Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus is the latest version of the all-time classic video game. However, this time around the rules are quite a bit different; this isn’t your mom’s Pac-Man! Are these changes for the better? Is Championship Edition 2 worthy of your time? Read on to find out.
It’s virtually a requirement to start with the tutorial due to all the changes to the Pac-Man formula. So to start, I’ll give a brief overview of the gameplay. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus is all about clearing as many rooms and racking up as high a score as possible within a 5 minute time limit. There are a variety of different levels, each with 3 difficulty levels and a practice mode. The ghosts are harmless to start out. However, once you bump into them a few times they become Angry Ghosts. To clear a room, you need to collect enough dots to spawn a fruit in the middle of the stage. Eating all the dots will give you an extra bomb, which can be used to “blast” Pac-Man to the center of the stage and escape dangerous situations.
Some stages will spawn a Power Pellet instead of a fruit. Eating the power pellet makes the ghosts (which are followed by a long train of mini-ghosts) vulnerable. Once this happens, the ghost trains begin moving around the stage at high speeds. Now to clear the room, Pac-Man has to get in front of the train in order to ambush the lead ghost, devouring the entire train at once.
And that’s the basic gameplay loop: eat dots, grab the fruit to go to the next stage, repeat, eat a Power Pellet, devour the Ghost Train. It takes some getting used to if you’re accustomed to the more traditional Pac-Man gameplay, but it’s certainly not bad. Pac-Man has brakes, can speed around corners sending sparks flying, and there are even rapid-fire Boss stages where things get even more dangerous. Successfully ambushing Ghost Trains is satisfying, and the variety of maps and difficulty levels give the game some longevity. In going for high scores, I frequently found myself wishing I had a fightstick controller to give me a more authentic arcade experience. The game constantly pushes you to go for a new high score, and can get downright addicting. The Adve
However, that said, the game is far from perfect. Some elements can be frustrating. For example, ambushing Ghost Trains. They move at such a high speed that it can be frustrating to predict where they will go next. This gets better as you master the maps, but since you can only approach the Ghost Train from the front, it can lead to frustration early on. Other elements of Championship Edition 2 Plus are similar: just a little bit frustrating, at least until you get used to them.
Exclusive to the Switch version of the game (hence the Plus in the title) is a co-op mode, which can be played with a CPU or a human controlling the second blue Pac-Man. Every action in this mode requires careful coordination with your partner, from eating ghosts and fruit to defeating bosses. One player can “dribble” the ghost along, but it takes the other player cornering the ghost from the other direction to finish the ghost off. Boss battles play out differently in co-op, with a giant ghost actively chasing after you while you try to eat enough dots to make your attack. The two Pac-Men (Pac-Mans?) bounce off surfaces, repeatedly throwing themselves into the vulnerable boss in order to to damage. It’s hectic, it’s different, and it’s a lot of fun.
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus is an interesting, experimental direction for the series. It may not be the greatest version of Pac-Man ever, but there is a lot of frantic fun to be had if you’re open-minded to something different.
- Fast-paced, hectic arcade gameplay
- Fun co-op mode
- Lots of maps, music, and modes
- Some of the changes are mildly frustrating
Soup Verdict: If you give it a chance, you’ll find a tasty new twist on an old classic!
A review copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.