Well... to be honest Pac-man's been a lot of different games over the years, but... Look, it's Pac-Man, one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time, he's honestly kind of hard to write an intro for.
PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+, which I'll be calling Pac-Man CE from here on out, is a sort of re-imagining of the original Pac-Man, taking the games basic mechanics and using them to make something new. At it's core it plays a lot the original Pac-Man, You're given a maze full of pellets you need to eat, while avoiding ghosts that chase after you. There's also power pellets you can eat, that give you the ability to eat the ghosts. Being an old arcade game, there's not a lot to it.
|While things look different, a lot of the basics are still here.|
Another big change is the ghosts, While the four that chase you around the maze are still there, there's now also several ghosts dotting parts of the maze, they're sleeping and won't normally chance you, but when you pass near one, it wakes up and starts to follow after you. After that, and new ghosts you wake up will get in line behind it, until you've got a giant spectral conga line chasing after you. It's actually a big part of the game, as your goal while clearing out the maze is to get as many ghosts chasing you as possible. Once you think you've got enough of them, you can grab a power pellet to eat the whole line for a massive score bonus.
|most of the game is spent building up a line of ghosts, like the one seen here.|
For the most part the game is pretty simple: Move back and forward between both halves of the maze, eating dots and getting ghosts to chase you so you can eat them for massive points, all in the name of setting as high a score as possible within the time limit. The game manages to get a lot out of this too, with several unique mazes to play on, each with 5 and 10 minuet modes to play on. The game doesn't stop there however, and includes two additional modes. There's time trial, which has you eating a certain number of bonus items as quickly as possible, and ghost combo, which only counts how many ghosts you can eat in a single combo. Both force you to rethink how you play the game as score doesn't matter in these modes.
|Passing near ghosts causes them to wake up and chase after you.|
The game uses mostly club and dance remixes of various themes from old Pac-Man games, which fit with the games neon look nicely. There's several tracks available and you can pick what song you'd like to hear for each game, Though again, the DLC sets force you to use all of a DLCs assets together. it's all very bouncy, energetic music that fights the fast paced nature of the game nicely. honestly, between the thumping music and neon colors, this is practically a rave party in video game form.
|The DLC includes some extra graphics options, like this Dig Dug set shown here.|
With all this said, what were looking at is an amazing score attack game, with a high replay value, thanks to having plenty of mazes and modes, each with their own ranking system and global online high score tables to compete on. It's easy to pick up and play in small sessions and those who like to really master their games have a lot to dig into. more impressively, Pac-Man CE manages to successfully take a simple game like Pac-man, and turn it into something completely new while still being readily recognizable as a Pac-Man game, making this a game worth looking into.
PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ was developed by Mine Loader Software Co., Ltd. and published by Namco Bandai Games. It is available on Steam. It's soundtrack is available on iTunes.