Ms. Pac-Man

Xbox Live Arcade

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 4


Maybe in some alternate world or in the distant future when video games finally recognize video games as a legitimate art form, a woman’s rights activist will speak up for Ms. Pac-Man. Apparently, he red bow and mole on her cheek are not enough to gain the mainstream’s attention as the better half. Then again, maybe we’ll never know why this Pac-Man sequel failed to gain the proper attention and will stay as a hardcore gamers true test of knowledge to know that Ms. Pac-Man is leagues ahead of the original.

mspacman_360.png (1876 bytes)Sure, the premise is the same. You control a yellow dot, albeit a more colorful one, trapped in a glowing maze with four ghosts. You win by eating all of the white dots and the occasional lost soul trapped in a generic-looking ghosts body.

What the female side of the Pac-Man legacy does is add needed variety to the game. You’re not romping through the same maze each time out. They change, however subtle, completely shifts a dedicated player’s strategy. Fruit moves around the stage, making its delicious extra points tougher to find. The four ghosts also have a far more varied routine in their pursuit.

As far as the Xbox Live Arcade is concerned, this translation is a tough sell. Namco is quickly becoming the worst offender in the retro category, failing to add anything to their games to increase their value. The Namco Museum releases over the years further devalue titles like this.

However, here it is at a full $5. There has been no graphical update, Xbox Live has nothing to connect to, and the achievements are lazily implemented matching the same ones used in Pac-Man. Regardless of the quality increase back in the early 1980s, it’s no longer the sequel fans drool over.

It’s hard to stick up for Pac-Man’s wife/girlfriend/significant other in situations like this. Sure, she’s prettier and has more to offer, but she’s asking far too much for her services. That rarely leads to a successful sale.


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Last updated: Thursday, February 15, 2007 09:45 PM