Growing up during a time when three-letter initials on a high score board made you a god in the local arcades, purchasing Pac-Man DX was a bit of a no-brainer. However, the purchase was less about high scores when that button stating "Download Now" became embossed and more about the rampant rumors that it was an easy S-rank on achievements. Coming close to rounding out 65,000 gamerscore, I didn't think twice about buying the game.
In a week where gaming purchases included stuff like Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Singularity, Enslaved, and Split/Second thanks to Black Friday, it felt as though trying to find something to play wasn't going to be a problem, that my gaming time was going to be full for a while. Hell, New Vegas still sits in the drawer unfinished. Halo: Reach's legendary campaign and Black Ops' veteran campaigns are feeling lonely. Even Dead Space's impossible playthrough and Bayonetta's climax playthrough remain unfinished.
"That's only 700,000 points. I can do that."
Very quickly, after putting time into a few more matches and watching some replays, it becomes evident very quickly that there is more to this than just getting a high score. There are patterns, and within those patterns, there are even more labyrinthine passages to find in order to shave a second here and get an extra ghost there. Mixing that in with the hyperspeed that the game blasts away at, going for that high score becomes an infuriating experience.
I emphasize the word "infuriating". Pac-Man DX is not poorly designed by any means. Rather, it's the opposite: the game is so brilliantly designed that making one small mistake can send you into a fucking tirade of anger and hyperventilation beyond words. It's much the same as Super Meat Boy: they make it so easy to just restart and try again. Unfortunately, that restart is typically followed with you telling Pac-Man DX how much of a cocksucking fuckstain it is for being so cot-damned addicting!!!
And remember, folks...this is just for one board! This isn't getting into Highway or Junction or any of the other ones. This is just to have the high score on what I personally consider to be the board that matters.
As of last night, I moved up to rank #518 with 1.75 million points. Getting from my previous rank of 800-something to 518...which was a difference between 1.70 million and 1.75 million took nearly four hours of restarts and foul language to achieve.
It was worth every fucking minute.
Thanks for reading, and hopefully I'll be in the #1 spot by the time I write about Pac-Man DX again. Until next time, piece.
P.S. - Now if there was only a way to directly upload the replays from Pac-Man DX onto YouTube...