|Platform||360, PS3, PC|
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These days, a videogame series isn’t a series until it’s a trilogy. That’s obviously the thought Namco Bandai had as they revealed Pac-Man Championship Edition DX 2—a third (but who knows if final?) iteration of the revival of their classic arcade franchise.
Right away, DX + is interesting not just because of what it is, but what it isn’t—and what it isn’t is a full game release. Instead, when DX + releases later this summer, it’ll be a free upgrade for those who currently own Pac-Man CE DX. (When I asked about those new to the game, I was told by a Namco Bandai rep that you’d simply purchase DX and get the upgrades that way.)
Pac-Man CE DX + will bring us even more new-generation Pac-Man goodness, capped off with four new modes: Championship III, Highway II, Big Eater, and Mountain. While the jump in gameplay concepts from the original Championship Edition to CE DX was pretty big (introducing the ghost train), DX + is more about re-invigorating the game with fresh content.
There are a few other new ideas here, however. The main menu has been revised to provide quicker and better access to leaderboards—the heart and soul of Pac-Man CE—while a new system of challenges and awards will not only help you reach some lofty goals, but they’ll also unlock extra skins. Speaking of skins, Namco Bandai will be introducing some theme packs via paid DLC, including ones that revive classic titles such as Dig Dug and Rally-X.
Even if I wasn’t looking forward to what DX + has to offer, a wise man once told me to never look a gift Pac-Man in the mouth. Thankfully, I am looking forward to jumping back into Pac-Man DX—so the fact that this new set of additions will come in at the low, low price of free makes the deal even sweeter.