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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Namco

 

Developer

Namco

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q3 2005

 

- Rolling is fun

- Controls are pretty good

- You can rotate the camera

- Challenge modes

- Original Pac-Man game is unlockable

 

 

- A bit repetitive

- Gibberish Pac talk is annoying

 

 

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Pac'n Roll

Score: 8.4 / 10

 

Pac-Man has been around for a VERY long time. He is considered one of the Gods in gaming mythology. I love the original games, but Iíve never been a big fan of the console versions. I had no great expectations for this game, but I was in for a pleasant surprise. Pac'n Roll rocks, and if you're wondering how an old game like Pac-Man can be rejuvenated, then read on to find out how.

 

pac n roll          pac n roll

 

The storyline isÖwell, goofy and itís all in good fun. In the opening scene (illustrated by storybook-like pages) we get to see Pac-Man back when he was young and one summer he decides to spend time training under the instructions of the Pac-Master. This is also where he meets Pac-Girl who is obviously Pac-Manís future wife, ĎMrs. Pacman.í Anyways, Pac-Master is training Pac-Man to be a great ghost hunter like himself. One night, the ghosts decide they donít like losing so they bring back Golvis, an extremely powerful Rock & Rolliní ghost from outer space. Pac-Master tried to use a power pellet but it didnít have enough power to defeat Golvis and to counter the attack Golvis turned them all into spheres. Pac-Man was saved by Krystal (a fairy who is also the protector of the lands) and now it is up to Pac-Man to roll around and find a way to defeat Golvis.

 

 

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This game is pretty unique, especially compared to previous Pac-Man installments (specifically the console ones). Pac'n Roll reminds me of the old game Marble Madness except a lot easier. In each stage, the player has to roll Pac-Man by making strokes on the bottom screen with the stylus. Right off the bat, you're probably thinking that the controls will have to be perfect to control a game like this. Itís a little rough around the edges sometimes, but Iím 

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happy to inform everyone that itís near perfect. You can even use the d-pad or face buttons to rotate the camera. Every stage has a locked gate and the only way to get past it is by collecting the designated amount of pellets posted on the gate. This is a Pac-Man game so of course there are ghosts who like to try to harm poor Pac-Man. If a ghost hits Pac-Man, you have to swipe him off the screen using the stylus. Defeating these ghosts is just like all the other Pac-Man games, you have to find a power pellet which makes the ghosts change color and, bon appetite, Pac-Man. If you get a certain amount of ghosts in a row you get special bonuses like an extra life.

 

pac n roll          pac n roll

 

There are many things to do within each level and some of it is optional, however, if you go the whole nine yards and complete every task within a level, you are rewarded with a crystal that unlocks surprises, that is, once you have a certain amount collected. Some of the unlockables include challenge modes and even the original Pac-Man game. Challenge missions can be quite frustrating but it does give some more life and replay value to the game. I think some gamers might be tired of the game before unlocking all the extras. There are many worlds in the game and they all contain around 5 stages. In some stages, Golvis will try to prevent you from progressing and the only way to harm him is to eat three power pellets at a time. By the third world, the gameís difficulty really starts to ramp up, thankfully too because at first I found the game too easy. The game does start to feel repetitive after a while, but I always found myself going back to it whenever I needed to play a game on the go.

 

Some parts of Pac'n Roll can be really tricky and these parts are usually where the goodies are hidden. In some places, there are items lying on the ground and one of them gives Pac-Man armor so he can go through metal boxes and there is also an item that gives Pac-Man a hat with wings on it so he can briefly glide through the air. To get past certain obstacles, the dash move is needed (reminds me of Sonicís spindash). To perform a dash, the player must quickly stroke the screen until the stylus reaches the end and Pac-Man will perform a quick dash that can accomplish many things such as evade enemies, break boxes, and take down enemies on vehicles and more.

 

This game does a good job in retaining its cartoony look and it does that well. The view is kind of far away so it hides a lot of visible polygons which is a good thing. The music fits the gameís look and the sound effects get the job done. The one thing that really bothers me though is the cutscenes because Pac-Manís gibberish speech really gets annoying.

 

If you want to bring a good game on the go, you cannot go wrong with Pac'n Roll.

 

- J'Tonello

(September 29, 2005)

 

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