Review by Leetdude
Reviewed: 01/06/02 | Updated: 01/06/02
Studies show that 1/5 of my nostalgic moods are bad. Help.
Pac-Man is a game where you are a monster that eats dots. But there is much more to it than that. The first video game that comes to most minds when one speaks of the late 1970s is Pac-Man. The game took over people across the nation in a way that Pokémon has recently done. Among other things, it created tons of sequels and crappy posers, cartoons, books, cards, a song, and God knows what else. Pac-Man is the definitive arcade game. And unlike Pokémon, it isn't completely dedicated towards 10-year-old brats! A game that can take over the world yet not have tons of Christian priests cutting up cartridges with swords, dubbing it satanic, must be pretty good, right?
In Pac-Man, there is a 2D maze taking up the screen, with numerous dots in it. The maze is shaped well, and has some variety with it in order to keep you interested. The dots don't make the game slow down, amazing for an arcade game at this time in history. There is also a yellow creature in the shape of a pizza with a slice cut out near the bottom. This creature is Pac-Man, and he is bright yellow, standing out from the black background. In the middle of the screen, there are ghosts. These ghosts have a shape pleasing to the eye, and also stand out against the background. There is a lack of heavy flicker, which helps it out immensely. These bright, pleasing colors and the lack of flicker and slowdown made it one of the best looking arcade games of its time.
When you start up Pac-Man, a classic tune will quickly play. The tune is fitting, and doesn't take up too much time. Coincidentally, that single three-second piece of music will be stuck in your head for the rest of your life. While Pac-Man plays, a sound only described as ''wakka wakka'' repeats over and over, while Pac-Man eats up the dots. You won't get bored of the sound. It's very fitting to the simple nature of the game. When you eat a Power Pellet, as they're dubbed, a new sound plays while you chase down the ghosts, and another sound plays when you eat a ghost. These numerous sound effects fit the game, and aren't annoying until the 1337th time you play the game (usually within two days of your first play). The sounds didn't make the game slow down, either... also very amazing for an arcade game in 1979. This is some true quality.
Pac-Man, like other arcade games of its time, controls with little difficulty. Pop in your quarter or token into the machine. Push the ''player 1 start'' button on the machine. You will appear in the game. When Pac-Man starts moving, you use your joystick to aim him around the numerous mazes. Trust me, if it was any easier to control Pac-Man, you could play with NO HANDS. Most of the time, the joystick responds very nicely, and won't give you any trouble whatsoever. Easy to control? Definitely.
But how good can Pac-Man possibly be? Pac-Man is excellent! When you begin the game, you aim Pac-Man around the maze, avoiding ghosts who quickly come out of their hiding spot in the middle of the maze. Your goal is to eat every dot in the entire maze. There are openings at the sides of the mazes to take you to the opposite side of the maze. Sometimes fruit comes out of these openings, giving you extra points. In the four corners of the mazes, there are larger dots known as ''power pellets''. When Pac-Man eats one of these, he can eat ghosts until a quick timer runs out, giving him extra points. Fortunately, this game doesn't get boring until the 1337th time you play it. Coincidentally, that's usually the first game you play on the day after you begin. That's some addictive power.
Game play: 27/30
Like most other arcade games of its day, Pac-Man starts out fairly easy. You may wonder why it's so great in the first few levels. However, getting into the third level, its difficulty will start showing. The ghosts will get faster. The levels will get more difficult. The power pellets will last for less time. Later in the game, there is a rumor that ghosts are actually faster than you. Your true skills will come out in playing the latter levels of the game. Truly, Pac-Man is a difficult game. But there are still many more difficult games out there for you (Asteroids... *shudder*).
Pac-Man will engross you from the first play. You may stand here, putting in multiple quarters at a time to ensure that you keep playing even if people get in line behind you. Or you may take occasional breaks between every 30 games. Either way, it will take your mind from you. Any addictions to arcade games you would have had in the past will be thrown out the window. Your worst dedications will be shown here. Pac-Man Fever will have taken another victim when you play the game.
Pac-Man is one of the most addictive games of all time. Spawning a huge craze, it took adolescent and college minds from their schoolwork. It was the ultimate craze. Even today, nostalgic gamers will get in line, trying to rack up the highest score. And if you play even once, you will join that line. If you have any sense of self-respect, do not play this game. However, if you wish to join the craze and never leave the only addiction worse than drugs, Pac-Man is the game for you.
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