Sunday, 25 February 2018 20:08

REVIEW: Pac-Man Championships Edition 2 Plus (Nintendo Switch)

Written by StacefaceMayhem
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Some classics should not be messed with; cars, movies, songs etc, however with video games I am surprisingly quite opposed to keeping things retro and vintage. The gaming industry is an ever evolving enterprise, technology and graphic engines are advancing at exceedingly fast rates, next gen consoles and 4K resolutions are raising the bar and people just want more. Gaming is actually a great gauge of advancement in technology through the ages. Now, this leads me to this question (and back to the topic at hand, sorry about the tangent) how innovative can you be with a simple as hell, classic game like Pac-Man?

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS on Nintendo Switch is Bandai Namco’s version in the series of the famous, timeless game. Pac-Man has been remade so many times, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if a few flashing bells and whistles would be enough to convince me to keep revisiting this golden oldie.

Playing is the same memorable gameplay with added tweaks and upgrades. Pac–Man can now boost, skid to slow down and bomb jump back to the beginning, making it easier to devour that muchly cherished fruit. Another interesting addition is the ability to add mini ghosts to Pinky, Inky, Blinky and Clyde to create a ghost train, very reminiscent of the game snake you use to play on the old NOKIA phones (millennials will probably have no idea what I am talking about... sigh) back in the day.

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The game comes with three modes, Adventure, Score Attack and Co-Op. Adventure is your run of the mill, level play, with you having to defeat each level before moving onto the next world. It is challenging as hell, coming in difficulties; practice, normal or hard. With levels failing if you take too long, I found normal even tricky but not unachievable with practice, which an awesomely designed tutorial mode will help you with.

Score Attack was a little bit different, and actually where I found myself spending the most time, definitely my favourite mode. It had different challenges, with the more you do the more you unlock. It has this basic but interesting menu for customising the looks, colours and music of each maze as you play through trying to beat high scores.

This time it has 2 player (with a friend or AI) Co-Op which is exclusive to Nintendo Switch, meaning no more beating your own personal scores but also your friends, or you could just work together like normal people would. Nothing screams accomplishment more (and a jumping high-5) than finishing a maze with a friend after eating all those dots. However, my issue once again with the Switch in general is the fiddly joy cons being so small in my hands, its not a feeling I like, so I often avoid co-op in general.

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AS you’d expect from a jazzed-up version of a classic, the colours, graphics and music are a major impressive upgrade. The whole game is a 3D -ish, neon wonderland, and true to form sticking to the bright colours on the darkish backgrounds, we have all been accustomed to love. The thing that really attracted me to keep playing oddly enough, was the music. The music is an amazing rave of sound with techno beats blaring, it makes you bob your head as you play and your heart race as the ghosts chase behind you. It shocked me how the beats just suited the tone so well, who knew a game could game you feel like hitting the clubs after.

Overall, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS has dynamic gameplay whether it be docked with a controller or in handheld mode, I found them equally balanced and no different. While it is certainly not an epic quest title and didn’t keep my attention span for overly long periods, it did remind me how enjoyable the classics can be. It was definitely a great ‘fun on the run’ sort of game. While there is not innovation going on in the gameplay, there isn’t much you can do with this simple classic, but it was certainly enough to refresh a much loved, ageless title.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Games
  • Genre: Action, Puzzle