It seems as if everything is getting remixed lately (see Space Invaders Infinity Gene), so why not this ultimate classic?
Pac-Man Remix ($2.99)
Guide PAC-MAN through the maze and avoid the brightly colored ghosts while chomping up all the dots. Eat a power pellet to temporarily turn the tables on the ghosts. Gobble up as many ghosts as possible while they are blue. Chomp the ghosts consecutively during one power pellet to score major bonus points!
Well, after being spoiled with Taito’s Space Invader revision, I was hoping for the same type of splash by adding new elements with the old. I like the game, but I feel Namco took a safer route in brash comparison to Taito’s take on SI. One might say it’s like comparing apples to oranges, I still feel it’s the same when the publishing company decides to revamp a familiar classic. There are some cool elements added to the game, but it’s stuff I’ve seen in other games, so it doesn’t feel as fresh as others.
It’s looking good, the load times are decent, nothing too crazy and the theme is consistent throughout the game. As Pac-Man evolved, Namco stuck to the theme early on and it works for the game. Thankfully all this stayed the same, the colors, sounds and graphics have been branded for three decades. It’s the perfect size, not too small, although I would have been cool to see the game play out like Pac-Mania where the action is zoomed in a lot closer.
The gameplay is the same, clear the boards, utilize the power pellets to eat up the ghosts for more points, using that as an escape in tight spots. The controls are given two different ways, Dpad or Flick. I prefer flick over the default DPad. It looks and plays a bit clunky on the controls with the D Pad, due to the movement allowing movement in four directions.
A joystick controller would have been a better choice. I’ve playedPac Man and all the spin offs, and with a joystick, I tend to “roll” into the next move. The DPad provided played like a handheld LCD game. Maybe that’s the goal, but I wasn’t convinced.
After clearing a few boards, one of the new features is revealed, there are boss levels now. You must figured out how to beat the boss before he beats you as usual. It’s a nice addition to the game. Other new elements to the game are dash arrows (allowing you to pass through the ghosts, quickly), open and closed doors (affecting the path of your eating and the ghosts path) and color coded warp holes (teleporting you a different location).
With the last one, you blink as being invincible for a few seconds after making the jump.
Ok, this is my problem with this remixed classic. It feels and looks like a hybrid clone of the Bomberman Series from Hudson Soft. I owned a Turbo Grafx and bought Bomberman 93 when it was released and have played several versions of the game on various platforms, mostly due to the multiplayer functions. It was at the time the only 5 player game. I also played the Dreamcast title as well, again it’s on the same type of grid playfield.
With the addition of the boss levels and powerups, it just feels like a ripoff in terms of how it’s played. Sure it’s all Pac-Man themed, but it’s too similar to call it an original take.
Lastly, some reconfiguration of the Dpad layout is required. I think the game would be better off with a transparent dpad to fully extend the board to the edge of the screen. If they can, maybe switch to a “joystick” type of dpad like those found in Minigore or Terminator Salvation. The current layout feels a tad too constraint where in actuality, free form movement is key.
I’d stick to the original being offered in the AppStore. Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man and the others following should stick to the original gameplay. On stop, they should utilize a better implementation of some iPhone only features like touch or accelerometer.
I think it’s a good game, but it doesn’t have the replay value like some of the others I’ve got a chance to check out. I would check out any videos showing what is offered before you decide to download the retread.
If you are the ultimo Pac-Maniac however, why not bite at the sale price and add another Pac-Man game to your collection?