PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC REVIEW (PS5)
''WAKKUH WAKKUH WAKKUH''
Developed: Now Production
Published: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: 3D Platformer
Release Date: Aug 26th, 2022
Platforms: PS4/PS5/Xbox Family/STEAM/NSW
*Review copy provided to me Bandai Namco Entertainment*
''The Pac is back!''
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a remake of the classic title from the mid 1990's and is developed by Now Production and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Coming hot off the heels with I consider a successful remaster of Klonoa, Bandai and Now Production aim to keep that streak alive by remaking one of the more beloved Pac-Man games out there. But do they succeed in their attempt at showcasing one of gaming's biggest mascots? or were they poppin more pellets than the yellow circle himself? Only one way to to find out, so lets chomp!
Pac-Man returns home after a long hard day, only to discover his Pac-Family are nowhere to be found. They've been kidnapped. Angry and seeking revenge, Pac-Man gets on his cell phone and dials. ~Hello?~a voice says. ''Listen'' says Pac-Man, ''I don't know who you are or what you want, but let me just make one thing clear. I have a very particular set of pellets... they're very POWERFUL. Give me back my family now and all will be forgiven, don't give them back and I promise you, I WILL find you.. and I WILL chomp you''. ~Good Luck~ The mysterious ghost says as they hang up. Now knowing who is behind this evil plot, Pac-Man sets off to Ghost Island to free his family and get home before the ice cream melts.
2022 has been a very weird year for gaming, at least for me. The year of Nostalgia is what I'd call it. It's been filled with so many call backs and revivals that has not only made me scratch my head, but also jump for joy at the same time, and strangely enough, I've been given the opportunity to review nearly all of them. From Ninja Turtles coming back into the spotlight with Shredders Revenge, House Of The Dead coming back from.. the dead.. with its remake, resurrection of forgotten gaming mascot, Kao The Kangaroo, re-release of 4 classic Sonic titles with Sonic Origins, remasters of two great titles with Klonoa, re-visit of history with Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium - you get the picture. One would've thought that was rose tinted enough for the year, right?.. wrong. Bandai is like I'll see your nostalgia and childhood raise you fifty and then went and announced Pac-Man World Re-Pac, a remake of the classic title of the same name, Pac-Man World. Personally I didn't see this coming because Pac-Man isn't as mainstream as he used to be. He's still awesome to me personally, for sure, but you don't hear him talked about too often as you'd think. I mean, he's been done right in titles like Smash Bros and with releases like Pac-Man Museum and Pac-Man 99, but the amount of ''good'' titles is far and few in between, at least in my own opinion. For me personally, I feel the last really fun Pac-Man titles were the Ghostly Adventure games on Wii U and Xbox 360. Say what you want about the cartoon series, but I found the games to be fairly enjoyable, and if you don't agree with me, I'll become the Hannibal version of Pac-Man and just choose to eat you. So uhh.. yeah, think wisely.
Growing up as a kid, I mostly associated my time with titles like Ms. Pacman at local arcades in the mall or at home on my SEGA Genesis. Most people I have talked to over the years have fond memories of the original Pac-Man game, but believe it or not, I didn't play the original game till I was a bit into my teen years. I know, cardinal sin, you can kill me later, just let me finish this review first though, ok? thanks. But there was always one title as a kid that to me was always the anomaly of the series for Pac-Man, and one title that used to tick me off so much that it would get my little feelings so flustered and into a frenzy of anger that I'd literally talk crap to Pac-Man as I played, as if he would respond back. Thankfully no one walked by the room or into the room itself when this was occurring, otherwise I'd probably be in a straight white jacket at this time. What game am I talking about? well that notorious game is Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. Oh lordy. I just have to talk about this before moving on, feel free to skip ahead if you must. The style of this title was a complete departure from what you known as Pac-Man. Ditching its maze like gameplay, you're now playing a point and click style game where you must guide Pac-Man through various sections of a level by throwing rocks to open mailboxes, get stuff out of trees, have him investigate stuff for your objective, etc. Basic, right?. But what ticked me off the most was how often the game mechanics would screw up and all your actions you'd tell him to do, like go left and pick up this item or look up you stupid round idiot, he would completely ignore you and walk away with a stupid crap eating grin on his face. What. A. Freaking. Jerk. This would happen so often that it would cause you to fail the mission of the game and get you a game over so you'd have to start over. Because of this, the vindictive side of me came out. Out of my annoyance and anger, I would purposely make him walk and get smashed by the doors, get him mauled by a pit bull by waking it up when he passes by and even give him the My Girl treatment by messing with a beehive, causing him to get stung to death by a swarm of bees. How'd that feel you smuggy jerk? doesn't feel so good now, DOES IT? HUH?!. No mood ring will help you out of that one, chump. Uhh. but anyways, let's just get onto the game you're actually here for before I have a nervous break down.
When you start the game, Pac-Man is all ready for his birthday party, but to his surprise, his family has gone missing and they have been kidnapped by the evil and ugly Toc-Man. Now Pac-Man must set off for Ghost Island and save his family before something terrible happens. For those not in the know or may not have ever played the original trilogy of Pac-Man World, the games are pretty standard when it comes to 3D platformers with the usual jumping and bouncing on enemies that you're used to. But if that was all there was to this title, then it wouldn't be regarded as a classic now, would it? you big silly. As you plow your way through six different areas in your roughly 6 hour playthrough, you will be able to use a variety of attacks or even power ups along the way. These include attacks such as double jumping and ground pounding with your big ol Pac-Booty into the ground... which when doing this attack, I may or may not have made farting sounds every single time doing it. Also available at your disposal are Pellet upgrades, because come on, let's be real here, what would a Pac-Man game be without Pellets or even fruits?. That's right, even the fruits from all past titles are in this game as well, even the fruit that looks like a butt. Huh? yes I know, its a Peach, but it so looks like a butt.. and every time I'd need to collect it, I'd just think ''ok time to go find the pink butt again''. But yeah were getting off topic.. kind of. Back on topic with the Pellets. As you trudge your way through the various stages of each area that include areas like Pirate Ships, Mayan like ruins, Space themed, Factories and even a Circus, you will be able to collect normal size pellets that can be used to throw at your enemies during regular encounters or even during boss fights by pressing R2 - obtaining a giant Pellet lets you turn into a giant Pac-Man like the original games so that you can eat any ghost within your reach, find Metal Pellets that give you the ability to turn into a Metal Pac-Man, which gives you invulnerability to attacks, while at the same time allowing you to kill other metal enemies or dive down deep into water areas to find secrets like treasures containing collectibles needed to advance the level. Sadly though, Metal Pac-Man is the hardest thing in the game, because the overall game itself? its fairly on the easy side, regardless of your skill level. But that's ok, we don't need another SNES level of hard platformer games, now do we?.
So spending 6 hours going through 6 areas, eating pellets that make you bigger, make you metal, eat ghosts, throw pellets, that's good and all, but that's all you do, really?. Ummm. No, its not. When you're not doing all of that or even holding R2 to do a massive Bomb Pellet attack, you will concern yourself with finding the collectibles in each stage, which happen to be things such as Slot Medals that are used at the end of each stage for a Slot Machine that will grant you extra lives depending on how many fruit pieces you string together to match the chart next to it, which that slot machine also lets you turn in your collected Pellets from the level you just beat in order to boost your overall total score and should you get a high enough score with collected Pellets, Fruit, and bonuses like no damage or not dying, you will once again be granted additional extra lives. See what I was talking about now? this game is very generous when it comes to extra lives. More generous than friggin Pac-Man was with his arrogant punk butt in Pac-Man 2 after I was just trying to friggin help him out, dang jerk. Ok I wont rant again, I promise, sorry. Getting all the slot metals and pellets aren't exactly just a walk in the park either, they will at times take some brainstorming due to the way some of the levels are structured and presented and will more than likely take some trial and error. For instance on specific stages in order to get to another side of the level to a treasure chest or maybe just your objective, you'll have to hold down Triangle to spin dash and launch yourself over a ramp or use that same spin dash on wind platforms to move yourself left to right or up and down while dodging statues that shoot fire, lasers and even incoming cannonballs. Honestly, where the game lacks in difficulty, I feel it more than makes up for it, with again, its collectibles and its overall level design being really dang fun on top of it. Sure, it may not kick your butt to hell and back, but it can keep you on your toes.
From going through levels like the Pirate Ship area killing skull monsters, dodging cannonballs, watching out for bomb dropping parrots - traversing through the dark underground ruins while being attacked by spooky spiders, being careful around its smoking hot lava pits and dodging hot coal mine carts, exploring the realm of space in the Space area levels that has you dodging visceral lasers, using switches to change perspective of the level with raising and lowering platforms to advance, attempt a balancing act on weight sensitive platforms, etc etc. The list goes on and on with how creative these levels get with their changing platforms, having to collect specific fruit, like Cherries, Peaches and Apples in order to unlock doors housing anything from an extra life, a letter to spell out the name Pacman, which unlocks a collectathon mini game for fruit at the end of every level where you collect them, as well as give you keys that allow you to save one of your kidnapped family members. Toc-Man is actually a huge damn jerk, he literally threw your dang family in a cage, like what they heck. But lucky, once you have the key to their cage that imprisons them, you can save Pooka, Pac-Buddy Doggo, Professor Pac, Pac-Mom, 2-Pac, Pac-Mom and Pac-Jr. Out of everyone in my initial playthrough, in which I collected 75% of the games collectibles, I think I only missed out on saving Junior. Oh well, that's his own fault, Pac-Man told him to mow the dang lawn and he never did, so you reap what you sow, bro. Normally this is the part of the review where I hop back into story details but... uhh there's really not much left to it. You complete your levels and end up crashing the party to Toc-Man's ghost party and then committing bloody murder and eating him. Wholesome. Were still not done however with collectibles or other unlockables, but I want to dive into my personal favorite part of this title... and yup, if you've been with me the last few years with these reviews, you know what's coming already.
Oh yeah, lets go. While the normal levels and areas you playthrough in this game are great in themselves, its the boss fights for me that show the true creativity and light heartedness that gives this game its overall charm. With fights like going up against the flying pirate ship named Windbag, where you use your brain and wits to jump on platforms that raise target sheets in order to knock his cannonballs back at him, Anubis, who is a giant large statue, not to be confused with Olmec from Legends Of The Hidden Temple, where you must spin dash onto switches in order to gain the ability to slam into him and damage him. That can be fairly tricky though as while you are damaging him, he's throwing fire balls at you, sending henchmen, summoning tornados, its nuts. Embarrassing enough though, I literally wasted twenty minutes figuring out what to do again as I haven't touched the game in over a decade. I felt like a complete idiot and looked as stupid as Pac-Man's screaming face in the original PS1 version of Pac-Man World, no joke. My favorite boss however, which I won't spoil them all, had to be the boss fight that included a race car race. Think Pac-Man World Rally on PS2, but in first person and you get the general idea. You must race a large group of ghosts and should you win the race, you win the boss battle. Its simple and changes up the formula from the standard platforming in the game, just like when you fight King Galaxian in an all out Star Fox like fashion in a game of bullet hell. Only without Falco talking trash to you every five seconds. You dumb stupid bird.
When you have completed your short, brief and fun campaign mode, it doesn't mean you're done just yet, you still have a tiny bit to collect and do. For instance, remember when I was telling you about all the things you can collect like Fruits, Keys, Letters and everything else? well, what I didn't tell you is that you're able to find puzzle pieces that unlock doors in nearly every level of the game that gives you access to a classic Pac-Man overhead maze mini games, styled in the classic gameplay of old. They're fairly easy of course, but highly addictive. Puzzle pieces you've successfully completed may also be re-played in the Ghost Island Hub area as well, just in case you happen to fail any during your playthrough. Which I didn't because I'm super awesome.... I just failed badly at basic platforming. Oops. Collecting these puzzle pieces also falls in line with going back through each level to find all the Pacman letters, free any family members you failed to help escape from their cages and completing all collectahton mini games that are awarded to you from those obtained Pacman letters. However, while all those are great and all, I think the real reason people will stick around after the credits roll is due to Original Mode. Once you beat the main game, a Pac-Man arcade will spawn in the hub area and using it will allow you to play the ORIGINAL Pac-Man arcade game, which is super awesome. Its easy to lose track of time playing it because even after so many years, its just that damn fun. Doesn't help either that you can be a cheater, just like me and give yourself infinite continues. ''Cheaters never prosper''. Um Yeah, we do, did you see me literally just beat these levels? All thanks to cheating baby, oh yeah.
At the end of the day. Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a pretty solid remake of the original title. I mean its not perfect because there are certain things like aesthetic changes from the original that could've been done better, end game content being good but nothing to write home about overall, a little bit too easy, and sometimes when jumping, an invisible wall stops your jump or momentum and will not let you advance your jump or send you to your death, I hated that.. it wasn't often but when it happened, oh man I was mad. But even besides those, the fun platforming using dash spins to get over cliffs and platforms, butt fart stomping enemies, fun end level mini games, creative and intense boss fights, light hearted story, classic remixed music, multiple paths to take, and more, give it an edge over most of the negatives. It doesn't set the world on fire compared to most 3D platformers on the market for todays standards, but if you loved the original and love Pac-Man himself, then you will definitely have a great time here. So with that all having been said, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.