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Release Date: October 14th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2

Overview -

Based on the Disney XD television series, 'Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2' is the sequel to the 2013 video game that I never knew existed. Developed by Bandai Namco Studios, it focuses on a younger, pre-teen version of the Pac-Man that I grew up with in the early 80s. The simplicity of maze navigation and pellet eating has been replaced with 3D environments, a fully animated (and voiced) Pac-Man, and a story that is clearly designed to entice the younger gaming demographic. I initially familiarized myself with this latest version of 'Pac-Man' before passing the controller over to my eight and nine year old daughters for the ultimate test to see if 'Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2' offers anything more than a three dimensional coat of paint.

OVERALL:
For Fans Only
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
October 14th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

Although completely unfamiliar with the television show of the same name, 'Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2' delivers a colorful palette consistent with the light-hearted and child-friendly content. From a 3rd-person perspective, the mostly-fixed camera is placed far enough back, and at a consistently beneficial angle, that it seldom hinders gameplay. Rarely did I find that the camera prevented me from making a strategic jump or hitting my targets while flying through the air.

The environmental variety is also a nice feature. Spread out across five major hub worlds, the level design and presentation accommodates for city structures, underwater locations, and the spectacles of outer space. While the backdrop was often re-used from one level to the next, it never felt boring or uninspiring. The brief amount of time it took to complete each level of the game also helped to eliminate the feeling of repetition.

Audio Review

Ranking:

The audio for 'Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2' is exactly what I would have expected from such a cartoonish game. The character voice-overs are child-like and high pitched, and their encouraging words to 'keep going' or 'great job' (repeated often) is smartly included when considering the age group the game is designed for.

Less pleasing is the looped soundtrack that accompanies every adventure Pac-Man goes on. Although it nicely fits the mood and theme of the game, its happy-dance tone is barely tolerable. Replacing the soundtrack with music of my own (or nothing at all) was an immediate response.

Final Thoughts

While unlikely to keep even a moderately experienced gamer interested for more than the first few hours, 'Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2' succeeds at capturing the imagination and excitement of its target audience. Although occasionally difficult for the younger gamer it is designed for, it forgives with its frequent checkpoints and liberal use of extra lives to promote repeated attempts to successfully complete one level after the next. Parents of young gamers should feel comfortable in purchasing this game for their children as it retains its light-hearted tone and mildly challenging game play from start to finish.