Pac-Man World Re-Pac on PS5
Making old things new again is a trend that doesn’t seem like it will go away anytime soon, and with that sees the arrival of Pac-Man World Re-Pac, the remake of the 1999 PS1 classic that is Pac-Man World from Bandai Namco. For those seeking an entertaining mascot platformer, this remake of the experimental game is definitely worth checking out.
Announced back in June during Nintendo’s Direct Mini, Pac-Man World Re-Pac is certainly more straightforward compared to some of its more modern counterparts when it comes to story and gameplay. Having returned home for his birthday celebration, our hero arrives only to discover that his entire family has been kidnapped while the dastardly ghosts are using his image to lure unwitting folks to Ghost Island. To defeat the villainous Toc-Man behind it all, Pac-Man must use his talents in the arena of platforming rather than the maze navigation skills he is known for.
If you had played the original back in 1999, Pac-Man World Re-Pac should feel instantly familiar as a nostalgia trip, even if it looks way better at 60 FPS. Be it the hub world or the many levels themselves, everything pops more readily with vibrant colors, and there are even additional cut scenes added to help flesh our Toc-Man as a villain. Shame for the removal of both Ms Pac-Man and Jr Pac-Man, but otherwise, the game has never looked better.
On the gameplay front, Pac-Man World Re-Pac eschews the traditional Pac-Man experience for a platforming jaunt that should last most players about six to seven hours across a variety of levels that are uniquely fresh. The objective is to reach the end of any given stage, collecting fruits, icons, and letters that can function as keys to various doors or saving your family members. Some doors may contain bonus health or lives, while others may yield a bonus maze level in the vein of the arcade classic.
To help him on this quest, Bandai Namco has infused Pac-Man with a few abilities to overcome the challenges ahead. Our hero can hover in mid-air for a short while, dash swiftly like Sonic the Hedgehog, or utilize a butt bounce to attack enemies and get to a greater height. There are also power-ups like the metal pellet, which lets Pac-Man go underwater and become invincible to enemy attacks, to spice things up every once in a while.
The use of all these different abilities is perhaps what helps Pac-Man World Re-Pac stand tall among other platforming contemporaries, where players will find a decent challenge when juggling perfectly timed jumps off consecutive butt bounces and the threats of the world. The way the game ebbs and flows feels great in motion, and the pace at which Pac-Man World Re-Pac lets players loose is quite refreshing.
The inclusion of several quality-of-life improvements is certainly helpful as well, such as the addition of an easy mode to make the game even more accessible. Some of the boss fights in the game have also been rebalanced, ensuring that everyone has a fighting chance even against the previously annoying Anubis Rex.
That said, despite the unique boss fights and generally welcomed variety of level designs, the enemies that stand in the way of Pac-Man are not exactly memorable either as obstacles or being up to the task of stopping our hero. In a sense, that makes them cannon fodder in the worst of ways, and makes eliminating them more of a chore than a fun activity to engage in en route to the boss.
There are also some issues with the sound in Pac-Man World Re-Pac, with certain tracks being oddly lo-fi compared to the rest. With the quality of the original score, it is unfortunate that your enjoyment of the game may sometimes see a drop in audio quality for no discernible reason.
As a remake, Pac-Man World Re-Pac definitely ticks plenty of boxes when it comes to transforming an older game into one that fits into the present gaming landscape. The platforming is solid, the presentation is up to snuff, and there is no beating nostalgia sometimes. The game is unlikely to garner a new following save for a curious bunch, and is purely aimed at hardcore Pac-Man fans who are looking for something new yet old to enjoy, yet, that is not such a bad thing after all.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac
3.5 / 5
Reviewer: Jake Su | Copy provided by Publisher.
- Solid platforming.
- Unique and challenging bosses.
- Presentation pops off the screen.
- A true improvement as a remake.
- Musical issues.
- Enemies can be forgettable.
August 25, 2022
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch