Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is one of the best downloadable titles of this generation — it’s fun, it’s accessible, and it’s insanely addictive. It’s what a retro revival should be: true to the original game, while at the same time making it feel fresh and new. Today Namco Bandai announced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, a game which unfortunately looks like the complete antithesis of Championship Edition DX.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures takes Pac-Man out of the maze and drops him into a futuristic, 3D world to explore. Instead of simply eating everything in the stage, Pac-Man is now tasked with rescuing his fellow Pac-People, who have been captured by ghosts. In a first for the series, Pac-Man can change his form in order to gain new powers: the trailer shows him assuming a lizard-like appearance in order to swing from suspended poles with his tongue.
Awhile back Namco held a survey asking fans what art style they would like to see in a new Pac-Man title. While the new game doesn’t look exactly like the sample from the survey, it seems like sample A won. (By the way, D was obviously the best choice, so I hate all of you who voted for A.)
Maybe I’m just being a little overly harsh; after all, there’s always the chance that this new title could be a great re-imagining of one of gaming’s oldest icons and a fantastic 3D platformer. After all, Pac-Man World 2 for the PS2, Gamecube, and original Xbox was a solid, enjoyable (if somewhat derivative) game, so Namco’s already proven that Pac-Man works as a 3D platformer.
Namco Bandai says that Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is only planned for a North American release — a strange move, given the character’s popularity in Japan. The game will be available on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, and 3DS this Fall.