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North America Details

Publisher: Namco
Release Date: November 15, 2005
Genre: Platform
Players: Single Player
ESRB: Everyone

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Game Review

Aug 27 2008 06:01 AM
Straight from Namco and Blitz Games, Pac-Man World 3 is (obviously) the third part in a series of 3-D Pac-Man games and celebrates the great muncher’s 25th birthday. And honestly, this game isn’t half bad. Let’s begin.

This time around, we find our buddy Pac-Man celebrating his 25th birthday in Pac-Village when he’s suddenly teleported away just as he’s ready to blow out the candles. He lands in a sewer where he is communicated with by an old nemesis-turned-ally, Orson. However, the signal is bad so the line cuts off and you’re faced to brave the dangers of the pit yourself. Here you learn the basic controls and features of the game, such as Rev Rolls, Butt Bounces, and punches. You’ll also get a pretty good feel of how this game works. There’s quite a bit of trekking to do to complete puzzles, gain access to the next area, open the door, etc. Once you’re out of the pit. Orson will explain the situation a little more clearly. Basically, a guy named Erwin has begun siphoning energy out of the Spectral Realm (land of the ghosts, specters…) and the real world. By doing so, he is making both worlds very unstable, and if the problem isn’t taken care of soon, both worlds will “fall into each other” and the world will became dark, cold, and basically dead, with ghosts from the Spectral Realm wreaking havoc as well. So Orson pleas Pac-Man to help him restore balance to both worlds before it’s too late. Of course, our buddy Pac-Man takes on the quest eagerly. And so the game begins. This game works pretty much the same as the game before it. You’ll be placed at the beginning of a world, and you’ll have to trek, solve puzzles, find hidden items, combat enemies such as robots, monsters, and Spectrals, and eat Pellets and Fruit bonuses in order to increase your score, all while heading towards the end of a level. Grab a Galaxian and you’ll enter a classic Pac-Man styled maze where you’ll munch all the pellets without getting killed by the cool little ghosts. These stages all have different layouts and will really deliver that retro feel. You’ll also be taking control of a couple of unlikely characters in this game. Yep, Clyde and Pinky, Pac-Man’s arch-enemies, are, as Clyde once states, “on the same side of a Power Pellet” as Pac-Man. You’ll be using each one for different situations. For example, got a giant pillar to knock down? Charge Clyde up at a fountain and use his Sonic Boo to knock it down. Is there a huge pit of death separating you from the next area? Charge Pinky up at three fountains, and she’ll be able to solidify three platforms of spectral energy for Pac-Man to walk on. Pac-Man will also have a few new Power-Ups to help him along the way. One of them is Ribbon-Loop Pellet, which will allow you to literally run circles around your enemies and destroy them in a ranged explosion. The Super Stomp Pellet will increase the power and range of your Butt Bounce. The Electro-Shock Pellet will replace your punch with a mediocre shock that automatically homes into the enemies around you. Along with a few new Power-Ups come some new skills. Among them are the wall-jump, fence-climb, pole-swing, and punching. Not to mention controlling a giant punching, spinning, and smashing robot, Toc-Man.

The graphics in this game are…meh. Not the best, not the worst. Pac-Man, Pinky, and Clyde are modeled well, but the rest of the characters look rushed. Especially the self proclaimed “Worst Nightmare.” That guy definitely needs some work. The game’s frame will slow down quite a bit when a lot of activity’s going on, such as the beginning of the Gogekka Towers’ first level. A few levels are a bit rough, but they are pretty large and scale over a massive world. You could start in one place and go through three other different places in the span of just one level. In fact, one level could probably take near 10 minutes to complete.

Some of music in this game is very well-made. It has kind of an “epic-adventure” feel to it, and it’s pretty good. However, some of the tracks could use a bit of work. One song I really liked was the one that plays during the classic stages. I swear, I have it on my iPod, and I listen to it all the time.

The controls are pretty tight in this game, and sometimes, the work is done for you, which is nice, but it takes some of the entertainment out of the game. For example, when you flew off of a Bounce Pad in Pac-Man World 2, you had to control your flight to the next Pad. However in this game, the Pads already have a predetermined path for you. As for a more in-depth look at the controls, they’re easy to use, and it’ll be interesting to see how each move plays out in all of the environments. You won’t ever slip into an abyss, or run into an enemy due to a traction problem, since the controls respond pretty well.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the easiest game you’ll ever play. It’s a game that’ll take a bit of getting used to, but it can be really fun once you do. Like I said, this game isn’t that easy. It’s a pretty challenging package for anyone. I handed the controller over to my cousin on the second level, and he was dying pretty often. It’s probably not what you’ll expect from a Pac-Man game, unless you’ve played any other of Pac-Man World series.

I honestly feel that Pac-Man World 3 is a pretty decent and well-built video-game. It has huge levels that will take much more than 5 minutes to complete, not the worst storyline you’ve ever seen, and a great Namco Museum full of extra features such as an exclusive interview with the creator of Pac-Man, a history of Pac-Man, collectible cards, and your very own copy of original arcade game.

Final Comments:
This game isn’t a must-play experience, but it’s definitely worth looking into. Try it, and hey, you just might be interested.

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