Review by Phweemaggot

Reviewed: 07/18/03 | Updated: 12/27/03

Pacman with a gun!

NOTE: It has come to my attention that there are two versions of The Pac Pack. The older version of the disc has six games on it, while the new one has ten. This review has finally been updated to accommodate the extra stuff on the ten game disc.

The Pac Pack is a collection of games starring Pac-Guy, an obvious rip on Pacman. But Pac-Guy has a lot more character, and better (Two-dimensional) games credited to him.

The story is shaky in the beginning, but then gets easier to follow. In the first game, (Pac-Guy) Pac-Guy goes through a lot of levels and does some things loosely affiliated with Star Wars. The next game (Pac-Guy: Resurrection), starts with Pac-Guy rising from the grave (with a better sprite then before) after drinking himself to death. He redoes the same things as before, but goes a little farther into an understandable plot.

Enter Pac-Guy: Atomic Edition, the third of the series. Pac-Guy returns to his town to find it destroyed, so he goes through the ruins of some of the levels from the first Pac-Guy, only this time with a shoulder-mounted death ray. Following this is Pac-Guy: Christmas Edition, which doesn’t have a plot. (Cough) Moving on...

Pac-Guy 2 begins with Pac-Guy is relaxing on his dirt farm, when suddenly, he hears a loud crash. Two kids lead him to the source of the noise, the BORD Cube that has slammed into the ground. As he goes to investigate, the leader of the BORD kidnaps the two children. To avoid spoilers, I’ll skip to the beginning of the final game, Pagoon, and allow you to infer what occurs during the gap. Kan, our hero’s arch nemesis, banishes him to the planet of Pagoon. He isn’t going to just let Kan take over his home planet, so he needs to find a way to escape from this wretched place.

In Pac-Guy Scrambler, a father tries to teach his two strange sons about the adverntures of Pac-Guy. The family’s dysfunction is much more amusing, though.

The Pac Pack has great graphics. Well, all the games after the original Pac-Guy do. The background textures, the freaky enemies, the helicopters and spaceships, It goes on and on. There are even some neat cut scenes that look even better.

Excellent sound is synonymous with this game. Each level has background music ranging from wacky to overdramatic, and each level has different sound effects for actions. As the level changes, the music goes from mellow to clownish, the sound of dots being collected goes from a *BLOOP* to a *CHING*, and a shot being fired changes from a laser-like *ZAP* to a satisfying *PLUNK*.

Arrows and Spacebar. Say it with me now, Arrows and Spacebar. That’s how you play, and as long as you have two hands (Or are very fast with one), you should have no trouble with controls.

Here’s the premise the games work on: It’s Pac-Man, but instead of those big dots letting you eat ghosts, they’re bullets. You grab some bullets, and then open fire on the nasties that cross your path. You should end up with a much less crowded level. There are also a variety of power-ups. A shield, invisibility, and infinite bullets are just some of the power-ups available throughout the games. Here are the differences between the six games:

Pac-Guy- This fits the description above, and that’s it. This is just Pacman with bullets.

Pac-Guy: Resurrection- Take the first game, add better graphics and a boss level at the end, and you got Resurrection.

Pac-Guy: Atomic Edition- This short game takes place in the ruins of the first four levels of Pac-Guy. Pieces of walls have either been moved or taken out entirely, and the nasties have been genetically altered to become more powerful (although there’s one that looks less genetically altered and more duct taped to a small jet).

Pac-Guy: Christmas Edition- It’s like Pac-Guy, but Christmassy.

Pac-Guy 2- This is my favorite of the games because of some extra things added to levels. For instance, you might have to sneak through a level while avoiding spotlights and using the noise bullets make to draw attention away from your self.

Pac-Guy 2, Pagoon- This game lacks the type of improved levels Pac-Guy 2 had, but contains some new elements, such as air currents, spring jumps, and flamethrowers embedded into walls.

Pac-Guy 2: The Lost Levels- This is a small program containing 3 levels cut from Pac-Guy 2 and one from Pacula’s Curse, a different product from the company.

Pac-Gal- It’s like Pac-Guy in a dress. This game is relatively similiar to the others, except for a difference with the enemies. There is a generator that makes more enemies over time. Every time you grab a bullet, it automatically destroys all the onscreen enemies.

Pixel-Guy- This game is a very simplified version of Pac-Guy. The graphics are worse, there’s only one level, and the enemies are stupider. Seriously, they just go back and forth.

Pac-Guy Scrambler- This game is like the original Pac-Guy, but the levels are changed, some are out of order, and some are completely taken out.

Just like the classic this collection parodies, these games have great amounts of replay value. You’ll find yourself replaying this a lot.

Bottom Line
Story- 7 Hard to follow in the beginning due to Pac-Guy Resurrection. There’s confusion over if Pac-Guy and Resurrection are two separate parts of the story or not.
Graphics- 8 Great for a game like this.
Sound- 10 Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Controls- 10 You’d have to be pretty uncoordinated to mess up with these controls.
Gameplay- 9 Take a classic then tweak some elements. The formula worked for these games, at least.
Replay Value- 8 I’ve played through this a few times, and it was still as enjoyable as the time before.
Overall- 8 (not an average)

Pros
-Long
-Strange
-Funny Music
-Damn Fun

Cons
-Frustrating at times

Pick up a copy of this. It’ll be worth it. Since I doubt you’ll find this in any store, I recommend checking Astral Entertainment’s website for the newer ten-game disc.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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