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Pac-Man Championship Edition is a downloadable title developed by Bandai Namco and originally published on the Xbox 360 Games Store (formerly Xbox Live Marketplace) as part of the digital storefront's "Xbox Live Arcade" lineup in 2007. It is a re-imagining of the original 1980 Pac-Man arcade game with faster, time-limited gameplay and a higher-fidelity presentation. The game was designed by Tōru Iwatani, the original creator of Pac-Man, and was his final title before retiring from Namco in early 2007 after a thirty-year career with the company.

The XBLA version of Championship Edition was included in two downloadable-to-retail compilation discs: Xbox LIVE Arcade Compilation Disc and Namco Museum: Virtual Arcade. A portable version of Championship Edition was later released for Android and iPhone mobile devices, and is included as part of Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions for the Nintendo 3DS.

An arcade multiplayer title called Pac-Man Battle Royale was released in 2011, featuring graphics and gameplay heavily reminiscent of Pac-Man Championship Edition. Battle Royale and Championship Edition were both later included in the 2014 digital compilation title Pac-Man Museum.

Pac-Man Championship Edition received mostly positive reviews from critics, with the most common complaint being the game's total lack of any multiplayer modes. Its success led to an expanded follow-up in 2010 called Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, as well as a numbered sequel, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, which was released in 2016.

Gameplay

Pac-Man Championship Edition follows the basic gameplay template established in the original 1980 arcade game: players control the eponymous Pac-Man as he moves through a single-screen maze in order to eat all of the small yellow "Pac-Dots" scattered around the maze. Pac-Man must avoid coming into contact with the four multicolored enemy ghosts that also roam the maze (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde), each with their own unique AI; touching any of these enemies costs Pac-Man a life. However, Pac-Man can also eat special Power Pellets that sometimes appear among standard dots, which render ghosts temporarily edible by Pac-Man. Eating a ghost grants a score bonus that increases for each successive ghost eaten while the Power Pellet remains in effect. After being eaten, the ghosts' harmless disembodied eyes eventually return to the rectangular "ghost hideout" in the center of the maze, where they respawn as active enemies before resuming their pursuit of Pac-Man.

Pac-Man CE's wide-screen maze
Pac-Man CE's wide-screen maze

Championship Edition builds on this existing gameplay formula by introducing a widescreen format better suited to modern HD televisions, as opposed to the vertically oriented maze of the arcade original. The maze itself is split vertically into two halves; collecting all of the dots in one half of the maze triggers the appearance of a bonus item (initially fruit) in the opposite half and adjacent to the ghost hideout. Eating the item reveals a new dot pattern in the first half of the maze while also altering that side's basic layout, keeping Championship Edition's mazes dynamic and constantly changing. Despite the shifting layout, there are always at least three sets of "escape tunnels" (one horizontal pair and two vertical pairs) that each connect two opposite edges of a maze together, providing Pac-Man with shortcuts to the other side of the maze.

The point-scoring system has also been updated in Championship Edition. Extra lives are awarded every 20,000 points. Pac-Man can extend his active bonus multiplier for eating vulnerable ghosts in succession by consuming another Power Pellet before the effect of the previous Power Pellet expires. Additionally, the score bonus for ghosts can be increased to a maximum of 3,200 points per ghost by eating eight or more in a row. Pac-Dots and Power Pellets are also subject to a multiplier, starting at 10 points per dot and increasing by multiples of ten up to a maximum of 50 points. The dot multiplier is reset when Pac-Man loses a life.

As players earn more points, the speed of gameplay gradually increases. After losing a life, the game speed becomes somewhat slower and Pac-Man respawns at the same position in the maze where he died, as opposed to his initial starting point just below the ghost hideout.

The game is over once the player has lost all of their lives or the game timer reaches zero. A histogram of the player's score is displayed afterwards and provides a breakdown of points earned by eating dots, items and ghosts. High scores for each game mode are automatically submitted to the game's online leaderboards, and the player is given the option of watching a replay of their previous session. As with all Xbox Live Arcade releases, Championship Edition also features support for Achievements.

Modes

Pac-Man Championship Edition includes six game modes, each with their own set of rules, mazes, and time limits.

  • Championship Mode - 5-minute time limit. The primary gameplay mode.
  • Challenge Mode 1 - 10-minute time limit. The initial layouts for both halves of the maze each feature five Power Pellets, but the next several successive layouts contain no Power Pellets at all, requiring players to carefully consider their strategy regarding when to activate these power-ups.
  • Challenge Mode 2 - 10-minute time limit. While dots and Power Pellets are clearly visible, the maze itself is nearly pitch-dark other than a small radius of light emitted by Pac-Man and the four ghosts.
  • Extra Mode 1 - 5-minute time limit. The game begins at the fastest speed, and each maze layout features several long tunnels connecting the left and right edges of the screen.
  • Extra Mode 2 - 10-minute time limit. The maze layouts have a unique "grid" style typically composed of square-shaped barriers.
  • Extra Mode 3 - 10-minute time limit. The initial maze is laid out in a very constrained fashion with simple dot patterns. As the player progresses, the layouts gradually become larger and more complex.
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