Everyone’s favorite chubby chomper has had quite the resurgence these past few years. Bandai Namco has plastered his unmistakable likeness to new downloadable games, made him an official member of the new Super Smash Bros. and given ol’ Pac his own TV show. Last year’s video game tie, Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures, was a solid, but not to0 memorable romp through the cartoon’s varied worlds. This year’s sequel expectedly arrives with a few new elements here and there, but it maintains the mediocre quality that its predecessor exhibited.
Once again, Pac and his best buds are set on a mission to stop Betrayus’ new evil schemes. The plot here is your typical Saturday morning, half-hour story fare so there’s nothing too interesting occurring this time around. You’ll take on the role of Pac-Man and run around various worlds that open up as you complete entire sets of one. Each world comes with a nice variety of platforming sections that pit Pac-Man against moving platforms, plenty of ghosts and tricky jumps. The abundance of power-ups and enemies to chomp on are your usual Pac-Man platforming fare. Each world and its fitting themes look good enough. The familiar sounds associated with old school and new school Pac-Man should put a smile on fans of all ages, too.
From time to time, you’ll come into contact with certain items that change-up Pac-Man’s repertoire of moves. Pac’s bouncy form lets him smash crates and hop to higher ledges, while his Ice Form allows him to freeze water fountains and use them for extra platforms. These mechanics are fun to utilize, but the majority of them have been seen before. Most of the platforming sections and Pac-Man forms seen here harken back to the last game, making this sequel a retread that’s decent at best. Sure, eating hundreds of pellets and eating tons of ghost in succession is fun at first. But doing these activities over and over gets tiresome real fast…
The only fresh and new play mechanics added here are the on-rails shooting stages that include Pac-Man’s friends, Cylindria and Spiral. There is some extra fun to be had as you shoot down airborne ghosts, blast through obstacles, collect pellets and nab the highest score and medal you can. Nabbing high scores and medals across the game’s many worlds are fun in short bursts. But the all-too familiar gameplay and not-so-new Pac-Man transformations may bore you before too long.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is just more of the same. The game itself is a solid platformer that includes a few gimmicks that may keep younger games around long. As for the older crowd who may have taken a chance on the 1st game in the series, there isn’t much new and fresh to get attached to here. This sequel feels more like a inconsequential upgrade than an actual improvement to a somewhat decent prequel.
Images: Bandai Namco Games