- Bandai Namco
Anyone who’s spent more than 15 minutes on planet Earth knows and has probably played “Pac-Man.” You might associate him with the dark, musty arcades of the ’80s and ’90s, but he quietly continues to get new games every couple of years.
The latest game is “Pac-Man Championship Edition 2.” Good news, it’s fun!
“Championship Edition 2” breathes new life into one of gaming’s most iconic franchises, throwing caution to the wind and changing up the tried-and-true formula that solidified him in gaming history.
The first trope on the chopping block? That any contact with a ghost means instant death. That’s right, in “Pac-Man Championship Edition 2,” you can bump up against ghosts several times without dying. Deep breaths, it’s going to be okay.
Here’s what “Pac-Man Championship Edition 2” is like.
“Pac-Man CE 2” will definitely look familiar to anyone who’s played any Pac-Man game before. Mazes. Dots. Ghosts. They’re all here.
But there’s also a ton of new rules and objectives, too. You have a lot more at your disposal than just moving up, down, left, and right. And “Pac-Man CE 2” makes sure to teach you these changes slowly.
Like any good arcade-style game, all these tools are in service of helping you earn boatloads of points.
For example, passing by the little sleeping green ghosts will cause them to wake up and dart behind one of the other ghosts — Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde — causing their ghost trails to grow longer and longer.
And when you finally get to chomp up those ghost trains it’s so, so satisfying.
“Pac-Man CE 2” is also blisteringly fast. It feels less like a fight for survival and more like an adrenaline-fueled race against the clock.
That’s thanks in large part to the most dramatic shake-up to the Pac-Man formula: Ghosts don’t kill you on contact. You’ll bounce off them a few times, and eventually, they get mad and hunt you down.
Though not everyone will be a fan of the changes “Pac-Man CE 2” introduces, they’re all in service of encouraging you to play fast and loose. It’s a fun update that makes “Pac-Man” feel fresh again.
It’s also worth noting that “Pac-Man CE 2” has a thumping electronic soundtrack. Again, it’s likely to turn some people off, but it’s really great for getting your blood pressure up during a particularly tough level.
“Pac-Man Championship Edition 2” is $13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you’re not too nostalgically attached to the original “Pac-Man,” you should give it a shot!