cyclonus_the_warrior's Pac-Man 256 (PlayStation 4) review

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While indeed fun, it is a bit over-hyped.

I'm actually still amazed that a game as simple as Pac-Man which simply follows a little yellow ball with a mouth eating dots to clear a stage has survived this long, as well as still be insanely fun to play; and this doesn't even include when there's a bit of innovation thrown in. Pac-Man received another make over about a year ago borrowing elements from Pac-Man Jr. and Pac-Mania to create another solid gaming outing. It also digs deep into its own history to use the game breaking glitch, the kill screen from the original game as its main premise For those with no idea what that is; in the original game once the player made it to level 256, the game would automatically break due to a graphical glitch that made the game unplayable. I honestly thought it was a myth for years because I never made it that far in the game, nor bothered to watch anyone play it for that long. In any case, I immediately wanted to give this game a shot, and for the last week it soaked up some good time.

The object of the game is to guide Pac-Man upwards through an endless maze eating dots and collecting items as he avoids the kill screen moving several screens behind him wiping out the entire game. There is no ending to this game at all. It's completely endless as the player attempts to score as many points as possible, and for those familiar with earlier Pac-Man games, you more than likely never seen so many ghost monsters after Pac-Man before.

The ghosts are in hot pursuit and some have specific mannerisms to try and work some sort of a strategy. There are numerous power ups to help Pac-Man such as lasers, beams, bombs, and many other things. The fruit items act as score multipliers which racks up the points, plus the main element is to try and eat 256 pac-dots in succession. This immediately destroys all ghosts on the screen, and this is actually a part of the game play many people will find themselves truly hooked on trying hard not to break the pac-dot chain.

The game can be fun and very addictive. I had a hard enough time putting it down. I like the game, but I would definitely like it more if not for several flaws that simply bothers me. While trying to form the 256 chain, at least in my case, I noticed it's best to ignore it and try to form it only when possible, because it will lead to pointless deaths that can easily be avoided, in addition, the amount of points forming the chain doesn't seem to be that rewarding. I racked up major points sticking to the fruit multipliers and killing ghosts with random items that can be selected when they are finally unlocked; and speaking of the items, I find too many of them to be downright useless and they make lasting longer in the game very difficult. On top of this, in order to earn more coins to upgrade the items, there are missions that must be performed using these items; such as collecting one of them five times or killing 20 ghost or more with them. Certain items just aren't fun to play with, and they can lead to unnecessary and frustrating deaths. The game also has some unfair moments with a horde of ghosts in one place making it impossible to move further; and finally, there is way too much grinding to squeeze out game play. In order to upgrade items the player will have to replay many of those missions, and since the stage pretty much remains the same despite variety as you move along I can imagine some people not bothering for too long. I stuck it out to unlock the trophies though.

Visually the game resembles its old school counterpart and the visual design can be changed such as using the Pac-Mania character models to play as. There is no running soundtrack so you're stuck with the sound effects that I never found to be annoying.

I downloaded this for the PS4 for like 5 dollars I think which is about right. At the same time, I downloaded Pac-Man: Champion Edition due to many recommendations I had seen, and I find it to be far better. If Pac-Man is and always has been your thing then give both of these a shot, other wise stick to whatever else you're enjoying because I can imagine this boring others whom aren't fans of the franchise.

Rating: 6

Highs: Easy to get into, addictive, some nice items

Lows: Some lackluster items too, too much grinding, and unfair moments

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