Pac-man remains an all-time classic by Bandai Namco. The game is basically considered one of the finest Arcade experience along with the likes of Donkey Kong and Space Invaders. Despite its popularity, Bandai Namco mostly failed to capitalize on its success and has attempted to spin-off the basics of its gameplay into several different genres ranging from a platformer, adventure game to even a Kart racing game. However, the series has never really taken off with the spin-offs which always brings it back to the classic Arcade-based gameplay.
Pac-man Championship Edition is a port of the popular Arcade game that was also released on consoles. This is basically a classic Pac-man game but with the addition of some new rules and 3D camera added into the mix. It plays like the Pac-man that you remember but the new mechanics make it feel much more immerse and some of the fresh rules attempt to make the gameplay intense and heart pumping. The soundtrack all aids in this design to give you the best Pac-man experience to-date, but as a port for the Nintendo Switch, does it offer enough incentive to be purchased again?
Right off the bat, this release of Pac-man Championship Edition contains the full game including the tutorial and adventure mode for you to complete, but the new addition this time is the ability to play it in 2 player co-op. However this mode doesn’t seem like it was designed for the gameplay of Pac-man Championship Edition, atleast according to my experience. It might be enjoyable for those who prefer to play the game with a partner in short bouts of gameplay, but it doesn’t really add anything new or exciting to the mechanics of Pac-man Championship Edition.
This is the same Pac-man experience that you will remember from the Arcades. It features the similar pellet eating gameplay set in different mazes where you will be chased by angry ghosts. The new rules attempt to add different type of features in order to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting for old-timers and newcomers alike. The basic gameplay has managed to remain intact but some of the new mechanics include timed corner turn-outs leading to a faster speed, ghost trains, bomb jumps and boss battles.
If you are new to the Pac-man series and it is the first time you are playing through it, the tutorial mode should cover almost every gameplay mechanic. If you have played Pac-man before, you still need to attempt the tutorial in order to get a basic understanding of the new rules that are now a part of the game. You can try to get as much score as possible by eating every pellet but if you just like to move on to the next maze, you can simply use a bomb now to jump to the location of the fruit which leads to the next maze. These are the new time limited power ups that are rewarded if you completely clear a stage of all pellets. This continues until the boss fight which plays a little differently.
Boss fights in the game are fast paced and can end up being chaotic rather quickly. Not only the challenge increases in traversing the maze, the music pumps up letting you know it is time to take the game more seriously. While you will be relaxing and slowly eating the pellets in the stages before boss fight, the speed will ramp up and it will be harder to avoid the ghosts which can lead to bumping into them enough times to make them angry. Adding to the challenge, the boss will occasionally destroy a maze but drop life points for you to pick up. The more life points you manage to save by the end of the stage, the more bonus you will get for your score. This is also a race against time so you are required to complete the stage fast enough without having to run out of time.
The standard adventure mode can be completed fairly quickly however it is the score attack mode that works best for long term challenge. If you like to set new score records, it is a good showcase to attempt it with a friend and challenge each other. The co-op mode, as I said before, unfortunately doesn’t mesh well with the gameplay of Pac-man Championship Edition, nonetheless, it is still a neat addition to the game and especially for a port that likely didn’t have much budget for it.
As for the state of the Nintendo Switch port, it plays beautifully in the portable mode while it is not too shabby on the big screen. There was some minor slowdown that I noticed during some of the more chaotic stages where I was devouring ghosts left and right, but it mostly performed fine otherwise. Aside from that, the game looks nice enough but the text seems to be a little too small on the Nintendo Switch screen, although it looked fine if you play it in Docked mode. This problem is not unique to this game and can be seen in other ports that were done on the Nintendo Switch, so I will chalk it up to a simple oversight by the developers.
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: The highly acclaimed PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION series has finally come to the Nintendo Switch in" PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2 PLUS!" Featuring eye-popping high-resolution 3D graphics and funky visuals, the latest version of the classic game takes chomping and chasing through mazes to a whole new level!
Pac-man Championship Edition 2 Plus is an amazing arcade game with addictive gameplay and a catchy soundtrack that will keep you engaged for a long time.