PAC-MAN AND THE GHOSTLY ADVENTURES
Wii U (also on
PS3, Xbox 360)
what will scarcely be startlingly revelatory to anyone, the original
Pac-Man didn’t have a nose.
So, how’d he smell? Terrible!
Yeah, erm, thanks Dad. Boom-tish.
Anyway, the reason we
mention the original absence of, and subsequent addition of, an
olfactory protuberance is simple. As was the original
Pac-Man. Delightfully so. You
know – dotty maze, our favourite hungry, hungry cheese wheel, ghosts
and various power-up goodies. It was magnificent, and remains
infinitely playable today. Even its sortie into 3Dishness,
Pac-Mania, was ace.
But the insane pop cultural
explosion Pac-Man ignited led Hanna Barbera to cartoonimate
him. Giving him a nose – and legs! Things were sliding downhill.
Soon Pac-Land came along, a ho-hum side-scroller, and then
the saffron-hued circular dude kinda skulked away.
back, baby! The Harry Potteresquely-titled Pac-Man and the
Ghostly Adventures is a game based on the new animated series
of identical name, which is based on a game. Brain explosion!
Anyway, surprise, surprise it’s a 3D platformer like, well, most
every other licenced game ever.
Like, Pac’s a dude-drawling
teen tasked with saving stuff from some evil Betrayus dude. He still
munches dots and ghosts, but in a gorgeous-looking Mario 64
kind of stylised world, with assorted power-ups offering different
skills, such as bouncing, spewing fireballs, firing ice and
However, while game design’s truly impressive,
they forgot to assimilate other Mario goodness – controllable
controls. Toad-tonguing and wall-jumping, for example, are so
fraught with crapulence that they cause multiple deaths. Then
there’s the camera. ARGH! Seriously, the way it hurls about
unpredictably would make even Lars von Trier greet his brekkie as it
hurtles reversewards at great velocity from his tummy and splatters
artily upon a dog drawn on a white floor.
With some careful
polishing this would have been a sensational Pac-kage. Instead, it’s
a bit on the nose.