How long has it been since you’ve played a brand spanking new Pac-Man arcade machine? Well, that’s too long! Recently I FINALLY got to play the new multiplayer Pac-Man Battle Royale tabletop arcade game (thanks to my friends), so here’s a short picture blog and review of it.
Yup, it’s a tabletop, which you don’t see too many of those anymore. But it’s tall enough for you to stand at. There’s an optional pole for arcade owners to stick the marquee on, and the table sports a nice, big flat screen. Also on each side are four cup holders, so you can set your drink down safely as you play. Four joysticks, two on each side with flashing START buttons, round out the package.
Sorry for the glare on the full size picture. Here’s a closer shot of the marquee.
Pac-Man Battle Royale plays a LOT like Pac-Man Championship Edition. You still have Pac-Man, dots, power pellets, and ghosts. But the maze changes on each side every time you eat a bonus fruit in the middle of the maze. This changes the arrangement of the maze, dots, and power pellets, which is key in this multiplayer experience.
Up to four players can chomp at the same time, controlling one of four different colored Pac-Men: Yellow, Red, Pink, and Blue. Why not green? I guess they wanted to match the colors of the ghosts, maybe? If you hit another player, you’ll bounce back a bit. When someone eats a power pellet, the ghosts will turn blue, but also, your Pac-Man will grow large like in Super Pac-Man. Plus, the other players will turn blue also and you can eat them for a short while! Last Pac-Man standing wins that round, and there are five rounds altogether.
Two interesting things to note: at the end of five rounds when the game declares a winner, it also says who ate the most Pac-Dots, ghosts, or other players. I always ate the most Pac-Dots! Also, when it shows who won, the other players can hit the start button to splat their color paint on the winner’s Pac-Man!
There are two main problems with Pac-Man Battle Royale, though. After a winner is declared for each round, they start the maze over again, and it kind of interrupts the gameplay. If they had a timer, like in Championship Edition, and you just played nonstop instead, I think that would’ve been better here.
Another problem really isn’t the game’s fault, but where we were, it cost 75 cents per person to play! That’s pretty expensive, especially when you consider a single four player game would cost 3 bucks! I think it should’ve been no more than 50 cents to play. Preferably, I would’ve liked to have seen it be only a quarter, for old times’ sake. But again, the cost is really up to the arcade owners I suppose.
Pac-Man Battle Royale is interesting, and I think it’s neat that there’s a new Pac-Man game in arcades, but it certainly is not the best Pac-game in the world. It should’ve just been an extra mode in Pac-Man Championship Edition. Plus, there’s already a much better multiplayer Pac-Man game out there: Pac-Man Vs. (made by Shigeru Miyamoto, even). It’s worth tracking down a copy of Namco Museum DS just to play that one!
If you’ve seen or played Pac-Man Battle Royale in an arcade, let me know in the comments section! –Cary