Ms. Pac-Man Deluxe Edition
Do you know that there are two versions of Ms. Pac-Man
? One was created by Namco
, and this is the version that we saw in the arcades. The object is to guide Ms. Pac-Man around a maze of dots and gobble up each one, while on the lookout for four ghosts that make her progress difficult. If Ms. Pac-Man eats all the dots, then she goes on to the next maze. Another version was created by Williams Entertainment
, which shares the same gameplay but adds extra features, and this is the version that this review is based on? So is this enhanced edition of Ms. Pac-Man
any better? Well, yes and no.
Before you begin gameplay in the Williams' version, you have some options that can alter gameplay if selected. One of these options is the maze selection. You can either play the mazes that were found in the coin-op version, or play Mini, Big, or Strange. There are advantages in using each maze selection. For instance, in Mini, the mazes are not that long, allowing you to finish each maze in under two minutes. In Strange, mazes have a unusual layout, and will be unfamiliar to gamers who already know what the original mazes look like. So selecting different mazes provide some variation on the layout.
There are three difficulty settings to choose from: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Crazy. Just for fun, I played the game with the Crazy setting. On this setting, the ghosts run around the maze much faster than Pac-Man as soon as they are outside their hideout in the maze's center. Ms. Pac-Man can get that speed with the Pac Booster, which can be triggered by pressing a button, or by having it “always on”. With this, anyone can finish a maze in under one minute.
One more feature that is worth mentioning is that two players can play at the same time. One as Pac-Man and the other as Ms. Pac-Man. Each player is supposed to work against each other rather than join forces, to be the one with the more points.
Personally, I do not mind the extra features, as they provide a bit of variation on the game play. The graphics are more cartoony than Namco's versions, and the sound effects are enjoyable to listen to while you play. The intermissions have a lot more animation to them.
While the extra features are a nice addition to Ms. Pac-Man
, some elements may ruin the look and feel of the original. For instance, all the mazes are too big to fit on one screen, and you have to move Ms. Pac-Man off-screen to gobble all the dots. The score is not present at all times. It is only when Ms. Pac-Man moves to the top of the maze that it is displayed. There could have been an option of displaying the maze and score ass it was in the original, but no such option exists.
The Bottom Line
While both the Namco and Williams version of Ms. Pac-Man
both share the same gameplay, Williams' version goes one step further by adding extra features by allowing you to select different maze types and difficulty settings. You also have the option of using the Pac Booster and letting two players play simultaneously. Although some features destroy the game's look and feel, you may like a bit of variation as you play. The game has nice graphics and sound effects, and the intermissions are more detailed and have got the extra animation that was not present in those of the original.