Pac-Man has been long-dormant: while he’s had plenty of retro revivals in the Pac-Man Championship Edition (and its later DX version, for those looking for a challenge) mixing old-school charm and difficulty with new-school visuals and polish, it’s been quite a while since the iconic yellow ghost-hunter has had a new adventure of his own. Namco-Bandai though is rearing to bring their signature mascot back in a big way with a whole new adventure, which luckily we had the chance to preview in a demo at New York Comic Con this weekend.
Eschewing the traditions of Pac-Man’s 2D-pellet gobbling and ghost-hunting, Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures this time around has Pac-Man in a completely open 3D environment, where platforming and avoiding ghosts is the key alongside some puzzle-solving. While the 3D environment may be a bit of a change of pace from the old-school Pac-Man we know and love, the game still has plenty of the old-school Pac-Man spirit, as chomping on ghosts and power pellets is still key to progressing through the levels, but with some fun new additions thrown into the mix as well.
After playing one of the demo levels at NYCC where Pac-Man is trapped inside of an ancient Aztec-like tomb, Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures takes a few cues from other classic platformers (Mario and Kirby in particular), but provides some neat new additions along the way as well. Pac-Man can run and jump his way across platforms to avoid danger, but keeping his chomping powers intact, Pac-Man can also chomp enemy ghosts, or in an interesting twist, he can also chomp special power pellets that give him unique abilities and powers based on each level. With the ancient temple level, Pac-Man transforms into a giant rolling stone ball that can crush enemies, push down pads that open up new areas of a level, move platforms, or more. Overall, it’s a nice touch that makes each level feel unique, and especially to see just what Pac-Man can do in each of the levels in Ghostly Adventures.
While Ghostly Adventures suffers from a few issues that have plagued many a platformer of the past, such as a slightly wonky camera that gets stuck behind objects or walls, it’s still a fun platformer that brings back some of the best of Pac-Man, but also brings in plenty of new ideas that takes the franchise into some cool adventures. It may have been a while since we’ve seen Pac-Man, but it’s good to have him back.
You can check out what Namco Bandai has to offer in Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures when it hits later this month, releasing on October 29th, 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, PC, and 3DS. For more details on the game, check out our last Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures preview.