Pac-Man 2 – The New Adventures

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Pac-Man is a really awesome arcade game. It’s so addicting! You just eat dots while roaming around in a maze while avoiding ghosts. And then you could use a special dot in which the ghosts become edible. This, my friends, was timeless action the Namco loves going back to over and over again. Not in 1994, though, in which they release Pac-Man 2. Look at that cover art…I don’t think this is maze game. I have a theory as to why this “interactive cartoon” has the Pac-Man 2 name. There was a Pac-Man cartoon show in the 80s. I can only assume this is a sequel to that. Since a new Pac-Man show is being made and set for next year, why not review Namco’s attempt at doing something like that in a video game?

Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures has you help Pac-Man on his journey. That’s right. YOU’RE a part of his ventures. Anyway, the game is composed of various objectives Pac-Man has to accomplish. He roams around all kinds of places such as a farm, a warehouse, a mountain, and much more. The trick here is that the player has to be pretty observant and aware of what’s going on around the scenery.

The player uses a slingshot to shoot at stuff to get Pac-Man to notice them (You can also convince Pac-Man to look in a certain direction). It’s like a shooting gallery crossed with an adventure game. However, since this is classified as an “interactive cartoon”, there were definitely some bizarre reactions to what you shoot. For example, if you shoot a guy at a Hot Dog stand, he squirts ketchup onto Pac-Man in anger. Sometimes, the slingshot could be used to help Pac-Man find ways to progress (EX: A rope for him to climb, or shooting away a rock on a hill so Pac-Man doesn’t trip over it). Or you can even shoot Pac-Man himself when he’s about to meet his fate, so he could jump away (or you could just shoot him to anger him).

The slingshot could also be used for slinging Power Pellets in case of any ghosts lurking around. However, here’s one major flaw with that – The only place I recall where you get Power Pellets is Pac-Man’s house. And you only get to use 3 before running out. If Pac-Man needs a Power Pellet and ghosts are scaring him, this will go on for a LONG time before the ghosts finally fly away.

What really influences the game other than the slingshot is Pac-Man’s mood. This is interestingly an important part of the game, because how he acts toward some things rely on his behavior. Some instances require him to be angry or happy, and some cause him to change his mood to such things.

The formula overall is very, VERY unique and makes the game really interesting. Namco did a great job with the making of this game. Unfortunately, there are two problems: The lack of places to get Power Pellets AND the lack of an actual save feature. Yeah….you have to use passwords, so you better write em down..
But other than those problems, the game is great.

As for the game being an interactive cartoon, it really nails that. The game has a great sense of humor (EX: In the park, Pac-Man trips on rock, and slips on a skateboard, causing that skateboard to fly up in the air and land straight onto his head – There’s also a billboard in the city that shows an anime person holding a hamburger. Pac-Man smiles as a laughable reaction to the billboard). Many things you shoot with the slingshot can cause a gut-buster.

Actually, it seems like if you don’t want to play through the main game, you could just have Pac-Man wander off and create your own little cartoon venture. Go ahead. Have Pac-Man brawl with a cat that stole his hot dog. Have a farmer’s haystack fall flat onto him. Do whatever.

If you’re not interested in the actual game, Pac-Man 2 still has some value for you. If you go to the city’s arcade, you’ll find a fully playable Pac-Man arcade cabinet & Ms. Pac-Man. Or, if you want to avoid the game altogether, and go straight into the original Pac-Man or Ms. Pac-Man, you can enter these passwords:
Ms. Pac-Man: MSPCMND
Pac-Man is that timeless classic we all know and love. Eat the dots, avoid ghosts, you know….all good stuff. Considering Pac-Man 2’s price right now for a used copy, you could just buy this game right now just for the classic Pac-Man alone.

Fortunately for you arcade Pac lovers out there, there’s also Ms. Pac-Man in the mix. However, considering Ms. Pac-Man was eventually re-released for the SNES, with bunches of new features that made the game a bigger blast than the arcade original, it takes some of the fun out of this port, which doesn’t have any of those features. You just simply play as is. Ms. Pac-Man is still a fun game on here, but I’d rather recommend getting the standalone SNES version, which makes one of the greatest games of all time that much better.

All in all, Pac-Man 2 is a should-have. If you’re a cartoon fanatic, you should pick this up right away. If you are looking for an unexpected challenge, the game certainly has that. If you are a Pac-Man fan, and wish for arcade-style action, Pac-Man 2 still offers the arcade classic and Ms. Pac-Man to satisfy your needs. There’s something for everyone here!

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