[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures” developers=”Bandai Namco Games” publishers=”Namco Bandai Games” platforms=”Nintendo 3DS” genres=”Side Scrolling Platformer” release_date=”Available Now”]
Let me just get this out of the way, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a silly, silly game. Don’t take that as a slight on this entertaining and at times challenging platformer, however. In this case, silly is just what the doctor ordered. Though not without its faults, of which there are a few, Namco Bandai has done a commendable job of translating the current animated series to Nintendo’s handheld.
Ghostly Adventures is not Pac-Man as you know and love him, floating around a maze and racking up points, this is Pac-Man in full 2D platforming mode much like a Sonic or Mario game from back in the day. The difference can be jarring at first, especially for someone who’s known nothing but that classic “Run From Ghosts, Eat Fruits” formula for decades. Though different, this particular style suits the character well, especially when you factor in the ridiculous power-ups available to you in this fairly challenging adventure.
Those power-ups come in the form of berries that you grow in a lab in between levels. Yep, you read that right. Throughout the game, you’ll find fertilizer packets that allow you to grow more power-berries and believe me, they certainly come in handy during the later levels. An early level has you utilizing a Metal Berry where a magnet will draw the ghosts into your gaping maw, while the Lizard Berry will give you a long chameleon tongue to grab enemies and grapple points from afar. These are silly powers in keeping with the overall tone of the story, a story that can honestly be groan inducing at times.
When the evil Betrayus (Betray Us…get it?) steals the precious Tree of Life (Not the same one from the Terrence Malick film, I checked) from Pac-City, it’s up to Pac-Man, in full on tween mode, to stop the evil and save his city from the evil ghost. Classic enemies Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde return but this time they’re more than happy to help out for some reason. Ghostly Adventures is clearly aimed at the younger gaming crowd and it shows with dialogue espousing the virtues of friendship and being part of a team. I’ve seen a few episodes of the series and Namco has definitely grabbed on to the vibe of the cartoon in relation to the story.
Level design is par for the course with this sort of game, with a lot of power-ups and secret areas to discover. Most of the main worlds can be handled with little to no skill, but once you get to the final Netherworld stage, the game becomes a brutal gauntlet of boss battles and tricky platforming that borders on the unfair. If you haven’t stocked up on super powers by the time you get here, expect a ton of Game Over screens as the game can get downright mean.
For a licensed game based on a show based on a classic video game character Ghostly Adventures is better than most. However, if you’re not obsessed with all things Pac, you might want to skip this as it is made for the younger set. On the other hand, if you find yourself with nothing else to play, and are in the mood for a competent platformer, you could do much worse.[easyreview title=”Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 3DS 6.5/10” cat1title=”Graphics 6.5/10” cat1detail=”Cute 3D Animations that are not without their hiccups.” cat1rating=”6.5/10″ cat2title=”Gameplay 7/10” cat2detail=”Pac generally controls well, but some of the power-ups can be wonky.” cat2rating=”7/10″ cat3title=”Replay Value 6/10” cat3detail=”The main game can be beaten without much skill but trying to collect everything may take some time.” cat3rating=”6/10″ summary=”ignore“]