Pac-Man Museum Review
Posted by Robert Ramsey
Pac's the way I like it
Whether you're a ghost-munching veteran or a total newcomer, there's no better way to experience the multiple old-school adventures of Bandai Namco's infamous yellow orb than Pac-Man Museum. Bringing together nine titles that span three different genres, it's difficult not to feel that you're getting plenty of nostalgic pleasure, although there's no denying that the asking price is difficult to swallow.
The majority of the games on offer are all about the traditional gameplay that you'd associate with everyone's favourite hungry sphere, and range from the original 2D Pac-Man to the 3D Pac-Man Arrangement. While there's close to no difference between a number of the titles on offer, and some options are simply better than others, the fact that there's a decent sense of choice when flicking through the available releases is welcome nonetheless.
Depending on your tastes, you may prefer the simplicity of the baseline Pac-Man experience, or you may find the subtle gameplay quirks of Super Pac-Man more appealing. Whatever game you decide to stick with, the collection supports local leaderboards, high scores, and even a newly implemented stamp system, where you'll unlock various visual rewards that decorate the main menu and show off your accomplishments.
Overall, it feels like a thoughtful gathering of classic games tied together with a lovingly made selection screen. Switching from one title to another takes almost no time at all due to a noticeable lack of load screens, which also helps to soften the blow of failing to beat your previous high score.
Indeed, Pac-Man's eternally-addictive gameplay remains a force to be reckoned with when you're looking for a way to pass the time, and Museum promises to keep things fresh thanks to the variety that it offers. That said, you'll undoubtedly be returning to some content more than others, with the likes of the rather boring platformer Pac-Land fighting for your attention alongside the supremely addictive Pac-Man Battle Royale.
The latter provides some multiplayer fun that's incredibly difficult to put down, and proves to be a particular highlight. Supporting up to four players, you'll be desperately scrambling to grow your cannibalistic Pac-Man so that you can devour the competition, while also avoiding the ever-present ghosts. Its simple spin on the original formula is still a fantastic way to enjoy Namco's mascot with friends, leading to sessions of hilarity as you try to outsmart each other only to be caught out by the colourful antagonists instead.
Meanwhile, Pac-Attack provides a bit of respite from the intensity of escaping spectres with its Tetris-like gameplay. You'll be placing falling blocks in order to link ghosts together, who are then combo-chomped by a descending Pac-Man. Arranging the critters just right and then watching the gleeful sphere race onto the scene and snap them up makes for a satisfying little puzzler, even if it isn't the most unique.
Contrary to what its name may suggest, Pac-Man Museum isn't a stuffy building stacked full of the mascot's bones, but is instead a great way to celebrate a classic franchise – assuming that you're willing to cough up the cash. While it may not be the perfect collection, and a few of its inclusions are rendered a little pointless by some of the other content on offer, fans can't go wrong when it comes to nostalgic value, and newcomers may discover a fondness for an iconic character who's well past his prime.