Pac-Man World 2

Votes: 4
Reviews: 1

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Reviewer: Spooderboi Date: Dec 8, 2022
This is a game I grew up playing on my uncle's Xbox. Funny story is when we first bought the game, we were at a Kohls I think and our parents said only one game, so we choose Star Wars. But in the corner of my eye I had a glimpse of the box art of Pac-Man World 2, and of course I wanted that too. Of course our parents said no at first, until our dad took a look at the box for Pac Man and changed his mind; he was a fan of the original Pac Man arcade games (which that was genetic with only one of my brothers not me lol). So that day we got two games, both of them amazing games in my childhood and still to this day Pac Man World 2 is a amazing 3D Platform for both fans of collectathon games and fans of the original game.

Graphics: 8
You can't really complain about the graphics since this was a very early game on the sixth gen consoles, releasing about a year after the release of the original Xbox and GameCube. The graphics are stylized however to give it a slight cartoony look that works pretty well (Not as breath taking as something like Wind Waker obviously).

Sound: 9
Sound effects are funny but well done as a lot of them are sourced from the Hanna-Barbera Sound Library but also including the classic Pac Man sound effects like the fruit collecting sound, PacDots chomping sound, death sounds, and even the melody that plays when you start the original arcade game. It oddly works and now I can't imagine Pac Man without those cartoon sounds.

As a musician, I am a bit bias with the ost as it essentially takes a book from the Mario franchise but takes it to a whole new level. Get ready to hear the tile screen melody a lot, because it is cleverly sneaked into a lot of the songs within the game (up until World 4 I believe). The ost does a great job ramping up and becoming more and more grander like a Symphony as you continue on the game.

But last but not least, two words: Scuba Duba. Best song in the game lol.

Gameplay: 7
The game has the same linear style as it's predecessor, having you go through levels with an end and collect fruits and other doohickeys on the way. However a lot has changed since the first game; levels are much bigger, more doohickeys and fruits in the levels, a new powerup (used twice in the entire game lol), and overall everything is much grander than before (for better and for worse).

The movement is really responsive and the mechanics are well utilized that you will always be using all of your moves (which is only about 3-4 moves) until the end of the game. However, be very weary as the difficulty ramps up almost instantly after world 2. The first two worlds are essentially tutorial worlds as once you reach Blade Mountain, the game becomes very hard very quickly.

Also to mention that to 100% the level you are required to collect everything within that play through of the level as it doesn't allow you to fully collect one fruit then go back and collect another only. It forces you to collect everything in one go, which for earlier levels is fine, but the later levels that are longer and as I mentioned, pretty difficult, which is the biggest down side to the levels being much bigger than the previous entry. Overall the collection aspect can be a bit annoying (Not as bad as the Blue Coins am I right?). Thankfully 100% isn't required for anything except bonus arcade games and an Art Museum that shows concept art of the game. If you really want to go for it, but just know that it is a pretty hard game to 100%.

Overall: 8
It is a great game to play through and even has bonuses like the original arcade game playable once you collect enough tokens (by the third world you should have enough to play the Original Pac Man and maybe Pac Attack). Sound design is memorable and ages well with the modern internet humor being obsessed with cartoon sounds, and graphics hold their fidelity good enough that you know what's going on (RIP every game trying to go for hyper realism at the time).

However it may make those hardcore 100% players throw their controller a lot and some of the level design decisions are not very friendly to new players (It was apparently deemed so hard that the Japanese version had a lot of level changes to make the game easier, the Japanese version!)

Not bad at all for Namco's second entry to Pac Man's adventures in 3D!

Hope you guys enjoy this game as much as I did as a kid! :)