Article by Joshua Jordan
Continuing Pac-Man Month here’s another special post celebrating our favorite dot muncher. Since Pac-Man’s creation 40 years ago he has become an intricate part of pop culture. It’s only inevitable that movies and television pay homage to our favorite yellow protagonist. The following are my top five favorite Pac-Man cameos in movies and television:
Though I don’t hate Pixels as most people on the internet do, I not a huge fan of it either. One of my favorite parts of the movie is near the middle of the film where the invading aliens take the form of Pac-Man and start destroying the city. It’s up to our heroes to become the ghost and stop him. The best part of it though is one of the people who join the main cast is the real-life creator of Pac-Man Toru Iwatani. He wants to stop Pac-Man and tries to appeal to Pac-Man as a Father. I won’t spoil what happens even though it is in the trailers but I feel it’s one of the funniest parts of the movie. Bonus fact: Iwatani also appears earlier in the movie working as an arcade tech working on a Pac-Man Arcade.
Tron is one of my favorite video game movies. I believe this movie is so underrated due to the subject being ahead of its time. As for Pac-Man, his cameo is more of a blink and you’ll miss it one. The picture above shows Stark, the movie’s antagonist looking at a map of The Grid. Taking a close look and you’ll see our little yellow friend. Furthermore you can also hear the Pac-Man noises hidden in the soundtrack. This is one of the greatest video game movies and to have Pac-Man make a cameo just two years after his premiere is just a testament to Pac-Man’s impact on pop culture.
Happy Pac-Man Day Arcaders!
Hey Arcaders! I really enjoying Pac-Man Month! I hope you are too.
I thought it was a good time to start another series- about the Pac-Man games after the original maze chasers. You see- Namco knew their icon had to evolve. So, I thought- Let’s take a closer look at these games… and see if they keep their Pac-Man feel, but more importantly, is the game good? I thought we would start with one that I remember being so quirky, fun, and so- different- that it was THE PERFECT GAME to start with. Arcaders- I give you…
Pac-Man 2 The New Adventures.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is a graphic adventure game, a vast departure from its predecessors. Players assume the role of Pac-Man as he must carry out different quests given to him by other characters. Many of these involve retrieving a specific item, such as a bottle of milk or a flower. Unlike other adventure games, players cannot control Pac-Man directly, who will wander and interact with the in-game world at his own pace. Instead, players use a slingshot to guide, or “influence”, Pac-Man to his destination or to attract his attention towards a specific object.
In each quest, the player will need to solve puzzles to progress. The solutions to these puzzles are based on Pac-Man’s moods, which differ based on the player’s actions. For example, the player can shoot down an apple from a tree, which Pac-Man will eat and makes him happier, while shooting Pac-Man in the face will make him irritated or depressed. Pac-Man’s moods will also determine how cooperative he becomes; for instance, making Pac-Man too happy will cause him to become smug and cocky, and as a result less willing to follow the orders of the player. Some sections of the game follow Pac-Man riding on a hang glider or in a minecart through “chase” scenes, which require fast-reflexes from the player. Pac-Man may sometimes encounter his enemies Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, where he will immediately become frightened and run around the screen. Feeding Pac-Man a Power Pellet, stored in an inventory at the bottom corner of the screen, will transform him into Super Pac-Man and allow him to eat the ghosts. If the player visits the arcade, they can play the original Pac-Man. Finding three game cartridges will allow them to play Ms. Pac-Man in the SNES version, or Pac-Jr. in the Sega Genesis version.-Wikipedia
My first question was- Pac-Man 2? Where is Pac Man 1? Here is my hypothesis- Pac-Man 1… Was Pac-Land.
Pacland is a very unique scrolling platformer that predated Super Mario Bros in the U.S. by a year! and we will be getting to this game soon!
Back to Pac-Man 2- It’s a point and click adventure. So, you don’t control Pac-Man, you make him look, or hit an object (or him) and get his attention and make him react.
The best part- was Pac-Man’s emotions. He could be happy, sad, hungry, scared, mad, and more! Check them out!
Enough talk- lets look at the game!
What did you think Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures? Did you love it? Hate It? Never knew it existed? Let Me know in the comments!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!
To say that Pac-Man is a video game icon is no understatement. Since his 1980 debut in the arcades Pac-Man has become an institution, one that doesn’t reinvent itself too much over the years but even when it does, it doesn’t stray away from the basic fundamentals that co-creator Toru Iwatani and his team established, and this is made pretty clear with the array of sequels/spin-offs that have followed the original arcade game. For myself, I have been fortunate to have played some of these, but the one that that stood out to me the most – especially during the 90s, was the game called Pac-Attack.
If you’ve ever played games like Tetris, Dr. Mario, Columns or Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine then the gameplay shouldn’t feel out of place. The objective of the game is to basically line up the blocks that drop into rows, with each row disappearing once it’s made. Sounds pretty simple, until you consider the ghosts, for they will be there as part of the blocks as they appear. Fortunately Pac-Man will be there as well to help gobble up the ghosts and clear the way.
Like with the aforementioned games, there is both a one player mode as well as a two player mode but with this game there’s two types of modes for single players. One being the normal mode and the other called puzzle mode.
In the normal mode all the player has to do is first choose a level of difficulty, then as mentioned before, line up the falling blocks into rows, and clear out the ghosts using Pac-Man once he appears. As Pac-Man eats the ghosts a fairy meter on the left side of the screen will start to fill up. Once it’s completely full a fairy piece will appear, clearing out all ghosts below said piece. The difficulty you choose will determine the level you start at, so the higher the difficulty, the higher the level, and the faster the blocks will drop.
As you clear out rows of blocks your level goes up, and as this happens the new blocks that appear start to descend faster. This can get hectic if you’re not quick enough, so keep your wits about you. Of course, don’t fret if this your first time playing this game. Like most titles during the 8-bit/16-bit era, it takes messing up a lot before you start to get good.
Puzzle mode is another mode that is also fun – and a little more fun than normal mode in my opinion – because while you still can clear the rows, you aren’t obligated to. Instead the objective in puzzle mode is to clear out all the ghosts on the screen. Once you do you can then move on to the next level.
(One cool thing about the puzzle mode is that if you manage to clear out all the ghosts in one shot, you get a cool message)
While there are 100 levels in total, you don’t have to worry about trying to play the mode all the way through. For each level you play there’s a password that players can make note of and use later on if they have to stop the game at some point.
With two-player mode it’s pretty much what one would expect from any vs. mode: try to outlast your opponent. Each player can pick their own difficulty, which is a nice touch because at least that way you can play to your strengths and decide what speeds to go with. Best two out of three wins.
In all, Pac-Attack is definitely a game worthy of being a part of the best Pac-Man games. It isn’t completely like the original, but there’s a good enough balance in the game that you won’t be put-off or be bored. Plus, like Tetris and Dr. Mario Pac-Attack is another game that you can play in short spurts or for a long duration if you feel inclined. And most importantly. It’s just a lot of fun.
So if you do have a copy of the game – hard copy or digital – enjoy it.
Happy Eating Arcaders!
I know it’s Pac-Man month, but I have a video review of another Namco game- and one of my favorites- MAPPY!
I had a Mappy upright cabinet for many years in my collection, and I’ve been a huge Mappy Fan for years. UberNerd found this My Arcade handheld- I had to do a review!
Enjoy- and Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!