|Download added: arrange.jpg (108550 bytes)|
"First boss trapped in wall for a game-ending bug in Arrangement."
PSN game with versions of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Land, Pac-Mania, Pac-Attack (Genesis version, according to Wikipedia), Pac-Man Arrangement, Pac-Man Championship Edition, and a newish thing, Pac-Man Battle Royale, which I guess before this appeared in some arcades in 2011.
Most of these games are not very good, Royale especially (meant for multiplayer, where you bump awkwardly against other Pacs, trying to rebound them into ghosts, or you get the power pill and just eat them. Small mazes, not much fun, why why why). Arrangement was in Namco Museum Battle Collection on PSP (see entry 872), and I said semi-okay things about it there, but on the big screen it, the undulating lanes of power pellets are nauseating--and it's still way too darn easy, like they felt they had to gut the elegant ghost AI of the original game for some reason and must make the ghosts pretty much entirely mindless--and put you in some really awfully designed mazes, with dead ends and stuff.
Some of the older Pac arcade games are kind of a hoot to see, but really only in a how-did-they-make-a-game-this-bad sort of way, especially Pac-Land, which becomes a downright trip once you make the short trip into fairy land off a diving board after waggling your stick in the air to leap farther, at which point the fairy queen or whoever she is kisses you and puts a feather in your little Swiss yodeller hat and gives you magic boots that let you air-jump to infinity...which I promptly used to kill myself once she sent me back the way I had come, only now running back through the level from right to left. Seriously man, it is hard to know what Namco was thinking, but clearly they were desperate to recapture the hit that was Pac-Man (and Ms. Pac-Man, although that came through Midway and must have irked them no end).
Championship Edition, which for a long time was only on Xbox (see entry 1168), and then *was* on PS3, but only in blurry "mini" form, is reminding me just why it nearly had me lusting after an Xbox back in the day; time-limited modes, yes, but just so well done and so darn smooth. I had had the mini, you see, but hadn't really played it because I'd made the mistake of first playing the non-mini followup, DX or whatever it was, which is terrible--following the old Pac pattern of a head-scratchingly bad follow-up to an actual inspired game, I suppose; in DX, you just follow a string of dots and gobble rows of hapless ghosts, whereas in CE, you actually, you know, have to make choices while navigating mazes and fleeing quirkily intelligent ghosts. So that's nice to rediscover here.
The Pac-Man here seems fine, although it's a little irksome that it (and the other games) is only in 720p here, whereas it has been out for ages in another PS3 collection, Namco Essentials or something, in 1080p.
And so I finally get a Ms. Pac-Man at a reasonable, if not fantastic, resolution. Why it took Namco so long to port it to a PS3 or PS4, I can't imagine--it was a free launch game or something on Xbox, for gosh's sake! The funny thing too about this release in Museum is that Ms. was DLC, not part of the main game, but was free for the first month or two, then went up to $5 or something. Hah! Well, they know what their real killer app is, you can say that for them.
I don't think I ran into this in the PSP version, but in my first real play-through attempt at Arrangement, I hit a show-stopping bug at the first boss, which you reach after five mazes or so: it's a giant ghost with respawning power pellets in the corners of the screen, and when you eat one, it splits into tons of normal-sized scared ghosts, which you can eat for a few seconds before they assemble back into a somewhat smaller boss; this goes on and on until you manage to gobble all the small ghosts, EXCEPT that in this case, the ghost reassembled, or something, inside a wall, where he couldn't get me, and I couldn't get him. Nothing to do, no way to advance or end the game. Probably won't come back to this one anyway so it was fun to go out with a fizzle I guess : D
|At 720p on my 1080p screen, the game seems to be using different scaling methods for different elements of the games; the backgrounds in Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Land, for instance, are fairly crisp, but the Pac-persons themselves are ever so slightly blurry by comparison.|
- CE was 2007, Battle Royale was 2010
- CE has been Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani's last work in the series to date, as CE Project Supervisor (his other Pac credits per Wikipedia are Pac-Man (Designer), Super Pac-Man (Designer), Pac-Land (Producer), Pac-Mania (Director))
- I was confusing Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (2nd CE game, on PS3) with Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 (3rd CE game, on PS4); I did NOT like DX; 2 looks pretty bad as well
- As far as CE on PS4 goes, what my very slow, very confused brain FINALLY worked out is that
-- Namco Museum Archives Vol 1 and Vol 2 on PS4 are collections of Namco NES games, ported or emulated or whatever by M2; Vol 1 has their CE "demake" (extra flashy top and bottom border VFX though) (Vol 2 has a Gaplus demake)
-- PS4 also has Pac-Man Museum+, which has CE
-- There's no stand-alone PS4 version of CE
As far as I can tell from quick skimming of the Championship Edition modes, the differences are: Championship Mode and Extra Mode 1 are 5 minutes rather than 10, Extra Mode 1's tunnels are primarily horizontal, Challenge Mode 1 may have different power pellet distribution schemes, Challenge Mode 2 is a dark mode, and Extra Mode 2 and 3 are pretty much just different mazes.
|According to https://delistedgames.com/pac-man-museum/ , this version was delisted from the PS Store in July 2020--probably, they speculate, because the formerly Namco Bandai Games had changed their name in the interim, first to Bandai Namco Games, then Bandai Namco Entertainment...so of course they had to remove all the old game versions because uhh they didn't want to pay to patch their new name into them? ; PPP|| ||