The Namco booth this year was buzzing, with quite a few sequels to popular franchises, as well as a few new games. Namco?s mascot Pac-Man is in several new adventures in Pac ?n Roll for the Nintendo DS, and Pac-Man World 3 for the console systems and PC. Also released in time for Namco?s 50th anniversary is a compilation of 14 different Namco arcade hits.
Pac ?n Roll
One of the many Pac-Man games on display at the Namco booth was Pac ?n Roll, a new twist on an old classic. In Pac n? Roll, you control Pac-Man with the Nintendo DS stylus as he rolls around the stage collecting his power pellets as he goes, all the while running from those evil ghosts. The stylus is used in Pac ?n Roll as sort of a trackball. Since the ghosts turned Pac-Man into a ball, you use the stylus to roll him in different directions on the screen. The faster you move the stylus, the faster you can roll him. Of course, there are all sorts of hazards and enemies to beware of, so conserve those power pellets, and be careful.
There are many different stages in Pac ?n Roll, from Castle Pac to the Gyro-Jungle and Ghost-Land. Along his way, Pac-Man will encounter all sorts of obstacles to overcome, including moving floors, dash panels, wind zones and jump zones. The demo that was on the show floor at E3 showed just how easy it was to control the game, even if it sounds a bit hard. The game plays essentially like the old Pac-Man games, with Pac-Man collecting pellets in a maze-like environment, using power pellets to give him super abilities to chomp down ghosts.
There are also other power-ups besides the power pellets. Pac ?n Roll includes a feather hat that allows him to fly through the different worlds, and also special armor that increase Pac-Man?s destructive abilities and allow him to go underwater.
Included as a special feature in Pac ?n Roll is the original arcade version of Pac-Man, allowing you to play this classic anywhere you can take your Nintendo DS. If you?re looking for a portable Pac-Man fix, be on the lookout for Pac ?n Roll, available this summer for the Nintendo DS.
Pac-Man World 3
In time to celebrate his 25th anniversary in the videogame business, Pac-Man stars in his latest console title in Pac-Man World 3. Pac-Man World is a platformer type game that incorporates a good bit of what you?re used to in Pac-Man games - eating power pellets and chomping on ghosts.
In Pac-Man World, the evil Erwin invents a machine that can create a portal into the ghost world. This machine is unstable however, and causes the ghost world to merge with the real world, and if not stopped, will devastate the world. It?s up to Pac-Man to discover Erwin?s plans and save the world from the evil ghosts.
Pac-Man world plays pretty much like most other platformers around today. There are a lot of things to collect in the world, and of course, there are Pac-Man?s famous power pellets around for when Pac-Man gets a sweet tooth for ghost. Pac-Man World 3 also gives a new twist ? you can control Pinky and Clyde in parts of the game. Pac-Man also comes out with a variety of new moves, including the ability to climb fences, jump on walls, swing around poles and even punch at enemies.
If you enjoy the formula created by the previous Pac-Man World games, then you are sure to enjoy this new iteration. Also included for those of you who were arcade fans is the original Pac-Man arcade game released in 1980. If you have a bad case of Pac-Mania, get your fix when Pac-Man World 3 arrives at stores in the Fall of 2005. Pac-Man World 3 will be available for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, PSP and PC platforms.
Namco Museum 50th Anniversary Collection
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Namco, the company will release a compilation disc of the most popular Namco arcade games. The compilation disc has an interface that allows the player to explore a virtual arcade hall where the games will be in their original arcade format, with the artwork that once graced each arcade cabinet.
The collection features many classics, including Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Galaxian, Dig Dug, Pole Position and Rolling Thunder, just to name a few. Playing the arcade collection gets you more than a tad nostalgic, since many of these games are the ones that some of us grew up with and played on our NES and Atari 2600 systems at home. So if you?ve never played these games and wish to give them a try, or you?re feeling nostalgic and want to relive some of the memories of years back, then go for Namco?s 50th anniversary collection when it?s released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Gameboy Advance and PC platforms in August.
Check back here for full reviews as the games release.