Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 02.02.2017

Review for Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 on Xbox One

Time and again old classic titles try and make a comeback into the modern era of gaming. While rarely they pay off to their full extent, those looking for pure nostalgic value at least get some value out of those games. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is one of those games that gets the core mechanic of what made the original great, and adds so many new twists and turns into the formula to successfully rejuvenate the series. Pac-Man is back to munch on some more pellets, while those ghosts are still a-hunting, and fans of the old style of play may enjoy this updated take, while younger fans will find plenty of fast-paced, heart-thumping moments in Bandai Namco's latest iteration of Pac-Man.

At its core, this is still a Pac-Man game, which involves the titular round protagonist eating pellets around a maze, while trying to avoid those pesky ghosts. The only difference is that now, there are multiple mazes that are randomly generated upon the completion of the first one, and as such the race for the pellets just keeps on going. In addition to munching away through a sequence of mazes, there are also sleeping ghosts who will awaken when passed by, and they will attach themselves to the back of one of the ghosts, thus creating a train. Then, when the special pellet appears on the screen and is eaten, Pac-Man will then have a small moment to eat the ghosts with their train. The longer the train of ghosts, the more points are awarded to the total score.

In addition to the special pellet, fruits also appear and they are tasked with teleporting Pac-Man to the next maze, where he begins the race against the ghosts yet again. All the stages have a countdown timer as Pac-Man tries to create the best score possible, and complete as many mazes as possible, while eating the longest ghost trains as possible. On top of all of that, for the first time in a Pac-Man game, bumping into the ghosts will not take a life away from him. Not at first anyway. See, the ghosts can be bumped into for a total of three consecutive times before the ghosts enter an 'Angry' state, which is when they are their most dangerous, and can successfully take a life from Pac-Man. Bumping into the ghosts can be a useful strategy for getting past them during their transition stage into an 'Angry' state, and is an especially fun process during the mad craze of pellet-munching.

Jump pads are introduced as a game mechanic, which allows Pac-Man to jump over walls and obstacles, and while they start off easy at first in terms of learning where Pac-Man will land, they get a little more complex as the game progresses, and the jump pads stop lining up properly. Trying to guess where Pac-Man is going to land is a nuisance, which causes many frustrating moments of trying to collect bearings before getting gobbled by a ghost. Pac-Man has the bomb jump at his disposal also, which when used, will launch Pac-Man back to his starting position in the maze. This is useful for many reasons, as it can be used to escape the clutches of the ghosts if Pac-Man finds himself in a tight situation, or when a fruit or special pellet appears at the beginning, Pac-Man can quickly transport there to beat that always-ticking clock.

Screenshot for Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 on Xbox One

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 offers two main modes in addition to the tutorial stages. Rather than teach how to play the game, the tutorial throws Pac-Man into a series of scenarios and offers different objectives for him to accomplish, which is basically how the rest of the game works also. Score Attack throws up a series of timed mazes, with Pac-Man trying to get as high a score as possible in five minutes. Different mazes have different mechanical differences, with jump pads and the like appearing in some of them.

The other main mode is Adventure mode, which like the tutorial, is a series of mazes that each have a set list of objectives that must be completed in order to pass through to the next stage. The objectives range from collecting five pieces of fruit, to eating two special pellets and so on. While the objectives are not creative, and rarely differ after fifteen stages, effectively Pac-Man is doing the same thing in every level. When he is eating pellets, an on-screen meter fills up, and once full, the special pellet or fruit appears at the starting point to be eaten. Sometimes those special foods have a conscious of their own, and try to flee Pac-Man as he must chase them down to eat them.

The end of each world features a Boss battle, though it is still a series of mazes, except with the Boss floating behind the grid. Slaying the boss is as simple as eating all the fruits to progress through the different mazes, and then on the final maze, eating that power pellet kicks off a cut-scene where Pac-Man devours the boss to fireworks and cheering. While the boss battles could've had a little bit more interaction with the maze itself, it didn't take away from the satisfaction of finally eating him.

Screenshot for Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is an addictive throwback to the original classic; however, there is a lot of new game mechanics that work well to modernise the formula, without taking away any of the nostalgia. Those looking for a new Pac-Man game will find plenty to love here, including the pellet eating and the ghost trains, combined with the fruits meter, the bomb jump, the jump pads and the ability to bump into the ghosts. Each stage features a sequence of mazes in Adventure mode, while Score Attack tests even the toughest of Pac-Man players who are looking at posting up some high scores. This is a fun adventure that can be enjoyed by fans of the old, as well as younger fans being introduced to the franchise for the first time.

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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