Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is Namco-Bandai’s latest title, currently out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii-U. Based on a television series of the same name, the game follows Pac-Man and company on a quest to return a giant gun… or something. The story isn’t one that’s truly worth paying attention to. The story is delivered to you through prerendered cutscenes shown in the style of the television show. Pac Man, being the last of the Pac-People left living in Pac-World, has to go out and capture the evil ghost mastermind Betrayus – yeah, Betrayus – who has stolen the “Frigidigidator”, an ice-ray that stops the ghosts from attacking Pactropolis.
Pac-Man is the last Pac-Person, yet he lives in Pactropolis located on Pac-World? Yet there are not other Pac-People?
Heading in to the game, you’ll be forced to watch a few minute long cutscene that plays out the events I described above. Watching this custcene gave me that terrible sinking feeling in my stomach. That feeling when you know that the turd you’re about to play is so horrible, so abysmally disgusting, that you couldn’t wait to take it out of your disc tray. Before I’d even had the chance to pick up the controller, I was already brainstorming jokes I could make at the games expense.
Thankfully (unfortunately?) it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The game is a platforming adventure collect-em-all similar to an old time favorite of mine, Banjo-Kazooie. You run around as Pac-Man picking up different abilities and eating up ghosts, taking different – but linear – paths to reach the fruit at the end. The game implores a multitude of fun puzzle elements using the different powers, and a boss fight every now and then. The levels area great joy most of the time, while a few do cause a major pain when they up the challenge a little too much.
While the game doesn’t look like something worth playing, it certainly is. To put that in perspective: I’m a huge Batman fan, and I forwent playing Arkham Origins three days after release so that I could play Pac Man. If that isn’t proof enough, I don’t know what is. I truly haven’t had this much fun with a game in a long time. Games these days always try to make me feel like I’m watching a movie or reliving a characters life; Pac Man made me feel like I was playing a good old fashioned game. Not a movie. Not a life. Just a game, and that’s all I really wanted. I can’t tell you enough how much you should go out and pick up this game. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is an overlooked gem in this years release schedule, and truly something you’ll regret overlooking.
Note: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures also features a couch co-op multiplayer mode that I was only able to play at New York Comic Con (because I don’t have friends.) I did not include that in my review.Must Play Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a shockingly fun time, and at the budget price of $39.99, I can’t recommend it any more. No game has captured the child inside me in recent years as much as this has, and I am willing to bet it will have the exact same effect on you.