Review by WilliamPorygon
"Gamecube's got a case of Pac-Man Fever!"
For over twenty years, Pac-Man has been the flagship character of Namco. The famous dot-eating sphere is world-famous for spawning countless spin-off games and making Namco a strong contender in the video game market. So of course, it is only fitting that he gets the starring role in Namco's first game on the 'Cube.
Pac-Man World 2 is a fairly good platform game. While it does have its flaws, it is definitely an enjoyable game overall. The story is fairly simple: The ghosts have stolen five golden fruits from a tree in Pac-Land, releasing an evil ghost named Spooky from its imprisonment. Pac-Man has to defeat the ghosts, retrieve the golden fruits and save the day. Of course, along the way Pac-Man wants to eat all the fruits and dots he can find. There are a few nice cinematic sequences that show the story, but unfortunately there are none of these during most of the game.
Although most of the game is well done, there are a few problems that some will find annoying. The camera control, like in many 3-D platformers, can get poor at times. Some stages lock the camera into a fixed position and have you walking straight into the camera, leaving you with little idea what is ahead of you. When you do have camera control, it occasionally does get stuck on a wall and refuses to move so you can see Pac-Man. This doesn't happen too often, but it is very frustrating when it does. The camera also often is slow to catch up when walking through a portal in the mazes, sometimes even moving in the wrong direction for a moment first — a problem that can make it very easy for you to walk into a ghost that would otherwise be easily avoidable.
Pac-Man World 2 may seem a bit short in size, but it can actually take quite some time to complete. There are six worlds, with three stages and a boss in each. All your typical video-game worlds are there: forest world, snow world, volcano world, etc. However, there is a lot of replayability value in the levels that are there. Lots of food and dots are scattered around Pac-Land, and it will take players quite some time to collect them all. Also worth mentioning is the time trial mode for each stage. All the default times must be beaten to completely clear the game, and some of them can be extremely challenging. Also adding to the replayability of this game is the arcade, where players can try out several of the older Pac-Man arcade games once they've earned enough tokens in the main game.
The graphics in Pac-Man World 2 are great. Pac-Man and the ghosts have never looked better. From the various expressions on Pac-Man's face right down to the seeds on the strawberries, you can tell that much work was put into the look of this game. There are some nice music selections, but nothing particularly memorable, and the sound effects, though simplistic, will definitely bring back memories of the original.
Pac-Man World 2 is definitely worth a rental, at least. It certainly isn't for everybody, but it's a very fun title that would make a good choice for players who like a challenge.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/24/02, Updated 03/24/02
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