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PS2 Reviews: Pac Man World 2


Pac Man World 2 screenshots


The Final Say!


Pac Man World 2 -  reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: 11 March 2003
Review Score 8.6/10 
Distributed By:
Sony Computer Entertainment

Once upon a time, there was a jolly yellow ball called Pac Man who lived in a dangerous world filled with ghosts and power balls. Pac Man's job was simple, collect all the balls in the maze before the ghosts could catch him. Fortunately for Pac Man, there were four power cells located in this deadly maze that for a few seconds gave Pac Man the power to defeat these ghosts and from this simple game, sprang the legend of Pac Man. 

Pac Man was one of the first arcade games that broke the mould of space invaders and introduced a whole variety of games that were spawned from the Pac Man legend. From the basic overhead maze view of Pac Man came various 3D versions and even a female doppelganger called Miss Pac Man. 

With over twenty years of history, Pac Man has finally returned to the console world with the introduction of Pac Man World 2 that has taken Pac Man from his 8-bit incarnation into the glorious world of 128-bit power and amazing 3D graphics. The premise behind Pac Man World 2 is that the gamer plays the role of Pac Man who must venture through various worlds such as lush forests, icy cold mountains and deadly fiery volcanoes that will eventually lead you to defeat the ghost who resides at the end of the game. 

The gaming environment of Pac Man World 2 is beautifully programmed and contains a variety of different locales that truly showcases the power of the PlayStation 2. The idea behind this game is that it not only pays homage to the original game but has now made the leap to a fully 3D world for Pac Man to explore. If you enjoyed games such as Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter and Sly Racoon, than Pac Man World 2 will be a godsend. An average level involves you from getting from point A to point B in the game with various puzzles and nasties along the way to keep you entertained. 

For instance, on the huge forest levels, you must scale huge trees, climb along deadly ledges and jump on huge trampolines in order to reach the end of the level. Although this may seen a simple feat, the problem lies in getting there as you must defeat various enemies in the game such as ghosts and monsters and you must also watch out for deadly traps such as razor sharp saws and deadly vertigo style drops. 

The control system in Pac Man World 2 is extremely easy to master and involves you using the d-pad and analog stick to move Pac Man through this 3D gaming world. Pac Man can also do a variety of movements such as run at super speeds, defeat enemies by either jumping on them or kicking them and climb along deadly ledges...yes... Pac Man has arms and hands. 

The biggest problem with the control system of Pac Man is the lack of control over the camera. The majority of the time in the game, you can control the camera perfectly but on various occasions, the camera will lock into a certain position and I must say that this gets extremely frustrating, especially if you are trying to complete an area that needs you to rotate the camera. Fortunately the rest of the gameplay was perfected in the game so this only becomes tedious on certain occasions in the game, at least once per level. 

While controlling Pac Man, you must also collect various golden balls that are littered throughout the game that not only gives you points but also helps in achieving free lives. If Pac Man becomes injured in the game, you can collect golden pieces of Pac Man to recuperate life or find whole pieces to give you bonus lives. The game is littered with check points that really helps decrease your frustration level because you don't have to start the level again. If you do find out that you have lost all your lives, you simply go back to the start of the level. Once you completed a world in Pac Man, you must then defeat the boss Ghost that is sometimes tricky because you must discover what methods of attacks will work on the creature. When it comes to saving the game, you are given the option to save after each level and it roughly takes about 15 minutes to complete a level, depending on how tricky it is. 

Graphically Pac Man World 2 is a wonderful looking game that feature lush colours and detailed 3D worlds that gives many of today's arcade games a run for their money. The draw distance of Pac Man is fairly impressive and the game runs at a beautiful 60 frames per second. The only slow down in the game is between levels when it shows an animated Pac Man dancing or doing some other cute move, for some reason while it loads, this animation chugs. The characters in the game, although they don't contain a high polygon count are extremely well animated and do indeed pay homage to the original Pac Man game. The only way to describe the graphics is a cross between a children's cartoon meets Pac Man. There are a couple of nifty effects in the game such as the snow levels or the volcano levels that have various blizzard and fire effects. The game also uses CGI cut scenes to help progress the storyline of Pac Man and look quite impressive.  

The developers have also done an extraordinary job at recreating the original sounds of the Pac Man that have also made their way to this modern incarnation, so all the old beeps and bleeps are still in this game. Fortunately, they have also included various background sounds to keep this game modern and fresh. Musically, Pac Man World 2 is a jolly game that is primarily aimed at kids with its cute and fresh tunes. 

There have been some harsh reviews of Pac Man World 2 in magazines and internet review sites but I can't honestly see why they have been so critically of this game. From the gameplay, the game has been primarily aimed at kids because of the ease of gameplay and cute graphics but I must say that I have been quite addicted to this game because it doesn't get on your nerves. Sure, there are some difficult puzzles in the game but its nothing you can't handle after a few attempts. With awesome graphics, a funny storyline and with great gameplay (besides the annoying camera angles), Pac Man World 2 is a fun game that I would highly recommend!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2003 www.impulsegamer.com