|This article does not cite any references or sources. (October 2014)|
|Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary|
European cover of Pac-Man World.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (Europe, PS1)
Zoo Digital Publishing (EU, GBA)
|Distributor(s)||Destination Software/Hip Games/Namco|
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. Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, and Microsoft Windows versions were planned, but were later cancelled for unknown reasons.
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 (Namco's original name 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 story had other Namco IPs 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 (Supposedly Names Chomp Chomp) and Professor Pac-Man were chosen. The only Namco IP that made it in 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.
The game went through a short time of Development hell from 1996 to 1999. Development of the game started as Pac-Man Ghost Zone and the game was suppose to be a platforming third person shooter game. The game was canceled due to Namco R&D and the development team lack of trust and faith with the project as well as not being able to play as the real Pac-Man so over 85% of the development team was fired all but one artist, programmer and designer. The game was reworked into Pac-Man World with inspired elements from Super Mario 64, Sonic the Hedgehog and Crash Bandicoot as well as concepts from the ghost zone games being Pac-Man's ability to shoot enemies and his Chomp Attack was used in a later game Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Ports for the N64, PC and Dreamcast were planned but were eventually canceled for unknown reasons but was speculated that it was canceled due to the upcoming release of the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube consoles.
Pac-Man Ghost Zone. The story of the game was about a boy who plays the Pac-Man arcade game and verbally insults it for being outdated. The ghost and the ghost lord punishes the boy for his insults by sucking him into the game and turns him into Pac-Man and his mission is to find the real Pac-Man and save the world from the ghost lord and his army of ghost and robotic arcade machine parts such as Fly RAM Chips, Capacitors, Batteries, and Bits and Bytes.
Pac-Man 3.D The story was about the origin of Pac Dot and Power Pellets and to stop the Ghost Lord(a character leftover from the Ghost Zone stage of development) and his army of ghost from stealing the dots and the pellets.
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."