Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Review (PS4)on September 24, 2016 by Mitch Jay
Here’s a fun fact for you all – I’ve never been a huge fan of Pac-Man and it was only with the Championship Edition DX did I really start enjoying my time with the iconic yellow ball man thing, and so I found myself quite excited when a sequel was announced.
There’s no story or character development to speak of here, just good arcade fun where your aim is to get the highest score you possibly can within the time limit. As is expected of Pac-Man, you dart around a maze collecting power pellets to raise your score, and eating fruit and other items raises that score higher. Eating a big power pellet allows you to eat the ghosts who have been chasing you so that they stay out of your way for a while – and, of course, to raise your points some more! Ghosts don’t kill you in one hit now but hitting them another angers them so that they’ll chase you as a much faster pace before cooling off again, and if one grabs you whilst they’re in a frenzy then you’ll lose a life.
Pac-Man is bursting with colour.
The game doesn’t take place on one maze either – once you’ve collected enough pellets to make the fruit or other item appear, then you can grab that and you’ll be pinged over to a new maze to do the same once again. You’re given 5 minutes to do your best with each new maze getting harder and harder, but of course you can finish it quickly by being beaten by a colourful ghost. There are new maps that emphasise speed such as the one with no walls, and ones that have more walls and will push your reactions to their limits as you’re always in close proximity to a ghost. It’s not just the traditional mazes that you’re used to and considering I can become quickly fatigued with a game like Pac-Man, I appreciated that there are little things to shake things up and I particularly like the maps that allow for faster gameplay. There are boss battles too but these are as simple as completing a course as you usually would, but they quickly become more intense and you have to meet specific criteria to progress before eventually devouring the boss ghost.
Alongside score attack with its varying mazes, there’s an adventure mode where you’re given a set goal such as collect 5 fruits before tackling the next mission which is fun and a nice deviation away from simply racking up high scores, although score attack really is where it’s at for Pac-Man. Other than the cool gameplay improvements and additions that make this one of the best Pac-Man titles yet, what really impresses me are the visuals and they play a large role in bringing me back in time and time again. Pac-Man is bursting with colour, customisation options to change what things look like on-screen and the 3D segments where you and the ghosts you’re eating jump out of the map and towards the screen is always fresh and exciting to watch – I like the 3D elements of Championship Edition 2 a lot!
This game is fantastic and arguably the pinnacle of Pac-Man.
Pac-Man has a lively and upbeat soundtrack that’s always preceded in game by the classic Pac-Man jingle that plays at the start of each stage (c’mon, you know the one), and it’s techno tunes are something I can happily get behind – it only helps to make the challenges more intense! You can change the background music before starting a stage and yes, the familiar ‘waka waka’ sound is still prevalent because what’s a Pac-Man game without it?!
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 improves on the addicting, engaging formula from Championship Edition DX and adds several new features that’ll better entice you to keep going for a higher score. It’s easy to pick up and play and with 5 minute stages to blast through, it’s perfect for short breaks or longer sessions. I’m not entirely sure what a third Championship Edition could improve on as this game is fantastic and arguably the pinnacle of Pac-Man (the original is available digitally too if you want a simpler experience) and I know I’ll return to it time and time again.