Review by Lozh900
Not the Pac-Man you used to know
So way back when (before I was even born) came Puk-man in arcades and old school computers. It was a simple game where you played as a yellow Puk names Puk-Man and you were placed in a blue maze. At the center of this maze there was an enclosure holding 4 ghosts whose names elude me at this time.
They came in four colours and their goal was to catch Puk in order to stop Puk from collecting all the yellow pellets. Fast forward to the worldwide release in arcades and home computers and Puk-Man became Pac-Man, why? because the developers thought that the arcade cabinets could be vandalised in order for Puk-Man to be altered to another inappropriate word in western countries.
several decades later we have a new Pac-Man and a new adventure vastly different from that old maze game of cat and mouse (or ghost and Puk)
If you didn't knows Pac-Man and the ghostly adventures is based on the cartoon series of the same name of which I have never seen. It seems from the game that it expects you to know at least something of the cartoons for a few select subjects mentioned early on but it in no way detracts from the game. So without Further a do lets get on with the review.
The story here is a simple on you have seen in many platformers before and other games also in different genres. I'll try not to spoil it for you what little there is to spoil however, its simply a story of a bad guy (or ghost in this case) trying to destroy your world as you know it. His aim is to turn Pacopolis (Pac-Mans home) into a world where ghosts can reside and the big bad ghost can rule both the ghost world and pacopolis.
Your mission is simply to work your way through the game and stop him and along the way you'll get a few cut scenes here and there which really don't add much to the story or game in general. Infact I found them to be useless and the story would have been quite the same should it have simply had just the opening and ending scenes. This means that since the story is basic and no more than a reason for the game to exist that it scores quite average. It does the job and thats it.
Sound/music : 7/10
So the sound, this is where the game does slightly better than average but nothing spectacular. Everything has a unique sound from Pac-Mans attacks to the environments you adventure through. The music for each area is perfectly fitting for the environments but there are no surprises. The music fits but the developers didn't break any ground here, it is what it is. A temple environment has a Temple-esque theme.
The good stuff comes from the sound effects. Pac-mans attack for instance is his ability to eat (surprise) which has the same iconic sound that first debut'd with his original debut. Every ghost talks and some do have funny puns but we will come to that in the game play section.
The biggest complaint I have though is that during cutscenes and sometimes in gameplay when a character talks you can tell the sound wasn't cleaned up properly before implementation and it still feels like they are talking from within a sound studio. That reason considering the characters are a main part of the game brings the sounds core down.
Graphics : 8/10
So the graphics, this isn't Super Mario 3D World so they aren't spectacular however at no point did I feel they were sub-par beyond the hardware running the game. I saw no screen tearing and no conflicting textures anywhere.
The anti-aliasing while not brilliant makes jaggies rather unnoticeable and makes the game look clean and tidy. Colours are vibrant and pop nicely creating worlds which are great to look at but once again with the music the developers haven't broken any ground. A temple theme is a temple theme and every level within the temple world will look the exact same but with layouts and traps. That is my only real negative aspect of the graphics but because its a big portion of the section thus detracts 2 points from the game.
Game play: 9/10
So why is game play so good? well it does exactly what is should. This isn't a Spyro or Ratchet and Clank game but what it sets out do it does. every level provides a challenge for our hero apart from maybe the first few as the game does actually ease you in to the game gradually. Pac has 1 main attack, a scare which makes the ghosts scared and turn deep blue (yes just like the original game) and even has the iconic sound when Pac-Man eats one in this state. His other main ability is to jump (wouldn't be a good platformer if he couldn't).
Another little twist to the gameplay are the half dozen or so power berries pac can eat, I won't spoilt them all for you but this includes Ice-Pac and Fire Pac which allows you to shoot ice beams which freeze ghosts and fire burns them. There are more but I won't spoil them for you. These upgrades last until you are hit once and then you lose it however there is usually a power berry near by and it also absorbs a hit meaning you won't lose a heart (your health).
Speaking of collectibles there are a few types. Food restores health when you have been hit, Pac berry pies give extra lives and Pellets (most abundant collectible) allows you to eventually unlock 1 of 3 golden orbs which unlock temples.
A cool feature I really liked about this game as well is instead of collecting 100 pellets to gain an extra life you in fact gain lives by collecting a certain amount of ghost eyes and how do you obtain ghost eyes? by simply eating the enemy ghosts within each level.
Level design is entirely linear for the most part however a few levels do allow different routes or difficult to reach area's holding extra lives or power ups but I didn't get bored at all anywhere along the way. Levels from world 2 on wards start to get tricky in places allowing for a slow and steady challenge.
Enemies are mostly throughout the game Ghosts but there are a few different types defined by the colour they appear as. This also gives them a different type of attack. Then there are the odd sparse enemies who aren't ghosts such as a giant statue or a snail.
Bosses are mostly not ghosts either and mostly easy but one or 2 are challenging.
My final point for game play comes from the 6 worlds you visit (4 really as 2 are recycled) and vary from snow to lava to temples and Pacopolis itself. Whilst 6 worlds are present you revisit Pacopolis and the Temple area again later on but make no mistake there are a decent amount of levels (I think roughly 25 - 30) and every one is designed differently but as discussed earlier they all look similar within those respective themes. This didn't detract from my enjoyment as I found every level to be well designed. One thing I absolutely loved with this game as well is not once did I die from a glitch (I encountered not one glitch) and every single death was a fault of my own.
So that is my review of this game, I can not understand some of the low reviews of this game I have seen around the internet as whilst it isn't ground breaking it does everything it aimed to do and it did it well. If you enjoy platform games this will do you just fine and has a decent amount of challenge, it also took me about 12 - 15 hours to complete.
As a side note there are a few arcade games to unlocked for which you collect coins to play but you have to unlock them firstly.
Give this game a try, whilst definitely aimed at children in story the game play is great.
Rating: 3.5 - Good
Product Release: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (EU, 03/07/14)
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