GAME REVIEWS

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pac-Land

~ PAC-LAND ~
Namco / NEC
HuCard
1989

Well, this...



...isn't exactly what most people had in mind when they first heard about "16-bit power." Pac-Land was made fun of when it was released and is still made fun of today for its simplistic Flintstones-era graphics, but I don't mind them. They're, uh, "different," at least, and actually, they're probably the least of the game's problems. Terrible sound effects do more to turn me off from the title than do the cave-wall-drawing-esque visuals, and then there's the gameplay... oh, the horrid gameplay. Regardless of which of the two selectable control schemes you go with, you'll have a hell of a hard time managing slip-sliding Pac-Man and his uncurbable momentum; and in the face of many challenges that require carefully timed leaps, the rotund yellow bum is a horribly unreliable jumper. And this is no short stretch of pain: you get to endure the sound effects and fight with the controls through thirty-two incredibly repetitive stages. Enjoy.


More variety in level concepts might've helped. While a few parts have you "hover" over lakes or scramble for keys in simple "mazes," most of the stages are all about making annoying leaps and evading goofy ghosts; and the palette-swapped scenery doesn't help alleviate feelings of redundancy.


At least the fairy queen appreciates your efforts. She also sends you back home so you can embark on additional repetitious "trips."


These post-round "cinemas" don't amount to much as far as rewards go, but I suppose we should be thankful for what little we do get with this disaster. More of 'em would've been nice.


As awful as I'm sure it looks here, Round 27 actually uses parallax effects to create a rather attractive starry-night scene. Round 29 is another one to "look forward to," as you must make use of your flying foes in order to travel across a lake. So there you have it: the "good stuff."


Say farewell to this lot now. Don't buy the game.

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