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 Post subject: Pac Man Championship 2 - MiniReview - Campion
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:50 am 
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I wrote this for steam when I kind of wanted to explain my feelings, but not get too in depth. Because I really could go on all day about how much I like Pac Man DX, and by extension this.

http://steamcommunity.com/id/Campion608 ... ed/441380/

Quote:
These are crude early impressions from someone who is in the top 100 on the leaderboards (or at least, top 300 if we include hackers) for both Pac Man DX and Champ 2:

- The game starts with an unnecessary six minute tutorial. After this, you unlock Score attack, where you unlock more levels as you play. There's a lot of unlocking in this game, but I think anyone with moderate stint of skill should be able to unlock mostly everything in no time.

- Championship 2 has the same fundamentals as the other games (eat dots, ghost trains, power pellets) but its otherwise entirely different. Eating dots fills up a gauge that, when filled will allow you to eat a fruit at the center of the screen to refresh the board. This means you don't have to eat every single dot to to get the fruit like in DX. Ghosts no longer immediately kill you on impact. Instead you bump off them a few times before they turn hostile and chase you. Bombs can now be obtained by eating all of the dots and return you to the center of the screen instead of the ghosts when you use them. Another small addition to some boards are jump pads that dart you across the screen. I have to say, I think these will always throw me out of whack, but in a good way.

These changes may seem confusing at first, but they make for a less linear and more hectic game than DX. DX, as genius as it was, was arguably linear with its boards and forced you to eat every dot in a predetermined path to progress. By introducing the guage, the game presents the player with the option of moving to the next screen early or getting the remaining dots and ghosts available. Another aspect that ups the ante significantly is giving all four ghosts their own train as they wander around the board. The more mini ghosts you collect, the longer their trains get and the harder they are to avoid. This is on top of how incredibly fast these games get as you gain speed.

There are still some changes I'm kind of iffy on, like when you finally have to chase and eat the ghost trains. On one hand I can understand how these moments are meant to fit the manic feel of the game, but they can get a little frustrating from just how sporadic and random the ghosts movements are. These moments only get worse for more complex parts of the map where the ghosts twist and turn all over the place. Then there's the actual process of eating them, which zooms in on you as pac man automatically chomps away. While it does look cool, you can't control Pac man during these sequences and he'll often turn in directions you didn't intend. There is also the chance of you getting stuck in one of these trains on accident. It just seems that this stage of the game feels poorly realized in a few ways.

- Score attack mode has three difficulties: Single Train, Regular and Extreme. Single train has the slowest speed and only has one train of ghosts follow you, while Regular splits it into four ghost trains and speeds things up a bit. Extreme mode is for those of us who take our scores seriously. You only get three lives (not that it will matter, since you'll probably restart when you die) and ghosts turn hostile if you tap them once.

- There is something called adventure mode that has bosses or something, but honestly my only interest in these games comes down to their score attacks.

- The LSD infused visuals and music that drew so many people to these games in the first place is still absolutely fantastic.

- The system requirements stike me as really strange (an i7 for fucking pac man?), and it doesn't help to see people reporting issues with this game. I own a GTX 750 ti with a i5 4590, and I have not encountered a single problem.

My opinions may change the further I dig into the game, but they are largely positive. Pac Man DX was arcade perfection and Champ 2 introduced a few new good ideas to shake it up, even if some don't work out as well. As far as I'm concerned, this is a worthy successor to Pac Man DX, although not as perfectly executed.


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