Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Pac Man Museum: PS3 Review

Pac-Man Museum: PS3 Review

Platform: PS3
Released by Namco Bandai Games

Ah, Pac-Man.

Instantly iconic and totally recognisable in arcades everywhere, this game has been around for a very long time - in fact, almost 34 years. So, to celebrate that fact, Namco Bandai Games has just released the Pac- Man Museum, a 10 strong collection of a lot of the old yellow chomping creature and his ongoing battle against the ghosts.

Ported over to the PS3, (and also PC and Xbox) some of these games are as playable as ever - and others are slightly head scratching.

Obviously, the original is there (how could you not?) and remains as eminently addictive as it always was - there are no bells and whistles with this one. Simply work your way around the maze, eat the dots and avoid the ghosts or take them out when you've quaffed a power pill.

In terms of the transition to PS3, the games are presented in less than full screen glory (and I've not been able to find an option to make it so) but look like an iPad on a big screen or an arcade game on whatever TV you use. With a giant Pac-Man on the side, this works as it's simply an arcade game set up in many ways (but without the debilitating loss of coins to your finances)

Also greatly playable is Pac-Man Championship Edition wherein you have to chomp your way through the maze, getting as many points as you can and surviving within the set time frame. This is great fun, with a slightly grittier edge to the graphics and a general feeling of more beefiness.It's a fine companion to the original and one which lends itself to good entertaining gaming fun as the clock counts down.

Other Pac-Man games don't fare as well - and it's nothing to do with the quality of the game's graphics (which are exactly as they were on release), more due to their concepts and execution. Pac Land, a kind of Super Mario mash up cum 2D Pac platformer, doesn't really hit the mark and occasionally glitches as it side-scrolls. It's the one which really stands out in the museum format.

And if you're looking for Ms Pac-Man, you'll be racing against the clock. This is around as a free download until the end of March, so if you really want to be a completist, you'd best hurry - unless you're willing to fork out cash again for the Pac creature.

Pac-Man Battle Royale is available for the first time in any format - and is a weird hybrid of Pac-Man, multiplayer and a battle between Pac-Men as you face off against each other. Upto 4 can take part and it's good fun.

Aside from the gaming, there's little of the Pac-Man history on show other than collecting stickers which are unlocked after each game and then placed into the Pac-Room for viewing pleasure. It's not much additional but with 10 Pac-Man games on show, I think the developers wanted the product to speak for itself.

All in all, Pac-Man Museum (while missing a few other games) is a great nostalgic piece - it proves that despite 34 years of age the original game is still a real high flier in the pop culture stakes. And while not all of its predecessors had the same effect, with 10 games to play, there are plenty of options to keep you entertained as we head into the winter months.


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