Friday, August 17, 2007

Pac-Man World 3

Developer: Blitz Games
Publisher: Namco
Release Date: Nov. 20, 2005
Systems: Xbox (reviewed), PS2, GameCube, PSP, DS, PC
ESRB Rating: E
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: What if Mario were a large yellow circle with arms and legs?

0:01 It's Pac-Man's birthday. "You only turn 25 once." Funny that I pick this game to play on my actual 25th birthday (really!). "My Pac-Sense is tingling." You are not Spider-Man. You are Pac-Man!
0:02 Pac-Man is being teleported all over the place while a ghost plays a Pac-Man machine. What the hell is going on?
0:04 Pac-Man is talknig to someone on a Pactrometer? What is that even supposed to be. Orson the ghost apparently teleported him. He's a good ghost? I guess so.
0:05 I like the voice acting for Pac-Man. Gives real feeling to the cheesy dialogue. The other characters, not so much.
0:06 It could just be the Xbox 360 emulation, but there's a real stutter to Pac-Man's movements. Very annoying.
0:07 One of the best parts of PMW2 was the ability to endlessly butt bounce like a basketball. Here' it's limited to three bounces, then you're forced to land. Lame.
0:10 Orson: "Would you believe me if I told you the whole world was in danger." Pac-Man says "Let me get back to you," but I say "Tell me the freakin' plot already!"
0:13 I love the classic Pac-Man death sound effect when you die.
0:14 So far I'm impressed with the gently panning camera controls and the level design that makes it easy to see where to go next. The levels are pretty lively, as these things go.
0:17 I can't remember the last time I played a platformer so obsessed with points. Seriously, practically everything you collect increases your score and does nothing else.
0:19 My megalomaniacal adversary Erwin "hates chocolate and kittens." That makes you evil? What if you're allergic?
0:21 Instead of ghosts, I'm chomping "spectral monsters." Political correctness comes to Pac-Land? The game says they're tougher than ghosts, but they seem just as edible to me after a Power Pellet.
0:26 I find a "hidden" maze game which is just like the old Pac-Man. Except there are no sound effects for eating pellets. And the controls are too slippery. And it doesn't pause when you eat a ghost, or when you wrap around. And the ghosts seem much smarter. But besides that... classic.
0:28 The first level ends with little fanfare. I turned on some green rotating engine and then I'm told I got a high score. I wasn't even trying...
0:32 This game is full of platforms that it looks like you should be able to stand on, but which invisible walls prevent you from reaching. Tres annoying.
0:35 Using Pac-Man's spin-dash-like attack to eat far off ghosts = fun!
0:37 The levels are so sprawling, I constantly fee like I'm missing stuff. Lots of hidden nooks and crannies speak to some good replay value for completists.
0:39 The enemies are starting to get tougher. Some have spiked backs, others are charging me in teams and blocking my attacks. Nice to see.
0:40 The game pauses every few minutes for a cut scene that points out something obvious. You don't need to zoom in on the red crystal, game. Let me find it on my own! It's no fun in being spoon fed!
0:42 "You can use this [green] crystal to activate a green Pac0Dot machine." Really? Because after I used the red crystal to activate a red Pac-Dot machine, I was unclear on what to do with the green crystal.
0:44 I think I've put my finger on part of the reason this game feels less magical than the last one: the music! The background is like a low, mellow dirge. Bleh. Doesn't match the happy-go-lucky environs at all.
0:46 Punching an enemy should not ricochet me off a ledge. It just shouldn't.
0:52 Maybe these levels are too sprawling. I did what I was supposed to with th colored crystals and now I'm completely stuck.
0:55 I finally find where I'm supposed to go in an out of the way alley that leads to a semi-obscured door. Why no cut scene to point me to this one?
0:58 I have to go to the spectral realm to save the ghosts. I though they were the bad guys. Also, I have a robo-suit. A completely awesome robo-suit.
1:00 After a robo-suit training game, the level ends abruptly. Why bother splitting the game into levels at all?

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Yes.
Why? I have a soft spot for platformers, and this one's relatively solidly built.

This review based on a used, retail copy.


Kyle said...

I don't get it. You don't like games like DiRT, Overlord, or MGS Portable Ops. But like games like Surf's Up, Pac-man World 3. Blarg.

Kyle said...

There's no accounting for taste, and I suppose that includes your horrible taste.

I'm not inherently biased against those genres though. I liked Motorstorm, Pikmin and the original Metal Gear Solid. They just aren't on this blog.

Earl said...