Pac-Man Championship Edition DX Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PC
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX screenshot
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX screenshot

Yes, this is one of those games: perseverance is rewarded by higher scores, and higher scores increase your standing on the online leaderboards. Despite indulging in another lick of those snazzy day-glo rave surroundings and bass-heavy beats, Pac-Man hasn't strayed far from his arcade roots.

Thankfully, all progress is fed straight into your online rankings. Each maze has its own leaderboard for five and ten minute Score Attacks and Ghost Combos, as well as a cumulative effort for the many Time Attack levels; the temptation to zip back into a stage to have just one last go is usually too much to resist.

The biggest shame of the entire game, however, is Namco's failure to bring the leaderboards up to the level of its contemporaries. You have to wade through far too many menu screens to get the required information, and while you can see both your personal score and that of your friends list, you can never see both on the same screen - an absolutely baffling design decision, frankly. The game's leaderboards are a step in the right direction, but another prominent example of how Japanese developers still aren't on par with their Western counterparts when it comes to online integration.

But Namco's other modern modifications - the game's veritable abundance of sneaky nips and tucks - are often nothing short of genius. Get close to peril, for instance, and the screen will zoom in while the action slows to a crawl. This allows you either a few seconds to make a last-ditch attempt at a getaway or an agonising close-up of your impending failure. It's a genuine pride-killing moment to see your high-score attempt ruined, in slow motion, during the last moments of a game.

Bombs have also been added to the right trigger, allowing you to blast away (but not kill) an entire conga line of baddies. This move has clearly been influenced by the shmup genre the likes of Geometry Wars 2, but these get-out-of-jail-free moments don't dumb the game down: their score-punishing side effects means they're only ever used as a painful admission of failure.

What's most surprising is how Namco's excellent arcade game has arrived out of nowhere. A title of this quality could surely have stood proud amongst the best of what XBLA's Summer of Arcade and Game Feast promotions had to offer, making its bizarre through-the-backdoor entrance all the more confusing. But when the actual game is compared to the finest of its score-hungry contemporaries - Trials HD, Super Stardust HD and Geometry Wars 2 - Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is a titanic event of equal worth.

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User Comments

Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

This game has now actually begun to make my eyes bleed neon.
Posted 20:06 on 30 November 2010
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ CheekyLee

I'd check the leaderboards again, Lee.
Posted 10:55 on 28 November 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

No they just slow you down slightly.
Posted 10:43 on 28 November 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Do bombs lose you points then?
Posted 10:25 on 28 November 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Get2DaChoppa

Actually, my current high score run on Championship II included a couple of bombs and I think a death, whereas my previous best was perfect. A big help was realising that ghost trains top out at 30, thus eating them at that time instead of losing ghosts.

That being said, I generally restart if I die!
Posted 00:30 on 28 November 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa@ squidman

Great idea Martin.

I've just come off of a Pac-Man-a-thon, and it's one of those games that if you make the smallest misteke, if you're going for a high score, you have to restart over and over again, just like Trials HD.
Posted 00:15 on 28 November 2010
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ CheekyLee

We'll see about that.

I'll look into kicking off some forum high-score antics on Monday - will also dig around the office and see if we have any swag we can giveaway to some winners.
Posted 23:54 on 27 November 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ CheekyLee

Ah yeah sorry didn't realise lol.
Posted 19:54 on 27 November 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Mr_Ninjutsu

Isn't the iTouch version just CE, and not DX? I know it is slightly more than standard CE, but I'm pretty sure there isn't a DX version released on iTouch yet.

@Martin : Your score on Championship II 5 minute was good. Sadly, it wasn't good enough! ;)
Posted 19:02 on 27 November 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ squidman

Would this count for the Iphone version too?
Posted 15:41 on 27 November 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ squidman

Score competition? I'm all over that like Wayne Rooney in an old-folks home!
Posted 12:17 on 27 November 2010
squidman's Avatar

squidman

Glad to see everyone likes it. I'm thinking I might kick off a forum score competition if enough people are interested?
Posted 12:15 on 27 November 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Get2DaChoppa

Exactly how i feel, I think it's a great return for Pac-Man.
Posted 11:19 on 27 November 2010
Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa@ Mr_Ninjutsu

Yeah, have to agree it is a brilliant game, and the slow down is pretty awesome.

I was never really a fan of Pac-Man before I picked this up, but glad I did.
Posted 11:16 on 27 November 2010
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

I take back my comment from another thread in which i commented saying that's its the same thing with flashy lights or something. It's brilliant. I love the slow down time where your just about to get hit by one of the ghosts and then you change direction. I keep forgetting about the bombs lol.

Feels good chomping down on all them ghosties racking up all the points. Me likey!
Posted 11:10 on 27 November 2010

Game Stats

Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
9
Out of 10
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
  • New features jazz up the game.
  • Very addictive.
  • Feels contemporary.
  • Online leaderboards could be better.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 18/11/2010
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 4,124 1
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