Review by bungleinthjungle

Reviewed: 02/24/04

A short , but great game to add to your Genesis collection.

While most of us will always remember Pac-Man for his first ghost-gobbling adventure, there have also been a couple of other highlights in his long career, this game, Pac-Man 2 : The New Adventures, being one of them.

The best way to describe this game would be as so: You guide Pac-Man on a series of missions, helping him find his way, overcome obstacles, and finally, rid the world of the evil menace, The Ghost Witch of Netor, who has stolen all of the ''ABC'' (thats already-been-chewed) gum from the children in town to create a gum monster. Sounds really lame, doesn't it? Well, yeah, the plot could have used a little bit of sprucing up, but then again you have to remember that Pac-Man's first foray into video games had much less of a plot than this game has, and so you really can't complain much. Basically, if you're looking for a good plot in a Pac-Man game, then clearly your gaming priorities are out of whack.

That being said, I'm going to attempt to describe the gameplay -- which is the biggest attraction here, and is one of the most unique gameplay mechanics I have ever encountered in a video game. As I mentioned, you help Pac-Man along on his quest, so you don't really have complete control over him. Every mission starts with Pac-Man leaving his house,and from then on you take control. One button controls your slingshot -- yes, slingshot -- which you use to hit objects, or sometimes even Pac-Man himself, to manipulate the environment or Pac-Man's moods. Your other button functions as the ''Look'' button. Basically, by pressing the directional and pressing this ''Look'' button at the same time, you can attract Pac-Man's attention to walk in a specific direction, depending on where he needs to go. A nice little tutorial in the beginning of the game clearly explains this somewhat bizarre control system, making it easy as pie. Trust me when I say, that within minutes you'll feel at home with the controls, and you'll be able to manipulate many things in the environment as you please.

The interactivity in this game is really great -- you can break things with your slingshot and hit animals and even some people as well. If you see something, you can most likely hit it with the slingshot and expect some sort of reaction. For example, in Pac-Man's front yard there are two big metal cans. By hitting them once with the slingshot they make a sound that attracts Pac-Man to come over and look. He then beats on the cans as if they were drums, making him extremely happy.

That's another great feature about this game -- Pac-Man's moods really DO affect what happens, and sometimes you'll purposely need to get him angry (or happy), so that you can solve some of the puzzles within this game. However, it's important to remember that the angrier Pac-Man gets, the harder he is to ''control'', that is, to get him to do what you want him to do. This is also the same for when Pac-Man becomes extremely depressed.

This game's biggest problem lies in the measly four missions for you to complete, and the first one ending extremely quickly, depending on whether you've played through the game before or not. There are some small side quests along the way -- extra items for Pac-Man to eat, and the three collectible pieces of the Pac-Jr. cartridge, so that you can play it in the arcade (the original Pac-Man game is available from the beginning of the game), a nice addition that puts on some major replay value.

Regardless, the game is still WAY too short, and you might feel a little cheated, depending on how much you shell out to own this game. However, I feel that it must be said that THIS GAME IS WORTH THE MONEY. There is no other game out there like it on any system.

--PROS--
1) Pac-Man is the main character!
2) the original arcade game is available from the start in arcade mode
3) the control scheme and gameplay are completely unique and extremely fun
4) lots of things to interact with in the environment

--CONS--
1) the music, while being fitting, could have been a bit better
2) WAY too short...you'll feel like you just got started when it's already ending

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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