A superb follow up to Pac-Man World
. Too bad the camera is poor
At the center of Pac-Land lies a tree that grew the five golden fruit as a reminder of the days where a brave knight by the name of Sir Pac-A-Lot defeated Spooky and used the golden fruit to imprison him underneath the tree. Now years later, the five ghosts decided to visit Pac-Land to steal all the Golden Fruit, releasing Spooky from the tree, and causing widespread concern for Pac-Land and its inhabitants.Pac-Man World 2
plays similar to its predecessor
. The game presents you with a map of Pac-Land, which you can walk along until you reach a level pad. The pad warps you to a level, and this level involves you getting to the exit, exploring the level fully for fruit, tokens, Pac-Dots, and Galaxian icons, most of them can be either be found in mid-air or in chests, which can only be opened with the fruit imprinted on it. You must also deal with enemies and obstacles, and to deal with them, you have the skills that you mastered in PMW2, plus some new ones like the shimmy and flip-kick. If you don't just rush through the levels, they should take roughly 30-45 minutes to complete.
The map is colorful and detailed, and it consists of six themed areas, some of them include forests, volcano, mountains, and ocean. You are not restricted to walking left or right all the time, but you can go up and down as well. If you are in certain areas, you can expect what the levels ahead of you will be like, and what creatures will be roaming around the level. As for the levels themselves, I really liked exploring the ice and volcano levels.
Most levels have elements that are taken straight from an Indiana Jones
movie. In the second ice level, for instance, Pac-Man runs from a boulder heading straight for him, and he has to jump over gaps in the process being careful not to fall into them, while another has Pac skating on broadwalks as they collapse into the water. It is very likely that you lose one or two lives trying to survive situations like these, but getting through these and not dying is a challenge that can be done again and again.
A few levels have you navigating them with roller skates or a submarine, which makes these levels fun. It takes some time getting use to these. The first few goes you are more likely to miss items that you intend to get or lose several of your lives.
One thing that I looked forward to while playing is collecting as many tokens and Galaxian icons that I could find, providing they are not in a place so difficult that getting there would cost me a life. The Galaxian icons let you play classic mazes with a few differences including the background sound effects and the colorful graphics, much like the mazes in Pac-Man: Adventures in Time
; and Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze
. When you collect enough tokens, you will be able to play four previous Pac-Man games, rather than just the ones that were included in the PSX games. All the mazes and arcade games are found in Pac-Village, where there is an arcade.
Also in the arcade is a jukebox where you can listen to music throughout the game. I thought that the music was excellent that they were worth listening to again. You can replay levels that you have already completed if you enjoy going through them, especially when you want a better high score or to go back and collect any items that you missed the first time
I found that the most negative thing about PMW2 is the camera itself. In some instances, you can't adjust it. It only goes so far as it wants to go. Because of this, you have to move to a different spot if you want to fully adjust it. Also, if you adjust the camera to whatever position that you want it, it only moves after you are done with it. If I am adjusting it to a position where Pac is facing the platform and all I need to do is jump forward, I would actually miss because the camera moves before I get the chance to perform the jump.
Before you can start the game, you have to suffer watching the company logos that stay on screen for about ten minutes. You can't skip them. The [Esc] key or one of the mouse buttons do not work. There are four of those, so it is annoying. The same happens when you are watching these little cut-scenes that are triggered when Pac presses a button and the game shows you what happens as a result of your actions. I thought that pressing the [Esc] key will skip those little cut-scenes, but instead they bring up the in-game menu.
Speaking of the menu, when you access it and then leave it, the sound volume gets louder than the volume that you set the game on. If you enter the menu again and change the volume, it doesn't work. I had to turn down the volume on my external speakers to fix the problem.
In some situations where you are rushing through the level and something bad happens if you don't keep moving, the [Jump] key doesn't respond. There are many times where I accidentally fall off a ledge or collided with a creature and lost many lives in the process.
The Bottom Line
PMW2 is a great game that follows on from its predecessor. All the gameplay elements are there, but instead of going to a bonus round after you get a Galaxian icon, you are automatically transported to a classic maze that plays in style to Pac-Man: Adventures in Time
and Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze
. There are tokens to collect in the game, and getting enough of them can allow you to play up to four arcade games belonging to the Pac-Man legacy.
The graphics are colorful, and the music is excellent. If you really like the music, you can listen to it again, but like with the arcade games, you need to collect enough tokens to access the jukebox.
The way that you use roller-skates and the submarine in the later levels are quite tricky, but these takes a little time to get used to. The levels can be replayed over and over again, to participate in a time trial, achieve a better high score, or get items that you have missed the first time.