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|Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary|
European cover of Pac-Man World.
SCEE (EU, PS1)
Zoo Digital Publishing (EU, GBA)
|Distributor(s)||Destination Software/Hip Games/Namco
SCEE (EU, PS1)
Pac-Man World (officially called Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary) (パックマンワールド 20th アニバーサリー Pakkuman Wārudo 20th Anibāsarī?) is a 1999 3D-based free roaming platform game for the PlayStation. As the name indicates, the game was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Pac-Man character. A Game Boy Advance version would be released in 2004, with many features removed. The original PlayStation version was released on the PlayStation Store in Japan on June 26, 2013 and in North America on February 11, 2014.
Pac-Man arrives home on his 20th birthday (the game was released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original Pac-Man in arcades) only to discover that his friends and family—Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac, Jr. Pac, Professor Pac, Chomp Chomp the dog, and Pooka have been kidnapped by the evil Toc-Man (the name of Namco's defunct console game division backwards), a giant robot Pac-Man impersonator that was created by Orson, who is bent on stealing Pac-Man's identity. Pac-Man sets off to Ghost Island and works to free them while battling various ghosts and monsters.
The original storyboards of this game included other Namco IP such as Dig Dug, Mappy, and Valkyrie and Sandra. The Idea was changed at the last minute (to the point of modeling and animation) to the other Pac-Man game family members such as Ms. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man, Pac-Man's dog (Chomp Chomp) and Professor Pac-Man. The only non-Pac-Man Namco character that made it into the story was Pooka, and holdovers from the original vision were Ms. Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man.
The game is a standard 3D platformer that plays heavily into the history of the character; every non-boss level features a maze that plays by the rules of the original game (though the Pac-Symbol still shows, letting the player survive being touched by ghosts up to four times). Every level is littered with Pac-Dots, fruits and ghosts, much of the music is modified from early entries into the series (one of the common themes in all the levels is the intermission music from Pac-Man modified according to the theme of the level) and the original Pac-Man arcade game was available for play from the menu screen.
In addition, Pac-Man is given a handful of standard platform maneuvers, including a "butt-bounce", reminiscent of Mario's ground pound and the Rev-Roll, reminiscent of Sonic the Hedgehog's spin dash. Also, he'd gained the ability to use the dots offensively, throwing them at non-ghost enemies. Like in the original game, Pac-Man can collect Power Pellets allowing him to eat ghosts for a short amount of time.
The level format is fairly straightforward; each world consists of three or four levels. The first level in a world would introduce a new technique or enemy type. The second and third would require use of that technique to complete, and couldn't be completed without it. The fourth level of each world is a boss battle requiring unique gameplay or puzzle-solving to defeat.
The second levels also include a key that, while not essential to complete the game, is required to free whichever of Pac-Man's friends held prisoner in the third level. Every freed character would then appear to aid Pac-Man in the final battle against Toc-Man. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this, most notably the Ruins, Factory, and Space levels.
Port and sequels
A Game Boy Advance version came in 2004. Due to hardware limitations, many features were left out of the game, such as Maze Mode, the original Pac-Man and many levels cut out. This version was later included in a 2-in-1 cartridge with the GBA version of Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness.
Pac-Man World 3 was released in 2005. This game introduced new moves and powers to Pac-Man and gave him a full voice. It was not developed by the team behind the other games.
Pac-Man World has been given mainly positive reviews since its release. GameSpot rated this game 7.6/10, saying that "Pac-Man World is a fun little game that goes beyond mere regurgitation." IGN rated the game 7.8/10, while saying "A fitting, albeit sometimes patchy, tribute to the man that started it all."
Marc Nix from IGN, who reviewed the game on November 15, 1999, stated that the gameplay is "more the cousin of Super Mario World rather than Super Mario 64. His comment on the Presentation is "An 80's flair that proves just how creative designers were back then."