View Full Version : The Pac is back on the attack, Jack!

06-07-2007, 09:57 PM
Pac-Man Championship Edition is the best Xbox Live game I've purchased since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Ignore what the title seems to suggest... this isn't a slightly tweaked Pac-Man game like Exciting New! Pac-Man Plus, but a sequel that, like Tempest 2000 before it, brings a classic video game into a modern era.

So what makes the game so special, anyway? Aside from the slick special effects and driving techno music that becomes more intense as you play, there's a new play mechanic that requires the player to "balance" the screen, clearing away the dots from one side of the maze, then eating a fruit target that litters the other side of the maze with dots and energizers. As you're darting back and forth between either side of the maze, you've got to decide whether you'll clear the dots quickly and minimize risk to yourself, or cash in on the huge point bonus offered by the monsters.

It's a design that works brilliantly. As you eat fruit targets, the game increases in speed, gradually ramping up from the super slow arcade version of Pac-Man to those triple-speed Ms. Pac-Man hacks, and even beyond. Then the music gets louder and more urgent, and the edges of the maze pulsate, and your hands start to sweat as you feel like the fat guy who watched too many compressed commercials in that episode of Max Headroom.

Overall, I'd say that this is the best Pac-Man game we've seen since the release of Pac-Man Arrangement in 1997. That's no big surprise, since the Pac-Master himself, series creator Toru Iwatani, had a hand in its development. At ten dollars, the price is a little steep, but believe me, Pac-Man: Championship Edition is worth the cost.


06-08-2007, 06:39 AM
I saw it in motion and I was sold. When I get around to picking up a 360 this is the first game I'm downloading.

06-08-2007, 06:41 AM
I keep hearing almost universally positive things about it so I will likely pick it up tonight.

06-08-2007, 07:27 AM
I plan on picking it up next week when I get paid. A one-two combo of mortgage payment and the girlfriend's birthday has K.O.'d my wallet this week. I just wish they had included an online ghosts vs. Pac-Man game like the Gamecube connectivity game.

06-08-2007, 07:50 AM
Pacman CE is fricking fantastic.

It's worth the $10 for Challenge Mode 2 alone. You could easily argue that Pacman is all about making precise movements and using the maze against the ghosts. Well, in this mode, you can't see the fricking maze. Most intense Pacman game that I've ever played. Holy crap.

06-08-2007, 08:14 AM
I was wondering about those screenshots where half the maze seems to be out of focus. Thanks to Arugula for the verbose explanations.

06-08-2007, 08:59 AM
I saw a video of this. This is what old arcade remakes should look like.

06-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Yeah it is ridiculously good. I was a bit disappointed that the achievements were so easy to get but that's the way with all Namco's Live Arcade games.

06-10-2007, 05:37 AM
Nice to see the Man back in action.

06-10-2007, 11:37 AM
The Pac is back on the attack, Jack!
please don't.

06-10-2007, 11:41 AM
Is this an Xbox exclusive or is their a chance this will end up on Wii or PS3 or DS? Because I want.

Lumber Baron
06-10-2007, 11:46 AM
The Pac is back on the attack, Jack!
District FIVE!

...I'm sorry, I don't know why I felt the need to share that.

06-10-2007, 11:59 AM
Is this an Xbox exclusive or is their a chance this will end up on Wii or PS3 or DS? Because I want.

Being a Namco update of a classic, I'd be surprised if it doesn't end up on the PS3 NamcoMuseum when that comes out.

06-10-2007, 01:27 PM
You won't catch me spending a single, solitary dime on this game.

...as I lack a 360.

'Tis a thing of beauty, I must admit.

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

06-10-2007, 02:14 PM
please don't.

All right, all right, maybe I overdid it a little. But hey, with a name as banal as Pac-Man: Championship Edition, you've got to find some way to spice it up!


06-10-2007, 02:16 PM
Bologna. I don't spice up my thread's titles all the time.

Granted, no one posts in them, but still...!

06-10-2007, 02:24 PM
Bologna. I don't spice up my thread's titles all the time.

Granted, no one posts in them, but still...!

It is the thought that counts.

06-10-2007, 03:16 PM
I figured it was Pac-Man Collector's Edition or something. Do you get to play as Sagat or Bison in this one?

I played the demo the other night and it was pretty slick. The demo was well done too! It ends just as you're starting to get into the grove, and you crave more. Still, I don't think it's worth $10. $5 would be a sure sell, maybe even more... No 360 anyways, but it was still pretty cool and well done. Between this and Dig Dug DS, Namco seems to have rolled out some true sequels for classic games.

06-10-2007, 04:23 PM
So great was the strain of its birthing that it left Toru Iwatani a wrecked shell, fit now only for the glue factory.

06-10-2007, 05:14 PM
Amazing, amazing, stupendous, great. This has got to be the first no-brainer virtual console purchase since Geometry Wars. $10 is a little steep, but I would easily put off getting several full retail games for the enjoyment I can see myself getting out of this. I could easily sink that much worth in quarters into an arcade version of this in a month (Of course, at any of the few remaining arcades, $10 would probably get me no more than 3 games... except for that weird hacked Mame arcade thing at the local pub).

But back to the game. It feels like Pac Man, which is good. But everything it adds enhances the game significantly. By holding in a direction to anticipate your turns, Pac Man makes sparks which (like in Mario Kart), give you the slightest speed boost. Of course, a good player did this in the classic game anyhow. The speed ramps up gradually and throttles back when you die, which is a neat feature if you play Ms. Pac Man with the speed toggle enabled. The tug of war between the two sides of the stage really allows you to develop your own strategies for tackling the mazes, and be conscious of the fact that if part of the map goes dark, it will make it that much harder to escape the ghosts.

Unlike pretty much every recent remake on the Live Arcade, here the high-def graphics and stage presentation really do enhance the game - apart from looking great, it really is useful to be able to take in the whole stage in high contrast quality graphics - I have never felt cheated out of a life.

Also, starting where you died is an interesting and significant change, since the only real penalties for dieing for a skilled player are the loss of time and speed, which can be devastating when competing against the clock and your own best scores.

Pac Man has had a good number of sequels, imitators, clones, etc. And after all this time, the original creator comes back with a game that could be a clinic not only on how to make a modern conversion of a classic, but hitting all the critical points in great game design. I'm not surprised, but I'm absolutely floored.

06-10-2007, 07:47 PM
Has Parish reviewed this thing yet?

--LBD "Nytetrayn"

Figure Four
06-12-2007, 07:10 PM
I never really "got" Geometry Wars. I definitely enjoy it and when I have a couple of minutes free I play a game or two but the hunt for the High score never really caught me.

I downloaded Pacman CE this afternoon and am already addicted. Pinky is an evil son of a bitch. I was 20 seconds away from winning, you bastard!

Red Hedgehog
06-13-2007, 09:17 AM
John Davison reviewed it for 1up (http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3160197). It's a pretty good review.