While it may not go down as the most jam-packed retro collection out there, Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man Museum+ does deserve some credit. It features some of the Pac-ster’s finest games – as well as a couple of questionable ones – and also comes with a neat customization tool where you can make the Pac arcade of your dreams (or nightmares).
There could’ve been a little more to it (and far less of Pac-In-Time, honestly), but for those of you enamored in the least with the classic arcade hero, consider this a must-have.
A Bigger and Better Museum
Some of you may recall the original Pac-Man Museum release that came out a few years ago, featuring a smattering of titles from the character’s history. This one’s a bit more packed, but the big draw here is the 3D arcade.
When you start, Pac-Man will be able to wander through the arcade, trying out games. As you play, you’ll notice that you can earn coins. These can be turned around to purchase new items within the arcade, as well as cool little history items like music, gashapon figures and several other cool little items.
It would’ve been nice to have more stuff from Bandai Namco’s history in general, but overall, this is pretty neat, and lets you build a virtual arcade however you see fit. It’s a great way to stack up all those Pac-Mania machines that you’ve been wanting. I just wish there was a way to get others to visit it.
The Games Are the Thing
Emulation is done nicely on the games for the most part, save for some hiccups with Pac-Land in terms of its V-Sync (not too bad, but still) and Pac-In-Time in general. But here’s the list and our thoughts.
- Pac-Man: iconic and truly worth playing, especially if you’re shooting for high scores.
- Super Pac-Man: an interesting twist on Pac-Man formula, but I would’ve preferred Ms. Pac-Man instead (why isn’t that here?!).
- Pac & Pal: another variation of Pac-Man. Neat and kind of rare, but more of an oddity than a hit.
- Pac-Land: an amusing and enjoyable side-scrolling adventure that’s good for a few rounds.
- Pac-Mania: a terrific 3D rendition of the classic Pac-Man with fun music and stage variations.
- Pac-Attack: a pretty good puzzle game featuring puzzle pieces, ghosts and, of course, Pac-Men.
- Pac-In-Time: a SNES-style platformer with weird elements. Just really isn’t that great at all. Still, could’ve been worse. The collection could’ve included Pac Man 2. Yeesh.
- Pac-Man Arrangement: two great new versions of the classic game with a few rule bend-ups and inclusions. Good fun!
- Pac-Man Championship Edition: a terrific, skillful speedrun through various stages, where you try to get the highest score possible. No sign of the sequel, but the original is a delight.
- Pac ‘n’ Roll: this DS platformer makes for a good roll in this collection, with Marble Madness style rules and lots of goodies to collect.
- Pac-Motos: a variation of the classic Motos game, but with Pac-Men. Okay, but I moved on to other games.
- Pac-Man Battle Royale: a highlight, a romp-filled four-player fracas where it’s the last Pac standing. Outstanding for party nights.
- Pac-Man 256: Originally a mobile release, this endless runner is surprisingly enjoyable and, ahem, packed with power-ups galore.
Overall, the game collection is pretty solid, though I would’ve preferred a Pac-Man World in there somewhere. Especially in place of Pac-In-Time. But there’s a lot to have fun with. Just be aware that you’ll need to unlock some of these games by playing other titles. (That includes Pac-In-Time. Damn it.)
Each game is supported with online leaderboards, which are great and keep things competitive. There’s also a lot of history to uncover as well, with Bandai Namco providing lots of snippets.
So, yeah, it’s definitely a must for you Pac fans.
Pac-ing Them In
While there are some things about Pac-Man Museum+ we could’ve done without – notably some lacking titles like the awful Pac-In-Time – there’s better here than bad. A lot of the games are instantly replayable; and the historic stuff you can unlock for your arcade is pretty sweet.
Again, it’s no award-winner, but it pays loving tribute to its hero, and that’s good enough for us.
But, seriously, no Ms. Pac-Man? Damn.
The Bottom Line: If you’re any kind of fan of Pac-Man and his exploits, consider this a must-add to your collection. Casual players should get a kick out of it, too.
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