One of the first retro reviews on this site we covered was Pac-Man World. It was an above average PlayStation platformer, a game that is now largely unheard of, and overlooked. This spawned two more games, the second of which, we will review today. Pac-Man World 2 may be an example of why games become forgotten over time; but is this sequel comparably worse than the first one? Let us go deep into this game and see what Pac-Land has in store for players.

Story

In Pac-land, the ghosts steal five golden fruits that once hung from the giant tree in Pac-Village. After the golden fruit was taken from the tree, an ancient ghost named Spooky awakens to cause havoc for Pac-land. Only moments after waking up, Pac-man is informed of the situation by Professor-Pac; who explains that it’s up to him to retrieve the five-golden fruits in order to stop Spooky.

Gameplay

Pac-Man World 2 could be considered a collect-a-thon, as each level tallies the score and everything collected. For players who love to 100% games, the highest rewards they will gain are access to Pac-Man arcade games, and the Pac-museum in the first level, when they collect a set amount of Namco tokens. Fruit and pac-dots only seem to have the purpose of gaining a higher score, but it can feel great knowing you collected them all.

Two things which could ruin the enjoyment of any game are awkward camera angles and controls, of which Pac-Man world 2 has both. In the original Pac-Man World, the camera was fixed for players to easily see everything on screen; in this title, however, it is not. Combine this problem with a sprinting technique that makes it hard to control exactly where players land on certain platforms, and you have a game that eats away lives like tokens for arcade machines. However, some of the platforming is fun when it does not deal with the listed problems.

Most of the game can be considered a breeze, and players not trying to collect anything could clear levels quickly. Pac-Man World 2 has plenty of collectables for players in each level, with the only annoying part being when players die before their next checkpoint, meaning everything they have collected will respawn prior to the checkpoint.

There are moments in this game that can be praised for the original mechanics, but also shunned for certain designs. Each of the worlds have their own enemy types, adding to the unique setting for each world, but at the end of each world, players will deal with boss fights that tend to be slightly similar. Each of the bosses leading up to Spooky are the main ghost Pac-Man fights, with the first being the orange ghost in a giant mechanical frog, but the others all have the same robot ghost with different combat styles. Although they have different attacks, they just make the game more repetitive.

Graphics/Music

What this game does outstandingly is the great soundtrack. The music helps make each world feel special, and gives players the desire to keep playing. Like the first game, the developers know how to make great music for the series.

For the time of the PS2, Nintendo GameCube, and the original Xbox, the graphics were decent for a cartoon stylized game. Everything was clear, non-rugged, and some levels shone well compared to others. Similarly with the music, the graphics are one of the positives of this game.


Conclusion

There have been worse games with awful controls, but this is not a title that can be recommended over the original. For a mindless collect-a-thon, this could be a nice title to purchase for a low price, but the age does show with this title. For anyone who wants to play a great Pac-Man game, I would still suggest the first Pac-Man World. While that game aged like decent wine, Pac-Man world 2 can be compared to powdered milk; it could get the job done for some, but it’s never as good as the original.

Pros

·       Levels never look the same in each world.

·       There are plenty of items to collect.

·       The game is not too challenging.

·       Music sets a good mood for gameplay.

Cons

·       Awkward camera angles.

·       Some jumps can be hard to land.

·       Everything respawns when players die prior to touching a checkpoint.

·       Trying to 100% every level does not feel very rewarding.

(We had this review on the website a long time ago, how ever due to changing things for the website the older reviews can no longer be accessed, this is one of many reviews we are bringing back.)

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