Developed by NOW PRODUCTIONS and Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is a 3D platformer remaster of the 1999 version of PAC-MAN WORLD and here is our review on the game.
PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC revitalises the classical game with HD visual enhancements, updated gameplay improvements, brand new graphics, additional elements of actions, refurbished boss battles and overall brand new features.
The game is available for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and PC via Steam.
Pac Full of Game Modes
PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC offers three different game modes for players to enjoy which are – Quest Mode where Pac-Man sets off on a grandiose adventure to rescue his family , Maze Mode where Pac-Man finds himself lost in mysterious 3D mazes as well as an Original Mode which offers the original Pac-Man experience.
The quest mode in PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is the main campaign questline for the game. Where the story begins with our lovable yellow blob and his family celebrating Pac-Man’s birthday party. While the celebration is about to start, the evil machines of the robot Toc-Man had swooped in and got Pac-Man’s family abducted by ghosts. In order to rescue his family, Pac-Man must journey through the six mysterious worlds of Ghost Island to overcome various enemies.
Here in the Quest Mode, players are able to traverse a serious of mostly linear levels that are viewed with a fixed camera, all while picking up collectibles, defeating enemies as well as attempting to save Pac-Man’s family.
The levels in PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC are spread across a variety of areas as well as a boss fight in each of the areas while the overall goal for every stage is to simply break the Toc-Man statue at the end and while the goal may sound simple enough, the journey is filled with obstacles, enemies, as well as hidden collectables for players to gather up.
One of the examples being that players would often come across Fruit Doors that need a certain type of fruit to open, which usually means that players are required to explore a side route or even backtrack the level for a bit. There are also switched for the players to hit which will be able to modify some parts of the level, such as causing hidden platforms to appear.
Not only that, there are also tokens which are scattered throughout the levels which give players a slot machine spin after finishing each level. Getting three of the same type of fruits will reward players with extra lives but personally speaking, this mechanic is totally unnecessary and a bit of a hassle but hey, an extra life is still an extra life.
Maze Mode brings the classical Pac-Mac gameplay to a 3D maze setting where each maze is essentially an interpretation of the classic Pac-Man arcade game that is themed after the game world that they belong in. There’s a space themed maze, a jungle maze, so on and so forth, and in those mazes, you’ll be doing that Pac-Man does best. muching dots and dodging ghosts with a modern look.
Players can play through the complete version of the original game in Original Mode which is unlocked by completing the main game.
The Pac is Back
Remade and fully remastered for the modern day, the gameplay for PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is more intuitive than ever. Personally speaking, the gameplay is one of the most interesting bits for the game. And while it might be easy, I feel like the gameplay mechanics would be a bit complex for the target audience of younger children to understand. Here’s a list of the moves and gameplay mechanic that Pac-Man has:
- PAC-Dot Attack: You can attack the enemy by throwing the dots you get on the stage.
- Butt Bounce: Jump and dive attack. In addition to attacking enemies, you can also open treasure chests and press switches and to give Pac-Man a little more height on his jumps.
- Rev Roll: You can also climb slopes and run into enemies to defeat them.
- Bomb Attack: You can attack a wide area by consuming 5 pack dots.
- Bomb Dot: When you get a Bomb Dot, you can annihilate all the enemies on the screen.
- Swim: You can dive and swim in water.
There is also a move that is only exclusive for the remake which is called Hang in Mid Air where Pac-Man can extend the time he floats in the air during a jump. And while there’s quite a hefty list of mechanics that Pac-Man has, the game’s pacing is slow enough that players won’t get too overwhelmed.
Pac-Man is also able to transform between different forms in order to aid him in his adventure such as:
- Metal Pac-Man: You become invincible for a certain period and can walk on the bottom of water which is mostly to break underwater chest
- MEGA Pac-Man: If you eat a Power Pellet, you can become huge and attack ghosts.
Exciting Boss Battles
In my opinion, the boss battles are definitely the highlight for PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC, where there’s a decent amount of gimmicks to help each of the battles feel distinct with one from the other, which helps a lot with keeping the game feel fresh.
One of the examples being the first level where the game has us fighting a sailboat named Windbag where the battle is separated into two parts with the first half will have players evade his cannonballs which are constantly chasing the player all the time and the second half where we have to bounce off the cannonballs at the right moment to attack Windbag.
Another example for the boss battle was with my fight with Anubis where the layout of the floor have four “dash tables” laid out which needs Pac-Man to rev-roll on each one until the boss’ shield break. While rev-rolling to break Anubis’ shield, you have to evade all sorts of obstacles that come in your way like minions, flaming bombs, a hurricane and even lasers.
If you were to die during the boss fights, you’ll need to restart each battle from scratch since there’s no checkpoints for boss battles but this is also proof that the game just isn’t your generic platformer and that the original designers were genuinely trying to make something unique and fun.
If you think that the boss battles are a bit too challenging, there’s a new easy mode that helps players smooth over the difficulty. In Easy Mode, “Easy Blocks” are placed at the drop points of the stage and the “Hanging in Mid-Air” jump can be used for a longer period which allows first-time players and those who aren’t confident in their skills to play with ease.
A New Look at Ghost Island
Presentation wise, PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC isn’t as extensive of an overhaul compared to the somewhat recent remasters but it does a pretty solid job at cleaning up the PlayStation 1 Visuals as well as updating them for a new generation. Fresh cutscenes have also been made to fit the new aesthetic while the overall world environment has a much brighter, sharper and more consistent look than they did before.
Pac-Man also moves with more personality but it would have been great if we got to see more animation variety for him, though it’s more of a personal gripe than anything.
In my opinion, the game doesn’t feel much like a remake for a 2 decade year-old game, but it’s also clear that this is more than just a simple remaster in which Bandai Namco did a good job in preserving the essence of the original, all while implementing and experimenting with various of new features and style.
Although, the game does have some of the issues with the controls. To further elaborate, while it may look complex but overall the platforming is really basic. Some of the levels were fun while some aren’t as much but i think the points that contribute into making the levels feel pretty repetitive. The basic enemies seem like they were just placed in places that don’t give off much excitement and the collectibles are uninteresting which I personally feel like there were just so many that were unneeded like the maze token and the slot machine tokens.
Overall, PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is mainly aimed at younger players and in that sense it works perfectly fine as an introduction to both the Pac-Man franchise as well as the platforming genre for games in general. And while it’s a good remake in the sense that it is able to recreate and improve on the original as best as we could have hoped for, but it’s certainly not the best in the genre.
|Nicely Updated Visuals||Platforming can be repetitive in certain levels|
|Good quality of life improvements||Boring basic enemy types|
|Exciting boss battles||Uninteresting and pointless collectibles|
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