Pac-Man World (PlayStation)

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39506)
Written on  :  Mar 31, 2007
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Happy Birthday, Pac-Man!

The Good

The Pac family is having a birthday party to celebrate Pac-Man 20th anniversary as a video game character. All of them are there including Pac Junior, Ms. Pac, Baby Pac, Professor Pac, and Chomp-Chomp, as well as Pooka (from the Dig Dug series). Pac-Man is the only one not there. The superb introduction sees his family kidnapped by ghosts, who have their orders from Toc-Man, a robotic version of Pac-Man, who is bent on stealing Pac-Man's identity. Pac-Man comes home from work only to find that everyone is missing, and he must get them back.

Your quest starts out on Buccaneer Beach, which is provided as a training ground for learning new moves that Pac-Man must use later in the game. “Hint” signs scattered around the level explain to you how to use that move. The moves can get you out of trouble and it is also a new way to kill enemies. The new moves are also easy to remember.

After you have completed Buccaneer Beach, you are then transported to Ghost Island, where Toc-Man's mansion resides. You walk around the island, and enter doorways that take you to the level. There are about five doorways that reside in six worlds, which have a certain theme. (The “Pirate” theme to the first world, the “Space” theme to World 3, etc.) Two of the worlds are blocked until you have completed the previous ones. The best thing about walking around Ghost Island is that you are listening to cool reggae music while you are exploring the beautiful surroundings.

The aim of the levels is go through them, being careful not to touch any enemies, and get to the token that will transport you back to Ghost Island. But to appreciate the level, you have to explore it fully, opening any fruit doors that you see by collecting the fruit painted on the door, and by finding extra lives and more health. Somewhere in each world, there are keys that you have to use to free a captured character, who helps you defeat Toc-Man. There are two things that I like about exploring the level: a) opening a Galaxian door that lets you unlock mazes similar to Pac-Man, but with side-scrolling; and b) Collecting all letters in the word PACMAN, as doing so allows you to determine not only does it transport you to the bonus levels when you complete a level, but it also tells you how much further the token is.

If you decide to explore it fully, the level takes about 30 minutes to complete. The graphics in the level are detailed and they are related to its theme. The backgrounds have a fair dose of animation. It is easy to make the mistake of believing that if you jump toward the background, you would land on a platform that has what you need on it. If this happens, you would either lose a life or fall down to a platform under it. When you complete a level, you can always complete it again if it happens to be one of your favorite levels.

The background music in the level is a remix of the theme from the intermissions of the original games. They are easy to listen to, and most of the time reflect the level's theme. You are never bored with the music, and it gets better after each level completed. The sound effects are retro-like, and they are the same ones in the original Pac-Man game.

The Bad

Nothing in this game strikes me as being bad.

The Bottom Line

Pac-Man World is a 3D platform game that stars Pac-Man, and his job is to rescue his family from the clutches of Toc-Man. There are six worlds in which you must navigate through. Most of them have levels that must be explored fully if you want to pick up extra points and smash enemies. Also, you have to find a key that can be used to rescue your family. Without getting all of them, you cannot complete the game.

The music and sound effects are excellent, and the background graphics have smooth animation. It is easy to make the mistake of falling off the platform because PMW is not a 2D platform game like its predecessors. It is totally in 3D like all PSX games are.