Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus - Review

Author: Mattia "Zave" Ravanelli
Date: 2021-02-01 18:21:21
For more than ten years, the Pac-Man Championship Edition series has been able to boast a success that few colleagues have achieved: that of being able to combine past and present. Keeping the iconography and main idea of the 1979 game (swallowing dots and devouring ghosts) unaltered, he added a speed and rhythm more suited to our times. A sort of happy oasis for those who have never stopped loving Toru Iwatani's late Puck-Man, whose rules of engagement are now also on Nintendo Switch, with the addition of an unprecedented two-player mode.

However, the base remains that of Pac-Man Champioship Edition 2, the sequel published in the fall of 2016 and which, unfortunately, failed to fully replicate the effectiveness and cleanliness of the design that made the first release, and above all the DX + edition, a real must. Even today, a year and a half later and after having spent hours again on the ten basic mazes of the game, the recipe of Championship Edition 2 is fun and intoxicating, but without the extreme cleanliness and depth of its predecessor.

However, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus proves to be an absolutely enjoyable and recommended game on the Nintendo console. Always having such a festival of frenzy, color and ignorant-electronic music available is a blast. Technically everything works quite well, even if some slight uncertainty in the frame rate here and there makes you turn your mouth a little. These are details that probably only the most impalled in the series can really detect and suffer, but taking into account the limitation of the graphics sector of the game, it becomes difficult to understand the reason for these slight smudges.

Whether played in portable mode through the two Joy-Con or faced on the TV, perhaps with a Pro Controller in your hands, the ectoplasmic eating festival is doing well. The Rumble HD effect, whose "power" cannot be changed, proves slightly intrusive when playing directly on the Switch, but again nothing really annoying or worrying. However, some correction by Bandai Namco in this sense remains desirable.

Less convincing is the two-player mode, to be experienced by exploiting, if desired, the two small series controllers of the console. In this case we find ourselves in front of four new labyrinths specially designed to allow the two participants to move in a symmetrical way. The style of play almost resembles a cross between the first and the second Championship Edition, with the dot patterns that leave more decision-making freedom than where and how to move to "wake up" the ghosts, a reduced initial speed and, in any case, the return of the questionable trains of ghosts to chase here and there for the schemes.

All is well, except that some ideas appear forced and unnecessarily confusing. As happens when you have to manage the pappatory phase, between ghosts that go to create the trains independently and others that remain free for the maze, with the game that asks the two Pac-Man to push the rebels to certain points and then “Chew them” with the right couple coordination. An exaggeratedly slow moment, in a game that makes the speed and total effectiveness of the movements its anthem. Impossible to explain why, then, some enemies end up in the middle of the path of the two heroes even when the pattern drawn by the dots is perfectly followed. In the classic Pac-Man Championship Edition, if the movements are carried out correctly and you follow the hypnotic rhythm of the game, you are rewarded precisely by the almost total certainty of not having ghosts in the middle of your feet.

If already with Championship Edition 2 and the idea of ghosts that can be touched without immediately losing a life, the concept just expressed was partially betrayed, here everything is taken to a new level. Sin. Just as it becomes difficult to understand the management of performance ratings of two-player games. I have always and in any case only brought home "E" (the worst possible "medal"), despite decent scores. To understand: in single-player mazes I only have "A" and some haggard "B". The behavior of the artificial intelligence with which you can face the 2P mode if there are no friends nearby is also unconvincing: the CPU does not seem interested in awakening any ghosts if it is not forced by the path of the dots.

A series of indecisions and nebulous choices that undermine this new game option, which otherwise would also have some potential: having to coordinate perfectly with a second participant is fun and cooperation would perfectly fit the style of play.

Even so, however, it is impossible not to fully recommend Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus: climbing to the best score seriously risks getting you glued to the Switch and / or the TV for many more games and hours of play than you ever could. forecast.

I played Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus thanks to a code received directly from Bandai Namco. I tried all the mazes in the single player mode and went through the mazes for two Pac-Man with both the computer and a dining partner. The test was carried out on a Samsung KS7000 TV and using both Joy-Con and Nintendo's official Pro Controller.