It’s been quite a while since Pac-Man has been relevent to gamers. Once the most recognizable character in video games, Pac-Man is now relegated to re-releases and reboots of it’s classic gameplay formula. It’s not the most prestigious place for an aging character to spend his golden years but traditional Pac-Man games are still pretty fun.
There’s just one problem, sometimes stuff like this happens.
It’s difficult to know where to begin with a video like that. The announcement trailer was released on YouTube earlier today by the game’s publisher Namco Bandai Games.
It is possible to mess with traditional gameplay and have it be fun, but it needs to be excecuted properly. When Mario stepped through the looking glass into the third dimension on the N64 it was a natural progression of ther gameplay. Now instead of playing and jumping in the realm of 2D, Mario 64 added another dimension to the gameplay. Platforming works in 3D and some would argue it works better in 3D than it did in 2D. One form of gameplay that doesn’t translate well to the 3D environment is maze chase. This is the type of game that Pac-Man fans know and love, so while it’s not strange for Namco Bandai to attempt to create a family friendly 3D platformer making it a Pac-Man game maybe a huge misstep.
Trailers are supposed to get people excited for an upcoming product, movie, what have you. While the trailer for Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures attempts to get you excited by showing our hero engaged in combat with various ghosts, the combat consists of simply chomping the ghosts with one of the most annoying “chomp” sound effects in existence. There’s an attempt at humor but I feel that the slapstick antics of Pac-Man will make more eyes roll than heads turn. There is the possibility of value when the trailer showcases some of the more original gameplay. And by original I mean borrowed from other games. The game essentially looks like a 3D platformer a la Mario Galaxy combined with Kirby’s ability to steal an enemy’s power. There could be poetential there but it’s so derivative that I think gamers will respond with yawns rather than purchases. This might be a fine title to appear on handheld or even mobile devices but it looks like this will be a full-blown multi-platform console release.
Mind you I am simply reacting to a trailer and our first look at the game so putting those impressions aside, one has to wonder if the gaming world was really clamoring for a new Pac-Man game. Judging from the comments found on YouTube, nobody wanted this to happen especially to a beloved character like Pac-Man.