Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS)

PAC2_BOXOne of the most popular video game icons, Pac-Man, is still going strong after all these years. There is even a computer animated cartoon on the Disney XD cable channel, and it even has a second season!  I’m surprised at that, because the cartoon itself isn’t that good.  Last year, Bandai Namco Games made a video game based on Pac-Man’s new cartoon adventures, and despite being based on a lackluster cartoon license, the game itself was actually pretty good.  So now it’s a year later and we have a sequel to Pac-Man’s cartoon 3-D platforming romp, and while it’s more of the same, it’s still a fun little game.  They just added some characters from the end of the first season and into the second.

As a 3-D platforming hero, Pac-Man can run, hop, and double jump. There is also a button just for chomping. Press it near a ghost and Pac will home in and chomp it! Just like in the cartoon, Pac-Man can eat Power Berries that give him new powers that help him defeat enemies and overcome obstacles (similar to another round hungry video game hero, Kirby). Fire Pac-Man can toss fireballs to toast the ghosts, while Ice Pac-Man can shoot out a freeze ray to ice ghosts and freeze water and lava. Other berries turn Pac-Man into a chameleon, who can slurp up ghosts and swing from objects with his long tongue. Or he can turn into a giant stone ball and roll around the levels. Metal Pac-Man can stick to magnetic surfaces, making for some creative platforming situations. There are more powers to discover, too.

Even though the game is more of the same, there are some subtle differences and changes, but probably only the folks who played the original game would notice. Stages are now a little shorter, and are more score-based, which is cool since Pac-Man was originally about getting a high score anyway.  So replaying the shorter stages to get a high score is encouraged here.  Collecting tokens in the first game allowed you to play arcade games based on Pac-Man’s vehicles from the cartoons.  But in the second game, those arcade mini-challenges are gone, and tokens give you double the points for a short amount of time.  Don’t worry; you’ll still be able to pilot some of Pac’s vehicles during the levels.  The game also touts that you’ll be able to play as Pac-Man’s friends from the cartoon, but you only play them in a few vehicle-based shooter stages.

The ways the power-ups work in this one are a little different, too. In the first game, if Pac-Man ate a power berry and took a hit, he’d lose the power berry’s abilities.  But in this one, he’ll keep them after he gets hit or even loses a life.  They added and deleted some of Pac-Man’s skills, too.  Chameleon Pac can no longer blend into the background to sneak around, but Fire Pac can now glide in the air using a flaming surfboard under his feet.  In the first game, you could collect rainbow colored globs that would give him an extra heart if he collected enough.  But in the sequel, a glob will give him an extra heart right away, but he’ll lose it at the end of the level or if he gets hit.  There are also some extra 2-D challenge stages to master, too.

It’s also worth mentioning that the 3DS version of the sequel is exactly like the bigger console games. That’s worth noting because the original game was totally different than the console version of the first game.  The 3DS version was a 2-D platformer, while the console one was 3-D.  But the sequel on the 3DS is just like the other versions, although there is a small cut in graphical resolution.

The only other thing they took out of the sequel was the neat multiplayer mode from the original that let you play as all the four ghosts. But that’s OK; it’s not a game-breaker or anything.  Only real problem with the game is that sometimes the goals in levels and where you’re supposed to go aren’t as clear.  And play control using some of Pac’s powers, like tongue swinging and magnet orbiting, don’t always work well.  But other than that, it’s still a pretty fun little colorful 3-D romp, and you really don’t see too many of those anymore.


Kid Factor:

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence. With some of Pac’s powers, you can punch and shoot ghosts and monsters, and of course he chomps a lot, too.  But if you’re OK with your kids watching the TV cartoon, they’ll be OK with this game, too.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but most of it has spoken voice accompanying it.  Younger players and less experienced gamers may need help with some of the trickier jumps and obstacles, though.

When you buy the game, there is a special offer to get a free Fatheads wall decal. The Pac-Man fan in me would love to have that, but in order to get it, you have to enter in a code online, print it out and mail it in, and then wait for another letter that lets you send in a proof of purchase.  And they don’t even show you what the decal looks like or how big it is, so I don’t even know if it’s worth the trouble.


4 Responses to “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS)”

  1. A lot of those powers sound interesting and fun actually, especially the Chameleon tongue-swinging. Too bad the play control may not be up to snuff and they took out the camouflage ability though.

  2. wow. Pac-Man sure has changed since I was a kid….

  3. Seems kind of interesting.

  4. Pac-Man vehicles? Oh cool!

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