It's hard to believe that Namco Bandai's iconic Pac-Man is well over 30 years old. The dot chomper has starred in several new game releases over the years, and most recently appeared in new Disney XD animated series "Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures," which just got renewed for a second season.
To commemorate the Pacster, Namco Bandai is giving him a huge game push this fall with a platforming adventure based on "Ghostly Adventures," as well as other digital game releases over 2013.
In "Ghostly Adventures," the player guides Pac-Man through a 3D world, a Pac-City where ghosts are strewn everywhere. Unlike the original arcade game, Pac-Man doesn't need a big yellow pellet to chow them down. If they get within his range, he can easily eat them in one bite. Some fly a little higher than him, forcing the player to jump and then launch a chomp attack to finish them off.
Along with his chomping capabilities, Pac-Man can also utilize special abilities to help him defeat certain ghosts. For instance, ice ghosts make their way around the city, and can't be easily bitten into because -- well, they're too cold. However, Pac-Man can easily don a fire helmet via power-up and thaw them out. He can also shoot fireballs that eliminate the ghosts. Another suit has Pac-Man dressing up like a weird reptilian creature, able to shoot his tongue out at ghosts outside his reach to eat them.
Pac-Man can also collect little pellets scattered across each stage. Get enough and he can easily extend his life count, and maybe even find some bonuses in hidden areas.
The design of "Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures" is very similar to that of the TV series. The characters look like their animated counterparts, and the world that they dwell in appears to be a rather faithful Pac-locale. The animations are simple and the game moves smoothly. As for audio, Pac-Man now has a voice, and he sounds quite similar to his animated self from the TV show.
"Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures" is just one of numerous releases featuring the iconic yellow chomper this year. Another title, "Pac-Man Museum," is being prepared for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, and contains several arcade and home releases from Pac's history, including the four-player party game "Pac-Man Battle Royale," which is currently making the rounds in arcades. Also, "Pac-Man Championship Edition DX," a time-challenge oriented remake of the original game, will get an upgrade later this year with new 3D stages and downloadable skins featuring characters from other Namco games, including "Dig-Dug" and "Galaga." The upgrade will be free for those who bought the original "Championship Edition."
With many releases on the horizon, Namco Bandai isn't about to let "Pac-Man Fever" die down anytime soon.
"Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures" releases this fall for Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.