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Pac-Man Museum

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, PC, PlayStation 3, WiiU, Xbox 360
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: Feb. 25, 2014

About Brian Dumlao

After spending several years doing QA for games, I took the next logical step: critiquing them. Even though the Xbox 360 is my preferred weapon of choice, I'll play and review just about any game from any genre on any system.

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3DS/WiiU/PSN/XBLA/PC Preview - 'Pac-Man Museum'

by Brian Dumlao on July 9, 2013 @ 3:00 a.m. PDT

In Pac-Man Museum, players need to skilfully dodge and juke troublesome ghosts while gobbling up all the pac-dots and power pellets lying in their path.

Namco Bandai is a company that doesn't hesitate to bring back its older games for newer platforms. The Namco Museum series, for example, was responsible for bringing Dig-Dug, Galaga, Rally-X and The Tower of Druaga to consoles and handhelds since the original PlayStation era. With its newfound efforts to revitalize the Pac-Man brand this year, it should come as no surprise that older games would come along for the ride. As a result, we have Pac-Man Museum.

During the short presentation at E3 2013, the company revealed that three classic Pac-Man titles were going to be included in the compilation. The first is, of course, the original arcade hit from 1980. Though it really needs no explanation, the game sets you up in a maze as four ghosts of different colors chase you down. Your job is to not get eaten while clearing the maze of all the dots and occasional fruit for bonus points. While you remain vulnerable most of the time, eating a power pellet turns the tables, with the ghosts becoming vulnerable for a limited amount of time. It is a timeless title, and a compilation dedicated to the yellow mascot would feel empty without this game, even though it's been available to current-generation players several times over.


The next title is Pac-Man Championship Edition. Originally an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive before being ported to the other platforms, the game takes on the basic formula from the original but adds in time limits to amplify the experience. Some modes ask you to survive a certain time limit on one life while others give you a near-infinite amount of lives but give you a set time limit to score as many points as possible. With a neon aesthetic, the game gave the original formula some appreciated tweaks and made the classic feel fresh again.

The final title is Pac-Man Battle Royale, something that is much more noteworthy since it has never been available to the public outside of the arcades, despite being a much more recent title. At first glance, the game is nothing more than a multiplayer version of Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, as it only puts up a string of dots at a time and puts up another string when either the current one gets finished or when fruit gets eaten. Eating a power pellet changes things, however, as you not only get to eat ghosts but also become a much larger version of yourself that eat the other players as well. The game only ends when all but one of the Pac-Men is eaten or defeated by ghosts, making the whole affair more competitive than before. It is a brilliant take on the formula and can easily become a local multiplayer favorite in the same vein as classics like Bomberman and Worms.

The inclusion of Pac-Man Battle Royal is enough of a reason for fans to get Pac-Man Museum, but it'll be interesting to see what additional titles Namco Bandai decides are worthy enough to be part of this package. The game has a release date of Winter 2013, so the company has lots of time to tease us with slow reveals of the other games in the compilation.



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