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E3 2013: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures

Posted on June 12, 2013 AT 03:30pm

Publisher Namco Bandai
Developer Namco Bandai
Platform 360, PS3, Wii U
Release Date Q4.2013
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Pac-Man is easily one of the most revered and loved icons in the video game universe. Poppin’ pellets and swallowing ghosts like there was no tomorrow, his rise to fame in the early 80′s was quick, though merited. Since then, the iconic yellow circle (minus a pie slice–shaped mouth) has appeared in countless video game adaptations—though his biggest and best role shall always remain etched in arcade glory, in glorious 2D. Fast forward to today, and Namco Bandai is poised to release an all-new 3D Pac-Man platformer, titled Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, to coincide with the upcoming cartoon show of the same name.

The Verdict

Let me preface this by saying that I love Pac-Man. Or should I say, traditional Pac-Man. Championship Edition‘s fast-paced competitive online play robbed me of precious hours from my life. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to remain at the top of the high score list amongst my list of friends, so, when I first caught wind of Ghostly Adventures, I was thrilled.

I’m certainly not one to discount games simply because their target audience is aimed at a younger crowd. After pulling myself out of adult swim mentality, I played the 10-15 minute E3 demo with an open mind. All it took was a few minutes to realize that Ghostly Adventures is terrible. I get that it’s a throwback to old-school 3D platforming, but the painfully slow pace, ridiculously convoluted attack animations, and unimaginative level design are far too archaic to be considered even remotely fun. With a representative of Namco Bandai hovering over my every move, I trudged through the demo, hoping it would get better. It didn’t.

Ghostly Adventures attempts to save face by adding in various power suits that Pac-Man can acquire. The one example on display was a chameleon suit, which grants him the power of an elongated tongue. This ability proved useful when traversing some particularly tricky platforms, but when it came time for chomping ghosts, it failed miserably. That’s another thing: enemy ghosts relentlessly follow you throughout your playtime, oftentimes appearing out of thin air and removing that last bit of health you have left. At one point, I merely stepped out of a transitional elevator sequence and was immediately attacked with no warning. It felt terribly unfair at times. I managed to get through the demo, begrudgingly, though when all was said and done, I wished Pac-Man would’ve remained in a 2D plane, forever chompin’ Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde—not trying to be something he isn’t.

Wm. Brooks Huber, News Editor
Wm. Brooks Huber managed to go full circle. After leveling up out in the real world—and learning a few tricks of the trade—EGM's former editorial intern came crawling back. We decided to let him in. With his newfound sense of self-worth as EGM's news editor, Brooks is eager to show off all the power, courage, and wisdom he's attained. Follow him at your own risk via Twitter: @brookshuber. Meet the rest of the crew

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