In these days of super-powered Italian brothers and mutated ninja reptiles, you may have forgotten the great grand-daddy of all video game heroes – Pacman! Fortunately, the good folks at Atari haven't forgotten this video game legend.
True to the prestigious Pacman legacy, Pacland is a fun and challenging game! It's adapted from its arcade counterpart of a couple of years back, but it breaks from the format of all the other Pacman games by eliminating the mazes and placing a running and jumping Pacman onto horizontally-scrolling levels of game-play.
Pacman scampers through various environments such as towns, desserts, canyons, and forests filled with his old nemeses, those pesky ghosts that hunt him wherever he goes. In this game, however, the ghosts zoom around in a variety of vehicles, including cars, buses, airplanes, and even pogo sticks! Fortunately for Pacman, precious power pills pop up at various points on each level turning him into a lean, mean, ghost-chomping machine!
As Pacman you must help the fairy princess Buttercup pass through the 20 treacherous levels in Pacland. The road through Pacland is filled with all sorts of traps and treachery, including floating log bridges and wide, ultra-deep pools of water. Our rotund hero is also under the gun since he only has a set amount of time to make it through each level.
A Pac-ful of Fun
Expert gamers, don't be fooled by Pacland's innocent-looking graphics and simple game play. This is a challenging game, which requires concentration and excellent reflexes. Game-play is smooth and the graphics are sharp and appealing. Even the Saturday-morning-cartoon soundtrack quickly grows on you. Simply put, Pacland packs a powerful good time!
- Jump up and push on all the obstacles. They often nigger yummy bonus treats, including secret warps!
- Ride on top of a ghost. It's the one place they can't touch you!
- Learn the patterns of the ghosts and the obstacles before you jump. They often do quirky things!
The first game that made me suspect my first impressions were wrong was Pac-Land. As its name suggests, this game removes our chomping hero from the mazes in which he's lived all these years and puts him into a new world filled with ghosts and other strange creatures. Not only that, but he can do more than just scuttle about.
Now he can run and jump, just like Mario and Luigi. Not a bad idea, certainly, but a couple of things seemed to stand in the way of this game's success. To begin with, the music, while pleasant, is far too repetitive. The graphics are almost devoid of the fine detail the TurboGrafx allows. And the game forces you to reverse the way you'd normally use a game controller.
Despite these flaws, however, Pac-Land is undeniably addictive. If you don't like it at first, give it a second chance. Before long, you'll be trying to get Pac-Man over the mountains, across the lakes, past the bridges, and finally toward the fairy princess he's supposed to rescue. After I finally stopped playing, my daughters (ages 10 and 12) took command, and the game hasn't stopped since. For some reason, this simple game continues to fascinate no matter how long it's played. Indeed, maybe its greatest strength is its simplicity.
The game still suffers from one nagging problem, though. In most running and jumping games, the directional pad moves you from one side of the screen to the other, while the buttons allow you to jump. But in Pac-Land, button I moves you right, button II moves you left, and the directional keys let you jump. In other words, it's precisely the reverse of what you'd expect. There's nothing wrong with a new way of doing things, of course, but these controls are so contrary that we still find it confusing -even after all those hours of play.
Oh No--A Fairy Princess Is Trapped By Monsters in Pac-Land. But That's Okay, Because One of the Most Recognizable Video Game Characters, Pac-Man, Is On the Job. Guide Pac-Man As He Journeys Over Rivers, Past Mountain Faces, and Through Forests and Deserts in a Quest to Save the Fairy Princess. It Won't Be An Easy Task, Not with Monsters Hot On His Tail Trying to Prevent Him From Reach Their Hideout, Monster Mansion.