Namco Bandai is making another Pac-Man platformer and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is based on the upcoming animated series from Avi Arad. The E3 demo takes place at the very beginning of the game where colorful ghosts took over the city and it’s up to Pac-Man to… umm… eat them. Pac-Man’s main attack is a lunging bite and eating ghosts earns Pac-Man googly eyes. I asked a representative from Namco Bandai what the eyes were for, but he said he couldn’t explain that yet.
The level had a trail of yellow pellets which are called “power berries” in the cartoon. This change was made to show Pac-Man is a healthy eater, but oddly enough hamburgers and wedges of cheese found in the stage recover Pac-Man’s health.
Eating power berries fills up Pac-Man’s power meter. When it’s full, Pac-Man can scare ghosts which makes them turn blue and run away. The main reason to use the scare move is to stop ghosts from pestering Pac-Man. Ghosts attack by teleporting and burrowing where Pac-Man stands and if you don’t move when you see a red light underneath Pac-Man’s feet you lose a heart. Enemies are easy enough to defeat, but in some areas there are so many ghosts that they act as a nuisance.
Power berries show players the “critical path” or where they need to go to clear the level. Stray from it and you might find collectables like a green pellet that turns Pac-Man into… a chameleon. Does anyone remember Chameleon Twist? No, well Pac-Man’s chameleon power up is kind of like that. Chameleon Pac-Man can shoot out his tongue which gives him a long range attack and use it to swing from poles.
The intro level takes place on a floating city with disappearing platforms. I hopped over to a rooftop and new green ghosts spat a glob of goo on a Pacitizen. To rescue her, I used Chameleon Pac-Man’s tongue to gobble up the flying green ghosts then ate the Jello-like goop. With the girl freed, a fishing line-like switch appeared which Pac-Man triggers by biting it. Eww…
As I continued through the stage, I rescued another Pac-girl and hopped past a few more vanishing block paths. A representative explained this was only one world and the first level of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. They aren’t showing too much of the game, including the voice acting, because they are waiting for the cartoon to premiere on Disney XD. Pac-Man has more powerups to be revealed and you’ll see Pac-Man’s new buddies in the game (but they won’t be playable).
There was one issue I noticed when playing Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. The camera can be clumsy. When I was walking around a tree blocked it and completely covered Pac-Man. This happened twice so I just got in the habit of manually moving the camera with the right analog stick. Fortunately, none of the vanishing platform parts had objects that occluded the camera.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is slated for release this fall on Wii U, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. A 3DS game is also in development, but it’s different from the game I played and appears to be more like a side-scroller.