Over thirty years ago, Namco released Pac-Man to the arcade masses. Since then, a lot has changed in the the video game industry. To keep up, he has tried evolving by dabbling in puzzles, adventure, pinball, even racing. The series has also seen its share of spin-offs and rip-offs. Who cares about all that? Plain old vanilla Pac-Man is all we need right?
Take for example Pac-Man Championship Edition. Released in 2007, this game takes what made the original addictive and adds a load of flair, speed, and excitement. Cool, huh? But, this review is for Pac-Man Championship Edition DX. Right! This installment takes what the CE version established and builds upon. There are now sleeping ghosts stationed around the board who are awakened as Pac-Man passes. They will follow him in a colorful rainbow trail adding more ghosts as he comes close to them. These make for an excellent bonus when Pac-Man eats a power pellet. Another tweak places power pellets inside ghosts to prolong the feast. Come close to a regular ghost and the game slows down allowing the player to escape close calls. This is especially handy when the game speed kicks into high gear. If you can’t make the call, bomb it. This feature sends trailing ghosts home, but reduces game speed and the score multiplier.
From the menu, there are ten board types to choose from. Players start with the basics and unlock the rest as you progress. The board designs within a level change by eating all the dots on one side. Traversing the playing field is very important. Each level has time trials along with five and ten minute modes. The game is quite challenging requiring lots of concentration and skill.
The most impressive aspect of the game are the visuals. There are several selectable visual styles to fit your own personal taste. I find the default or pixelated ones the coolest and easiest to play long periods with. The main reason I pick these are because they make keeping track of Pac-Man easier. This can be tough when the screen starts to fill with ghosts and dots. The music is nice, but I find it hard to hear over the tension that fills my head when playing. I’m glad it’s nothing overbearing. My senses are already overloaded.
On the first night I downloaded Pac-Man CE DX… I got all the achievements. But, my time with it is far from over. The leaderboards show that I’m competitive with my friends though I have a long way to go against the world. Plus, I still need to unlock the other boards.
This game is easily worth the ten dollar asking price. If this were a standup arcade, a person could loose three times that without blinking an eye. The yellow puck has aged well and retained his basic shape, although high definition has made him clearer than ever. Pac-Man is still a shade of yellow and continues to gobble pac-dots and power pellets. And that’s the way I like him bygummit.