful.

The controls in this game are very simple but not as responsive as this type of game would require. It takes a little bit of time to get used to handle Pac-Man through these mazes, even for veteran players. I would recommend using the analog stick for this game, since it is the closest thing you will get to a joystick.

Even though the most important aspect of this game is the game play, the graphics in this game look amazing. The neon lights the mazes have give it a superb yet very old school look. This is one of the games you will not want to look away at. Even the game sprites were remade. It is like Pac-Man and the gang went to the plastic surgeon and got a pretty good face lift from their 8 bit look. Though he and the ghosts still keep that old school 2-D look we all know and love.

Another useful feature in this game is the stats from each game mode you finish playing. It is a bar chart showing you how many points you did at what time, and also from what item, if it was a pellet, a ghost or a fruit. This can help improve your game by knowing what and when to exploit it. Watching the replay from your game can also help out a lot. Something the game lacks is the option to save that replay, for those that either want to improve their game or love to brag about their high scores. But there is always the global leaderboard for that.

Pac-Man Championship Edition redefines the game play from old Pac-Man games and gives it a competitive edge that makes you want to keep playing reaching those high scores, kind of like in the old days of arcades. So give it a try and you’ll be hooked to a completely new experience of old school gaming.

deft's avatar
Community review by deft (August 05, 2008)

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