Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+
Very few classic games can be brought into the modern era and still remain both fun and relevant. It often seems as though the older the game, the bigger the challenge in making a decent and modern title is. Many developers have tried and failed, with the reputations of iconic games like Burger Time and Rainbow Islands being tarnished by poorly-executed remakes.
Namco Bandai has been hard at work reinventing Pac-Man, gaming’s first memorable character. With a TV series being produced in collaboration with Disney, a platforming adventure game coming to consoles, as well as the recently-released Pac-Man Dash for smartphones (read our review here) it seems as though Namco are determined at unleashing Pac-Man fever upon us again.
The newest Pac-Man game, is Pac-Man Championship DX+. An ultra-refined version of Pac-Man Championship, Pac-Man Championship DX+ (which will be referred to as PMCEDX+ from here for the sake of brevity) contains everything from Pac-Man Championship 2, plus some extra levels, modes and skins. All in all it’s a ton of content, but what really matters is how fun it is, and how accessible it is.
Upon starting the game, players then choose which level to play, which mode they’d like to play on it, and then what variants to the gameplay they would like to play. It sounds daunting, but it’s quite simple. I would recommend playing Championship II (one of the earliest maps) and high score mode as the way the level plays isn’t too difficult for an inexperienced player.
PMCEDX+ takes it’s base gameplay from Pac-Man, but there are so many different game types, it really goes to show how varied and versatile the base gameplay of Pac-Man is. Similar to Pac-Man, PMCEDX+ casts players as the titular Pac-Man, who must navigate through a maze collecting pellets (which according to Pac-Man Dash are now referred to as cookies), avoiding ghosts and eating fruit for bonus scores.
In PMCEDX+ though, not only can you play to see how high a score you can get, you can also play through time trials, aim for ghost chains (more on that later), or see if you can survive a certain amount of time whilst the game increases in speed. There are leaderboards, and a huge amount of the fun is competing with friends to determine who the best Pac-Man player is across a variety of modes. You can even publish different scores and accomplishments to social media sites. Want to brag to your friend that you beat his best time on Time Trial mode? What better way than on his Facebook?
In each game mode in PMCEDX+, your priorities will change. Time Trial mode is all about eating as much fruit as possible, as eating the fruit changes the maze’s layout, and ultimately completes the game.
Ghost Chain mode, is all about seeing how many ghosts you can eat when Pac-Man is powered up. You are able to eat additional power pellets to extend your power up time, but when that ends, your combo ends.
Score Attack is exactly what it sounds like – aiming for a high score. It’s classic Pac, but with an ever-increasing speed.
In addition to the numerous game modes and maze designs, players are also able to customise their game from a variety of skins, from neon mazes to 3D block mazes, and even two complete re-skins, based on the Namco classics Dig Dug and Rally-X. I must say I thoroughly enjoy these skins, and I can only hope more Namco classics are injected into PMCEDX+, like Galaga.
- Tons of varied content
- Simple, addictive gameplay
- Competitive leaderboards and Social Media integration really add to friendly rivalries.
- There is some difficulty controlling Pac-Man at high speed with the keyboard.
While some games may find it difficult to put a modern spin on classic arcade titles, Namco Bandai have absolutely nailed it with Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+. It is the perfect Pac-Man game, and just as addicting and as fun as the original. If you are new to Pac-Man, or are after a simple competitive game to enjoy with friends, check out Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+.
Score – 9/10.