Review by XCommander

Reviewed: 11/20/05

Another classic, even if it is only a tad different than the original Pac-Man

I think it's pretty safe to assume that everybody who visits this site has played a version of Pac-Man one time or another, whether it was the original or Ms. Pac-Man. It's a timeless series. It, of course, originated in the arcades, but was ported over to home consoles and PCs innumerable times.

The premise of the series has always been simple. Collect all the dots on the map and move on. Of course each level is populated by the persistent ghost crew of Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue (who was originally Clyde). These four will try and hurt you on your way. If you touch them you die. You can collect Power Pellets, usually in the corners of the map which turn the ghosts blue, which now allow you to eat them yourself. Talk about payback. The game is controlled rather spot on using an early joystick.

The original arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man expanded upon the original Pac-Man game in several ways. One was the fact that it actually added some semblance of a story. While there is no actual dialogue, but they show animated sequences dealing with the meeting of the two and their eventual offspring. After a while though, they just keep repeating. Honestly, I don't think this really adds much to the game at all, but it's certainly a somewhat interesting diversion. Also changed is the fact that the fruit power-ups that once stood in place in the original Pac-Man now move in different directions (and make a tremendously annoying sound as they bounce on the walls).

Of course as hinted in the title, the main character is now a female complete with a ribbon and make-up. Why did they change this? Apparently this was done to attract more female gamers to the arcades, where it was becoming a righteous sausage-fest. Not that things are any different today, but whatever. It should also be noted that this original arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man was not billed as an official Namco sequel, and instead created for the US market by the US publisher Midway. Midway was apparently a little ticked off at Namco for waiting so long to release the true sequel to the game (Super Pac-Man). It's interesting too because it seems that Ms. Pac-Man is far more popular in America today. Most of the machines you see around are actually this game and not the original Pac-Man.

Anyway, the game looks rather nice for an ages old arcade game. It's colorful and has many things moving. Of course it's on an all-black background but that's to be expected. The sounds are also nice too, the dying sound the perpetual beeping as the pellets are picked up. These are some classic sounds people. The music while nothing special by today's standards are fairly catchy and are among the most recognized of all videogames.

In conclusion, this game is a classic. The female-centered version of Pac-Man is a winner for every crowd; if you are a male don't be ashamed to play this one. The only reason this doesn't get a perfect ten for me is the fact that it's really just a rehash of the original Pac-Man with some added effects.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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