I’ve always wanted to try Pac-Man World. I’m a big fan of platformers, and Pac-Man World wanted to tick all the right boxes for me, with everyone’s favorite yellow Smash Bros. character (sorry) front and center. Pac-Man World: Re-Pac finally gave me the chance to play the game I had in my mind, and as soon as I booted it up, I realized something – this was Pac-Man World 2, I was one of those Many years ago everyone wanted to play. Oops.
Still, where better to start than with the first game, eh? Thankfully, despite not being the Pac-Man world I wished for, Re-Pack is still a solid platformer that doesn’t do much to change the formula, but does play around with it in a fun way and a Offers simple, classic experience.
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One of the more immediately noticeable elements of this repack-age (ugh) is its graphical upgrade. It’s not quite the level of N.Sane or Reignited Triology improvements, but it’s more noticeable than most recent Klonoa remasters. Both the surroundings and character models have seen quite a major upgrade compared to the original, and are full of color and personality.
All the usual genre staples are here – hub worlds with different levels based on a specific theme, a boss at the end of each world, a mascot character with some unique moves to set them apart, and tons of collections. Pac-Man World has all the expected bells and whistles, except it’s given a slightly unique flavor and charm to the iconic yellow mascot.
For example, the collectibles you’ll encounter are a variety of shrapnel and fruit from the classic Pac-Man, while ghosts sometimes pop into levels as enemies and use power pellets before eating them all. They need to be dealt with by using None of this affects the gameplay in a big way, but it gives the world its identity rather than coming across as a hollow transition to the third dimension.
However, not all of them hit so well. A collectible type for players to grab are the maze levels, which recreate the classic Pac-Man, but in 3D. It sounds fun on paper, but the execution isn’t as solid. Not only are all the mazes mostly the same, but they are slow-paced, obstruct the flow of each level, and they really serve no purpose. This mostly avoided me collecting them, unless it was too far out of my way, which is a problem when one of the main purposes of a platformer is to collect stuff.
The slot machine tokens you get around the level seem equally meaningless, wasting even more time at the end of a level, but at least it results in extra lives, not that you have to. They’ll be needed, given how small and easy Pac-Man the world is.
Thankfully, the actual platforming in Pac-Man World is a solid experience overall. Pac-Man controls well and has a decent weight for him, which feels best when using Butt-Bounce, a move in Pac’s kit that feels completely unique. Shame that bullet throw and flutter contributed nothing.
However, at the risk of repeating itself, the platforming isn’t perfect either. Pac-Man World rarely asks the player to perform precise platforming, but when it does, it can be difficult to pinpoint where Pac-Man will land because invisible walls sometimes prevent you from jumping too far. And games like Pac’s little shadow, Something It’s About Time, have made Crash a non-issue by putting a small shadow under him when he jumps in. I also found that one of Pac-Man’s moves, the rave roll, can be incredibly fussy about how far it will send Pac. Sometimes I would get up to the edge of a stage where I needed to go, and other times it would send me off to care for a stage to my death.
Surprisingly, the most unique thing Pac-Man World brings to the table is its boss fights. There are five of them in total and they each have a completely different mechanic from each other, such as copying Galaxian’s gameplay for a level, racing a kart around, or making your attacks against a pirate ship. To fight with time. ,
I’ve heard horror stories about Anubis Rex battles before, in which you have to rave up the roll platform to be able to deal damage while dodging enemies and fireballs. However, not only was it not as challenging as I thought, but it was actually one of the more fun encounters in the game. None of them are particularly challenging, but a lot of thought was put into making them all feel unique, and they’re definitely one of the highlights of the game.
Sadly, once you’ve completed Pac-Man World, there’s really nothing to go back to, unless you decide to completely collect everything. The re-pack is only $30, but when compared to other remastered packages like the aforementioned Crash, Spyro, and Klonoa Collection, it’s a shame to see only six hours of play with minimal additions at this price.
Admittedly, the other games in the Pac-Man World trilogy are very different from each other and will probably take a lot more time and effort than the fairly simple first title, but it’s a shame that Pac-Man’s big take on 3D is a big deal. Comeback feels like it comes and goes without any bang for your buck.
Pac-Man World Pac-Man World 2 might not be quite as I had hoped, but it’s still a solid classic platformer with enough unique elements to help it stand out. Those who played the original will surely appreciate the nostalgia, but like me who missed it in the original, they’ll still have a great time.
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