Pac-Man World 3 (Nintendo DS) Review

By James Temperton 24.05.2006

Things didn't start off too well when we came to review this game. We broke the case on our first time opening it which now makes it emit this hideous cracking click every time we try to close it; we hoped this wasn't a omen of more unfortunate things to come, but alas it was. Whilst we can assure you that not every game case for Pac-Man World 3 will break upon first contact, we can promise you that the little cartridge inside will not bring a smile to your face. For what it holds will probably cause you to break the pigging box on purpose...

We can see what the developer (HumanSoft) have tried to do here, Pac-Man World 3 is a bit like the so very sublime Super Mario 64 DS...but it is ugly, very ugly. Basically, this is the big console version squashed, squeezed and pummelled mercilessly onto a poor little DS cart and rather unsurprisingly this doesn't work too well. The cut-scenes, instead of being in full glorious motion with voiceovers and the like are still images with captions. Admittedly we don't really care about the odd cut-scene here and there being a bit tedious, we care about the actual game. Sadly, this suffers very badly from conversion problems as well. Graphically, this game is a bit of a shocker. Rather than trying to make it for the DS, the developers have seemingly decided to take the home console version and strip it down for Nintendo's handheld console. The result is an underwhelming, bland, barren and frustrating title.

Screenshot for Pac-Man World 3 on Nintendo DS

Thankfully, the little pill-muncher is salvaged by a very solid control system. Nearly everything is done using the D-Pad and main buttons, with the touchscreen only being used for a very limited set of functions such as pressing buttons, pulling levers and hitting switches. Hardly innovative and quite annoying when you consider that 99.9% of the game is played using the top screen, to suddenly have to waft your hand at the bottom screen is a bit pointless. However, we do have to praise the basic control system, it is tight, easy to use and does exactly what you tell it to. The only problem is seeing little Pac-Pac in order to control him...

Like just about every 3D platform title ever conceived, camera is always going to be a major issue. In our experience there are either brilliant, manageable or mind-numbingly, blood-boilingly terrible, the one implemented here is down with the very best of the worst. It sticks to walls, goes through walls, refuses to point forwards, ignores where you are going all together, gets stuck to thin air, vibrates furiously for no apparent reason and swings around violently when cornered in small areas.

Screenshot for Pac-Man World 3 on Nintendo DS

The levels are simple and open-plan, with enemies knocked off with a quick slap or two or a jump move, which is pretty standard stuff. In all honesty, the most enjoyable part of Pac-Man World 3 is being able to navigate your way around the more intricate parts of the gaming world. Pushing switches, running, jumping, wall-jumping and working out how to progress in the gaming world is pretty good fun. Again, nothing special, but decent entertainment.

Screenshot for Pac-Man World 3 on Nintendo DS

The only problem with the vaguely entertaining gaming worlds of Pac-Man World 3 is that they are not all they seem to be. Problem the first: they disappear randomly; meaning a platform you thought was there suddenly isn't...which is just plain odd. We would call it pop-up, but things also vanish as you get closer, so we really don't know what is going on with that. Problem the second: magical hologram platforms. On occasions too frequent to count on our miserly hands, we have found ourselves jumping onto a platform only to find sodding Pac-Pac flying straight through it. This can be quite annoying if you fall through an alleged 'platform' after you've just spent the last twenty minutes working your way through the level only to have to do it all again.

Upon reflection, the most worrying thing we have to say about Pac-Man World 3 is...well...nothing. We are totally stumped at what else to say. Sure, there is a developer interview chucked into the mix for good measure, but its all done with captions, no dialogue and what you read is constantly thrown from top to bottom screen and can get very confusing. Aside from that, it's just a platformer with Pac-Man in that is both tedious and infuriating at the same time.

Screenshot for Pac-Man World 3 on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Bad Namco. Whilst we dearly love the spherical, yellow pill-munching machine, we have to admit that this DS title is just plain depressing. It lacks any sort of innovation, it has quite clearly been ripped from the big console versions and pummelled down to fit onto Nintendo's smaller handheld system. Probably the most forgettable game we've played in a long time. Then again, we wouldn't remember one that was more forgettable than this, but you get the idea...






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 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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