I haven’t experienced Pac Man in a while. As a result, I can’t speak authoritatively to how Championship Edition 2 measures up against the first and/or DX. Nevertheless, I found this Pac Man experience to be a great one, with a quick and easy to grasp tutorial to kick it off. So if you’d like to know more about ghosts, fruits, power pellets and huge bosses, read on for our full Pac Man Championship Edition 2 Review.
Look and Feel
Pac Man is Pac Man. For those that don’t know, it’s a top-down perspective maze featuring 7/8ths of a yellow pie and colourful ghosts. Championship Edition 2 maintains the neon arcade bar boundaries but also allows for customisation. If the player has performed well enough to unlock the other skins, the background, character models and camera angles can be modified, as well as the background music.
More than anything, Pac Man Championship Edition 2 evokes that arcade feeling. There are animations I didn’t appreciate, mind you. Firstly, the way that Pac Man devours a ghost train. The game pauses the action and the map disappears, leaving Pac to rotate around this ghost train and return to the map. It feels like more of an interruption than a cool visual style.
That gripe aside, All is well with the performance of Pac Man Championship Edition 2, and the sights and sounds are pleasant enough. There’s not much more to say on that note.
Pac Man hits us square in the jaw with a great tutorial. I was up to speed on the new rules in about 5 minutes. For the most part, Pac Man is still Pac Man: go left, right, up or down around a maze collecting pellets and avoiding ghosts. When all of the pellets have been collected, eat the fruit/power pellet in the middle of the stage and advance.
Additions to my Pac Man Experience
Ghost trains: by passing sleeping mini-ghosts, they’ll float to the back of a ghost-proper and create a train that walls off passages as it progresses. Like Pac Man meets Snake. This poses an interesting challenge, but becomes a bit of a nuisance when there’s four ghost trains on the board with Pac himself.
Bombs usage puts Pac Man back at the start of the level. Not using bombs bumps up the high score at the finish, but using them can pull ol’ Pac out of a jam.
I’ve mentioned my disappointment with the visual representation of Pac Man eating a ghost train, but here’s where it actually matters: the gameplay intrusion. When there’s more than one ghost train and Pac Man is powered by a Power Pellet, a different, more basic animation occurs. The issue is that Pac Man can go through another train whilst devouring the current one, allowing the second train to escape. It’d be much better if they could be combined should Pac Man collide with them in the same moment.
In an odd twist, ghosts can’t defeat Pac Man on contact. Instead, Pac Man bounces off of the ghosts. If Pac Man prods the ghost too many times in quick succession, the ghost will become angry and return to the ghost style we all know and love. One that can destroy your hopes and dreams. Honestly, I’m not happy with that change. It takes away the sense of urgency when there’s a ghost nearby.
Pac Man Championship Edition 2 Review, however, features two main modes: Score Attack and Adventure.
In Score Attack, there are 10 stages with four modes each. The higher your score, the better your rank. The score is calculated based on performance as well as remaining lives and bombs once Pac dies or the time runs out. Naturally, no extra score for lives will apply should the player lose their lives before the time limit is up.
All Score Attack levels are graded. Starting from E and climbing up back up the alphabet the better your score, the key here is to get as high a score as possible. In doing so, the game will unlock more of the 10 stages and the additional modes for each stage.
Though Score Attack can be a lot of fun, there are certain stages I didn’t enjoy. The Jumping stage gets a little too hectic for me to keep up with. I imagine the bouncing around the map would be great for somebody that could master it, but I prefer my straight-shooting Pac Man experience.
You might say “Well don’t play the ones you don’t like!” but playing the previous stage and achieving a certain rank is necessary for unlocking not only the Score Attack modes, but also the other major mode in the game: Adventure. This is an unwelcome chore and I don’t feel it should be locked behind Score Attack. It doesn’t take long to achieve the stated goals for unlocking Adventure, but I still feel you shouldn’t have to do what they ask for a major game mode to unlock.
Adventure is my favourite mode in Pac Man Championship Edition 2. Each stage has a set goal to achieve, with a reward of stars for finishing. One or three stars, depending on the difficulty. The difficulty determines how much time the player has to complete the task. It’s usually to devour several stages of fruit, falling from map to map, culminating in a power-pellet rush through the stage’s ghosts.
By acquiring enough stars through the stages, a boss level unlocks. The boss is usually multiple ghosts fusing together to become a MEGA GHOST. Bosses hang about in the background, bashing the map and aggravating the ghosts to make them lethal. A boss stage ends with Pac Man acquiring a Super Pellet and using it to break the big ghost down in to its tiny counterparts for a healthy lunch.
Pac Man Championship Edition 2 Review goes a little too easy on the player with the changes to the ghost. It also forces some unwelcome prerequisites to unlocking its better mode. Nevertheless, it’s still a hectic, pick-up-and-play arcade experience that is thoroughly enjoyable no matter how it forces you to play. If you know of Pac Man, get acquainted with these new rules and indulge in pure gameplay.
About this Pac Man Championship Edition 2 Review.
Game: Pac Man Championship Edition 2