April 28, 2017

Old School Game Reviews: Pac-Man

“WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA!” Recognize that sound? That sound has been in the hearts of many for the last 31 years. The sound of the little yellow ¾ pizza we know as Pac-Man.

 Peace (?)If they had a Game of The Year back in the 80s, then Pac-Man would receive it hands down. Who wouldn’t want to play as a floating pizza?! I mean, it was the “psychedelic” experience of the 70s, cough, erhermmm, 80s!

It all started but not too long ago, in the year 1980. Games like Asteroids, Space Invaders and Frogger were all the rage. Then came Pac-Man, a ¾ pizza whose aim was to entertain you with its zany and simple gameplay…along with taking your coins (what do you expect? Arcade machines were the money-making gimmicks of the 80s, and still are today with modern games).

 

You start off in the middle as Pac-Man. A simple jingle goes off and you have to pig out and stuff your face with as many treats as possible. Only there’s a slight problem. 4 ghosts called Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde figure that the pac-dots and food belongs to them! And thus starts the Cold War! (Nah, just kidding). It started the PAC-WARS instead!

 

The game is simple to learn, but takes years to master (I’ve been playing it for half of my life and I STILL can’t get past the third level!). You have to use the arrow keys, control stick, d-pad or arcade stick (depending on which console of Pac-Man you have) to maneuver Pac-Man around and eat everything (WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA-WACKA WACKA) while surviving round after round of being chased by the ghosts. You can eat certain food to gain points and power pellets that make you strong enough to eat Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde (thus hinting the fact that Pac-Man can eat EVERYTHING). There’s also a “warp-hole” that enables Pac-Man to slide to the other screen to evade the ghosts, but mind you, they can also use that warp-hole to get you.

 

The graphics were great in the 80s. Back then, that was state-of-the-art. However, what I love about them is that every time they make a remake/revival or Pac-Man, they revamp the graphics to give it a sharp HD look, but still gives you the feel of what the old graphics did. Same goes for gameplay. Atari will milk out Pac-Man until the end of his days (then again, he…or she, is 31 years young and going strong!) remaking and publishing newer ways to play Pac-Man. Unfortunately, with all games made in the world, they will eventually die out, sadly even for a legendary ¾ pizza like Pac-Man.

 

In my opinion, no matter how many times they revamp, remake or revive Pac-Man, as long as they stick to the old gameplay that I remember from my childhood, I’ll be happy. Besides, Pac-Man is sure to keep you busy for a time being.

 

 

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