30 Apr 2017

Pac-Man 265
2015 - Hipster Whale

I wanted more Championship Edition. What I got was Child's Edition.

It's mobile-game style endless Pac-Man, which means grinding one randomized, endless level for coins to buy upgrades to use in that level, rinse and repeat. But even compared to other rubbish mobile games, Pac-Man 256 is boring. At least in Jetpack Joyride the upgrades make the game feel different, and the scenery changes.

I would rather play Pac-Man 1 for a few reasons:

  • It had levels, so something to aim for, something to discover. 
  • It had lives, and as that supply dwindled, and as you risked getting kicked back to the start the game got more intense. In 256, one hit kills you. Besides, you are supposed to die at some point anyway, so you can deposit your bloody coins, which takes quite a bit of the excitement of progressing out of it.
  • The maps didn't go on forever, so it wasn't just about dodging a ghost once, but what you did after that, and after that. Sometimes you had to exploit the ghost's AI to escape, such as scaring away Clyde or confusing Pinky. That's what Pac-Man was all about, for me, so this game doesn't even get nostalgia points because it fucks it up. 

So after 255 sequels this series has actually gotten worse.

There is one cool mechanic in 256, actually, which is how as you eat pellets in an unbroken chain, and your combo increases, the sound effect frequency increases, until, after a minute or so, the beat is out of control and it climaxes in a satisfying screen-wiping explosion. It's kind of addictive. But not worth installing the game again.

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