Review: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a prime example of the video games industry at its laziest.

Bandai Namco, owners of the instantly recognisable arcade classic, Pac-Man, have put a lot of effort into rebranding and relaunching the hungry yellow circle for a younger generation. Having already launched a cartoon series of Disney XD, today sees the release of the tie-in video game, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.

Munch Ado About Nothing

Of course, the screams of despair from purists and hardcore gamers was always going to expected at this brash rehash of a classic. But the least Bandai Namco could do was release a decent game to tie-in with what many would have seen as a bastardisation of the Pac-Man image with a cheesy cartoon series. Unfortunately, this game is a prime example of the video game industry at its laziest.

Your 'too cool for high-school' superhero wanders through a 3D platforming world that, whilst colourful, is devoid of imagination. You jump, dodge, and eat invading ghosts with a variety of power-ups. The controls are as simple as the levels, and there just isn't enough fun or variety to stop you from getting bored within the first few stages.

Not to mention, the game smacks so shamelessly of Nintendo's phenomenon Super Mario 64, right down to a flame-throwing power-up, thus compounding the feeling that this is less than original.

Even the graphics are lack lustre. Yes, the game is also porting onto the Wii U as well as the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360, which means the graphics can't be too high spec, but they even look shoddy by the original Wii's standards; with little attempt at anti-aliasing and rendering making it look even more cheap than some indie-games. For a big company like Bandai Namco, there's really no excuse, especially when other games they're releasing cross-platform in the coming months include the crazily stunning JoJo's Bizzare Adventures and the lavish Dragon Balls Z: Battle of the Z.

Overall

Pac-Man has never needed an insufferably irritating personality, a gaggle of superfluous power-ups, and a 3D environment to be addictive and timeless. This game more than proves that by being utterly forgettable.

It's as if Bandai Namco know that the sales of the game will almost purely be off any success the television serial has; so why bother making a good game? But in saying that, it's not a bad game. The mechanics are stable and the gameplay is solid, and even if the graphics aren't amazing, they're not hideous.

It's just that sometimes, the most sturdy, but unoriginal, games are worse than the terrible, because rather than trying hard and failing, Bandai Namco haven't tried at all. Being boring means being unremarkable; at least if this was buggy and broken there'd be something to talk about.

Pac-Man has never needed an insufferably irritating personality, a gaggle of superfluous power-ups, and a 3D environment to be addictive and timeless. This game more than proves that by being utterly forgettable.

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is now on sale for PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Wii U, and PC. For more information about the game, visit www.pacisback.com.

Our Rating
4
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a prime example of the video games industry at its laziest.

Featured Columnist

Bearded British game-bear. Likes his JRPGs accompanied with a G&T. Lives in London, UK. Also writes a lot about theatre and film. *jazz hands*

Published Oct. 29th 2013

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