Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures 2 - Wii U

Release Date:

03 October 2014

Also on:

Wii U 3DS PS3 Xbox 360
7.0

Summary:

While Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is not an inventive title, it is a more than capable one. The campaign is long enough to be worth the (likely) low purchase price of the title. Your kids, or even older Pac-Man fans, should get at least a couple of smiles out of the title.

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Posted:
2015-06-27

Jamie_Hall

Writer

Wii U

6.0

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures 2 on the Wii U was developed by Vicious Cycle and published by Bandai Namco Games and is the sequel to the original game Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures.

Do you hear that sound? It’s the team at Vicious Cycle scraping the bottom of the barrel as they developed Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2. The first game was far from a cult classic and the Pac-Man franchise itself has long been relegated to nostalgia blasts and occasional pop culture references, so what are we doing releasing a fully 3D action version of Pac-Man for the Wii U? We will tell you what we are doing: we are getting surprised. The fact of the matter is that Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures series has been entertaining fluff gaming that you can put on the TV in front of the whole family. We picked up the sequel for our Wii U and got right to work, ready to be enveloped in a nostalgia blast.

Lord Betrayus is back and ready to unleash some really demented plans on the city of Pacopolis. Pac-Man is the dude to come back and set things to right and even now, reading this sentence, we can’t believe that this is a thing. Not to say that it is bad, the absurdity definitely works on a different level, but it is very interesting in any case. The opening cut scene shows Lord Betrayus announcing that he is ready to unleash on Pacopolis again! And so he is. Ghostly Adventures 2 is an unabashed sequel to a game that was unabashedly fun and while none of this makes sense, and we’ll hone in on that more and more later, it certainly is entertaining.

The first game in the series was a charming little title that helped push Pac into the 3D world in an entertaining way. It was simple and it was a tribute to the dot gobbler of the past. The reason that the first game succeeded, in our minds, was that it was the first big leap into current generation gaming since 'the good old days'. So there was a boost of nostalgia that kept us entertained long past when we might otherwise have started to tune out. Seeing as that title is only a few years old, Ghostly Adventures 2 doesn’t have that same buffer of nostalgia in the way of harsh criticism and so must tread even lighter.

The sorry fact is that Ghostly Adventures 2 is more of an emulation, a repackaging, of the first title than it is a proper sequel. The game plays and looks very similarly to the first title in the series and, while not a bad thing, it does nothing to push us forward into a hook early on.

In this universe Pac-Man is going to high school and he is one of the 'cool kids'. The ghosts that we ate and were eaten by so often on arcade cabinets everywhere are trying to get their original bodies back so that they can escape from the netherworld that they have been stuck in. Lord Betrayus leads the way, bringing the Ghosts to Pacopolis and Pac and his school buddies must band together in order to stop the threat. While the story is ludicrous, and we can’t stress that enough, it is packaged and sold in such a way as to maintain our interest. While definitely geared toward youngster and families, there is a certain appeal to the old 'Saturday Morning Cartoon Crowd' that we used to belong too. The slapstick, bright colors, and over the top voice acting all make us remember eating cereal in front of the TV every Saturday morning while Pokemon played out in front of us.

If you are a Pac-Man fan and have watched the semi-popular cartoon then you will probably recognize more than a few characters and settings in the game. For those that don’t, Pac-Man’s world is separated into five different areas. You have the starting up, a city, all the way down to the lost world of Atlantis. As the game progresses you will find yourself inching closer and closer to the Netherworld and that makes up a couple of really cool settings. The change in scenery helps to keep the game inviting and the entertaining artwork always has your eyes busy. Seriously, there is almost always something going on even when nothing is really happening.

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is a platformer through and through and most of the gameplay moments that you were used to in the first title are back, slightly improved upon. Solid platforming controls rule the day though if this is your first foray into 3D platforming then you ought to take some time to get comfortable with the controls. The tutorial inexplicably has you learning the game on a 2D plane but you will be playing in pseudo 3D for the rest of your time.

You must do what you always do in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 and that is avoid enemies, chomp up collectibles, and find the key power berry. Power berries turn you into one of many different forms and each form gives you new abilities to unleash on your enemies. You can turn into several different Pac’s including ice, fire, rubber, and metal versions of your character. All of your abilities offer a unique twist on what many considered to be a pretty stale style of game. Along the way you won’t just have to fight enemies, you will also have to deal with different obstacles - so always keep your head up and be aware.

If you don’t want to play as Pac-Man then you can jump into the skin of Spira or Cylindria, two new characters introduced in this game. Kids will love playing with them because you get access to helicopters and hoverboards that definitely bring on the excitement. These crafts turn the game into an on the rails shooter and the change of pace is really refreshing.

While Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is not an inventive title, it is a more than capable one. The campaign is long enough to be worth the (likely) low purchase price of the title. Your kids, or even older Pac-Man fans, should get at least a couple of smiles out of the title.

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By:

Namco Bandai

Release Date:

03/10/2014

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