|12-18-2009, 08:56 AM||#1|
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Green Bay, WI
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[iPod/iPhone] Pac-Man Championship Edition Review (Moving Target)
Product: Pac-Man Championship Edition
Platform: iPhone/iPod Touch
Price: $4.99 Regular, $0.99 Christmas Sale, $3.99 Level Pack
Ever since his “birth” in 1980, Pac-Man has enjoyed a rather full life of dot-eating and ghost-chomping. When the time came for the Pac-Man World Championship in 2007, series creator Tōru Iwatani felt that the challenge needed to be increased and for the final round, the regional champions were given a new game to play, the first Pac-Man game designed by Iwatani since the original Pac-Man. Thus, Pac-Man C.E. was born.
Camping the ghost spawn!
Originally released for the Xbox 360 Arcade platform, Pac-Man C.E. sees few changes from the Xbox 360 edition. The premise is still the same as the 360 platform – you have a limited amount of time to get the most points you can. The scoring is also the same as the 360 edition – dots are worth anywhere between 10 to 50 points (depending on how long you live), ghosts can range from 400 points to 3200 points (by sequentially eating ghosts, power pellets can extend beyond one full round of ghosts being eaten), and ever changing fruit (ranging from 1000 to 7650 points).
Time for Pac-Man to get started!
What does change are the options for how you play the game. The Xbox 360 edition only included seven courses that ranged from five to ten minutes in gameplay length. The new iPhone port includes three gameplay modes, Championship (which includes 15 courses), Challenge (which includes another 15 courses), and Mission, which is the largest change from the original. You’re given a specific task, such as eating 6 ghosts in a row, or earning 50,000 points within a smaller timeframe, with medals given for completion times.
Level Select in Championship Mode
The other change in the C.E. formula versus the original Pac-Man is simple – when a half of the board is cleared of dots and power pellets, a fruit appears. Eat the fruit and the cleared side of the board is refreshed, either changing shape altogether, or keeping the same shape with new dot patterns. This keeps the game going constantly until time expires or you run out of lives. The game also adjusts the ghosts to be faster as you get better – the more points consecutively that you get, the faster the game goes. On the converse, if you lose a life, things slow down slightly to help you get your bearings again before becoming frantic once-more.
The different control options
A major concern for most gamers on the iPhone platform are controls – how does this game control as compared to using the joystick on the 360 edition? Fortunately, Namco through this through and gave four different control options. The most simple is a dual directional-pad, press the direction you want to go. The second and third are swipe-style, one for both thumbs, the other for a single finger. Swipe on the screen in the direction you want to move. Finally, the fourth option gives you the ability to touch zones on the screen, which will cause Pac-Man to move in the direction of the zone you choose. Each method is easily usable in this game and will give players options to how they want to play the game.
Sound and graphics also are a great carryover from the Xbox 360 edition. In this sense, nothing has changed – the same high-resolution graphics that existed in the original edition exist in the iPhone edition, identical (albeit smaller) to the Xbox 360 edition. The same soundtrack also exists here – a mix of classic Pac-Man sounds as you’re playing, with a constant techno Pac-Man beat going in the background that speeds up and changes as time nears completion. Either way, both are fantastic updates to the original Pac-Man formula that adds to the overall experience of this game.
There are a few detractions from this game that will cause some fans to balk. The game isn’t fully unlocked from initial purchase. There are five championship courses, five challenge courses, and twenty missions unlocked from initial purchase. To unlock all of the content, you must purchase another level pack in-game for $3.99, which unlocks an additional 10 championship courses, ten challenge courses, and 100 missions. Regardless, even at full price, this puts the entire purchase at regular price to $8.98, which is less money for more content than the Xbox 360 version, which costs $10 on Xbox Live Arcade.
It also doesn’t include some features that are becoming standards on arcade-style games, such as online leaderboards. Some critics have also mentioned that Facebook integration would be nice, but as far as I’m concerned, this would be an unnecessary feature – I really don’t need to automatically brag on Facebook about my Pac-Man scores.
Overall – the game is fantastic. The unique changes to the original Pac-Man formula, as well as the additional content versus the Xbox 360 edition make this a must-have for any Pac-Man lover. While spending another $9 on a game that some people already own on Xbox 360 may seem a bit off, having a mobile edition of the Xbox 360 game to play on the go is something that easily justifies this purchase.
Moving Target is a weekly mobile gaming feature by Curt "Mot Wakorb" LeCaptain and Rob "mightbe" Schuster. Check CoG every Friday for updates. Hit us up if there's something you'd like us to cover.