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PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION DX



 
General Description

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is an update to 2007's Championship Edition and offers considerable twists to the formula. While Championship Edition featured one tightly designed game mode on one tightly-designed stage, DX offers a handful of different stages and unique challenges in each, while maintaining the tense score-based time trial mode of the original.

Pac-Man's formula is well known, but CE DX refines it carefully into a new experience. While the basic mechanics are the same, this new game is about the thrill of being hunted by ghosts through a maze that grows and changes as Pac-Man eats dots and fruits. Four ghosts still hunt Pac-Man down, but now dozens more can be found sleeping in the twists of the constantly-growing mazes. As Pac-Man flies by they wake up and form a queue behind him; players can eat power pellets and make the ghosts vulnerable, but building the chain longer and longer will ultimately result in a higher combo and many more points.

This is the main thrust of the game, and each of the evolving mazes riffs on it differently. One of the game's strengths is developer creativity; the game is small but very tightly designed, with each stage and challenge offering enough depth that leaderboard-climbing players will have new tricks to discover for plenty of time to come.

 
Grade by Game Type Overall Grade
D+ D+
Ratings at a Glance
 
Facts: 1 Title: PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION DX
Creativity: 4 Publisher: Namco Bandai
Business: 0 Developer: Namco BaNdai
People: 1 Year: 2010
Problem: 4 Genre: Action Arcade
Simulation: 0 Strengths: popularity
Popularity: 9 Platforms: Playstation Network
Xbox Live
Extra: 0  
Rating Details

Classroom Facts

Championship Edition DX does not focus on classroom facts. Math is involved in various scoring mechanics.

Creativity & Imagination

By the Player:

Players must adapt to and experiment with each new map and game type they try. Pac-Man always moves and behaves the same way, but players must adapt their styles to deal with various goals. The main games are score attack modes which give players a 5 or 10 minute limit to score as many points as they can. Here players need to learn the subtleties of chaining ghosts together behind Pac-Man and then eating them for huge points. Time trial modes, on the other hand, have players trying to eat a certain number of fruits as quickly as possible. Fruit appears when players clear a side of the board of dots, meaning players will only be slowed down by eating ghosts. This puts a deliberate spin on the game's rules, as does the handful of other modes available.

Players that put in a little time will be able to climb the scoreboards quickly, and at a certain point players can view replays of their best rounds and those of others, allowing them to study the techniques of top-ranked players in order to improve.

By the Developer:

Championship Edition DX is an innovate riff on the original Championship Edition, which was designed as a riff on Pac-Man in the first place. While the first refined the classic mechanics and folded multiple levels into one continuous cycle, DX changes the way players look at building their scores. The point of Pac-Man has always been the give-take relationship between the player and the ghosts moving through the maze, and here it is enhanced as huge trains of ghosts follow Pac-Man through the maze as each stage progresses. Intensity builds steadily until players clear enough of the maze to cause a new power pellet to appear, at which point Pac Man becomes capable of turning the tables and chomping down his dozens of pursuers in one cathartic moment. This also becomes the key to building high scores.

The unfolding map introduced in the original Championship Edition is back, only now besides the classic map a number of new variations are available. To the untrained eye they may not look like significant changes, but as players get into a groove each map reveals its own personality and tricks, making clear the care and talent that went into the game's design.

Business Skills

Business skills are not a factor in Championship Edition DX.

People Skills

Championship Edition DX does not feature multiplayer modes, and its arcade-style mechanics never emphasize people skills. However, high-score leaderboards are integral to the game's design. Players are ranked individually on each map and game mode, and reminders of their current ranking pop up as players browse through their options. This is a clever way to encourage competition among players, especially as players can view scoreboards both globally and limited to their personal friends list. Being able to watch replays of high-scoring games so simply is a great feature, and is sure to pop up more often in the future.

Problem Solving

The player's sole goal throughout most of Championship Edition DX is to get as high a score as possible. 5 and 10 minute rounds are the game's main thrust. Players start out with a small maze littered with a ghost and a few dots, and as scores go up the maze continues to unfold and more and more ghosts begin filtering in. Sleeping ghosts also appear, and if Pac-Man passes them they wake up and get ready to jump into the pursuing ghost chain. Players must wind through the mazes, completing sections to unlock new ones and eventually earning most of their points by turning around and eating the dozens of ghosts they've collected. As players excel the speed of the game increases and the size of the chain becomes more and more threatening, increasing the tension in each round all the way up to the time limit.

Players are rewarded for mastering the basic ideas of the game and for learning the intricacies of each of the game's maps, and as they practice they can eventually put their names onto the global leaderboards for each maze.

Additional modes like fruit-eating time trials and ghost chain challenges add new dimensions and are enjoyable variations on the basic game, though they do lack the depth of the score challenges.

Simulation

Pac-Man is not a simulation game.

Popularity

Championship Edition DX has been highly praised, and has generally been considered a considerable and interesting improvement of the original Championship Edition and one of the most straightforwardly fun games on XBLA and PSN. It is one of the best-reviewed games of the year according to sites like Metacritic.

Controls & Options

Players can't change controls, but there are a surprising number of ways to customize the game's visual style. Before each round players can choose from a handful of styles for Pac-Man, the ghosts and the mazes themselves, and can mix and match between 3D characters, more retro looks and psychedelic mazes. Players also choose the music that plays during each round, and three difficulty levels are available that start the game off at different speeds.

Tips

 Pac-Man Championship Edition DX was rated Everyone by the ESRB.