Pac-Man vs.
Game Info
Platform(s)
GC
Publisher
Namco
Developer
Nintendo
Genre
Arcade
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Everyone
 
Grade
The Good

• Great fun multiplayer action
• Game is free
• Best example of what connectivity can do

The Bad

• No single player
• GBA and connection cord required
• You need to buy another game to get this free

 
Grade
B

Rather than pushing online play, Nintendo has tried to focus on their Connectivity technology between the GameCube and GameBoy Advance. While they've made some good use of it with Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Animal Crossing, this Nintendo developed title is really the strongest example of how this feature should best be utilized.

So, how's PAC-Man vs. different from the original PAC-Man? Well, the core gameplay is pretty much the PAC-Man standard. One player moves around a maze, eating pellets and avoiding enemy ghosts. When you eat a power pellet, the ghosts turn temporarily blue and can be eaten for points. This game, though, allows up to four players to play at once.

If you start a game with four people, you'll need to have a GameBoy Advance hooked into port four while the other players are hooked up with GameCube controllers. One player will start as PAC-Man and will see the whole stage by looking at the GBA screen. The other three players will be on the television screen as ghosts, with limited vision as they try to hunt PAC-Man down. If you have less than four players, the extra ghost becomes harmless until another ghost basically "tags" it. When one player gets PAC-Man, they get their turn as the yellow pellet-muncher. You're really going to want to get and keep your turn as PAC-Man as that's when you get points and whoever reaches the predetermined goal wins the game.

Along with the classic stage is a handful of other themed stages which are set up a little different in layout and motif. Graphically, the game isn't overly complex but serves its purpose. The game on the GBA screen looks pretty similar to the arcade original. Audiowise, PAC-Man vs. features classic music and sound effects. Apparently, Nintendo felt like they needed to add some lightweight commentary from their own mascot, Mario to go along with this.

Don't be fooled - PAC-Man vs. isn't overly deep. It's obviously more like a multiplayer minigame rather than a full-blown game. But, as simple as it is, playing it with a group of friends is just a good time waiting to happen. While the game does come free, you will have to pick up R: Racing Evolution, I-Ninja or PAC-Man World 2 to get a copy of it. Even though the game itself is free, you will have to have a GBA and connection cable to even get to play. Also, there is no single player mode, which means you can't just toss it in on your own.

You have to give Nintendo and Namco credit - they've managed to take a fun, classic arcade game and turn it into a ridiculously addictive multiplayer experience that serves as a great party or group-oriented distraction. Yeah, you may have to buy a game you don't want to get it and you'll need a GBA and a cord to play it, but if you do have everything and a few friends - enjoy!

- - Kinderfeld

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