Pacman

Pac-Man Vs.
Developer(s)Nintendo EAD
Namco
Publisher(s)Namco
Designer(s)Shigeru Miyamoto
SeriesPac-Man
Platform(s)GameCube, Nintendo DS, Mobile phone, Nintendo Switch
Release
  • JP: November 27, 2003
  • NA: December 2, 2003
  • PAL: April 2, 2004
Genre(s)Maze
Mode(s)Multiplayer

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Pac-Man Vs.[a] is a 2003 maze video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Namco for the GameCube. In the game, one player takes control of Pac-Man, who must eat all of the pellets in the maze, while the others control the ghosts to try to catch them. The objective is to be the first to reach a set number of points, selected before the game begins. The player controlling Pac-Man uses the Game Boy Advance to play, while the others use the television to control the ghosts. The game requires the GameCube - Game Boy Advance link cable in order to play.

Pac-Man Vs. was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo EAD, created as a tech demo to show off the capabilities of the GCN link cable. First shown at the Games Convention in Germany, under the working title Pac-Man for Nintendo GameCube, it was then presented to Namco, who took interest and agreed to publish it as a full game. It was shown at the 2003 Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) tradeshow, with Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani invited to the panel as a guest. In North America and Europe, it was released as a free extra alongside other Namco GameCube titles, while in Japan it was made exclusive to members of Club Nintendo.

Upon release, Pac-Man Vs. was met with generally favorable reviews from critics, who praised its interesting concept, multiplayer and addictive gameplay, although would criticize its small amount of content and lack of memory card support. Some would call it one of the best Pac-Man games released. A Nintendo DS remake was released in 2007 as part of Namco Museum DS, utilizing the system's Download Play feature, followed by a high-definition remake for the Nintendo SwitchNamco Museum collection in 2017. A version for mobile phones was also produced. The multiplayer aspect of the game would be re-used by Nintendo for the battle mode in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007).

Gameplay[edit]

Screenshot of the game from the television, showing the ghosts fleeing from Pac-Man.

Pac-Man Vs. is a maze video game. The game requires a Game Boy Advance, the GameCube - Game Boy Advance link cable peripheral, and one to three GameCube controllers to play. Before the game begins, a predetermined score value can be set to either 7,000, 10,000 or 15,000 points, which can affect how long the game is. One of the players will be assigned as Pac-Man, the others being the ghosts. The player controlling Pac-Man uses the Game Boy Advance to play, the objective being to eat all the dots in the maze without being caught by a ghost. Eating large flashing 'Power Pellets' will cause the ghosts to turn blue, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for points and send them back to the regeneration box in the middle of the maze. If Pac-Man is caught by a ghost, the person that caught him will become Pac-Man in the next round. Eating a certain amount of pellets will cause a fruit to appear underneath the regeneration box, which Pac-Man can eat for bonus points.

Pacman

The remaining players will take control of the ghosts on the television screen, who must catch Pac-Man before he eats all of the pellets in the maze. If Pac-Man consumes a Power Pellet, the ghosts will turn blue and become slower, and must avoid contact with Pac-Man. The ghosts have a limited field of vision, which can be increased for a limited period of time by eating fruit that appears in the middle of the stage. If there are fewer than four players in the game, uncontrolled ghosts will become gray-colored CPUs that are harmless to Pac-Man — however, a ghost can touch him to tag it with his or her color, which can kill Pac-Man and count towards that player's score.

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The objective of all players is to be the first to reach the predetermined score. Pac-Man can earn points by eating pellets, vulnerable ghosts and fruit, while ghosts can earn them by eating fruit and catching Pac-Man. Should Pac-Man clear the stage of pellets, the person controlling him will earn 1,600 point bonus and will continue to play as him in the next stage, however Pac-Man will also lose that same amount if a ghost catches him, being given to whoever caught him. Mario appears as an announcer and will commentate on the game, such as when Pac-Man eats a Power Pellet or when a fruit appears in the stage. Six different mazes can be selected, each having different layouts and music.

Development[edit]

Pac-Man Vs. was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) for the GameCube.[1] A fan of the original Pac-Man arcade game, Miyamoto designed a tech demo to show off the capabilities of the GameCube - Game Boy Advance link cable peripheral, where one player controlled Pac-Man and three others controlled the ghosts.[1] A short demo was shown off at the Games Convention in Germany, simply titled Pac-Man for Nintendo GameCube, where it gained a sizable amount of attention.[2] The game took a month to complete,[3] where it was then shown to Namco, who took interest and agreed to publish it as a full game.[1] It was presented at the 2003 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), with Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani invited to the presentation as a guest. The game was released in Japan on November 27, 2003, in North America on December 2, 2003, and in PAL regions on April 2, 2004. The North American and European versions were exclusively bundled with Pac-Man World 2, I-Ninja and R: Racing Evolution, while the Japanese version was released as a prize for members of Club Nintendo.

A remake of the game was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007 as part of Namco Museum DS, using the system's Download Play function for multiplayer. A version for mobile phones was also released that utilized Bluetooth for multiplayer.[4] A high-definition remake of the GameCube version was released in 2017 for the Nintendo SwitchNamco Museum compilation, requiring two systems to play. A single-console mode is also included, where players controlled the ghosts to catch a computer-controlled Pac-Man. The multiplayer aspect of the original GameCube release was re-used for the online battle mode in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (2007).[5]

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Reception[edit]

Aggregate scores
AggregatorScore
GameRankings80%[7]
Metacritic78/100[6]
Review scores
PublicationScore
GamePro4/5[8]
IGN8/10[9]
Nintendo World Report8/10[10]
Nintendojo7/10[11]

Pacman Videos

Pacman

Pac-Man Vs. was met with generally favorable reviews from critics, who praised its clever take on the core gameplay, multiplayer and replay value. It holds a 78/100 on Metacritic[6] and an 80% on GameRankings.[7]

Nintendo World Report called it 'a must-have for parties',[10] while GamePro said it was worth owning for its 'posterity' alone.[8]IGN, GamePro and Nintendojo praised the game's interesting take on the Pac-Man gameplay,[11][8] with IGN in particular noting that it is 'intuitive for anyone regardless of their gaming skill levels'.[9]Nintendo World Report highly praised the game's multiplayer aspect for keeping the gameplay frantic and fast-paced.[10] A similar response was echoed by IGN, who called it 'incredibly fun' and said it added to the overall experience.[9] In their review for Namco Museum DS, Retro Gamer magazine said the package was worth it for Pac-Man Vs. alone, praising its addictive gameplay and multiplayer focus.[12]Polygon called it one of the best Pac-Man games.[13]

Pacman

Despite its praise, the game was criticized for its small amount of content and lack of memory card support. Nintendojo criticized the game's lack of depth and for not being able to save high scores to a memory card.[11]Nintendo World Report had a similar response, also criticizing its limited availability to consumers.[10] While IGN and GamePro found the commentary from Mario to be annoying,[9][8]Nintendojo said that it was helpful for when something happens outside the player's vision, although commented that it was largely unnecessary.[11]GamePro disliked Pac-Man's slow movement and controls.[8] Several critics would argue that the game being a free extra dismissed much of its criticism, with Nintendo World Report even saying that there is 'not much reason to be disappointed with a lack of features'.[10]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

Pacman Online

  1. ^ abcIGN Staff (15 October 2003). 'Pac-Man vs. Details Official'. IGN. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^Schneider, Peer (21 August 2003). 'GC 2003: Nintendo Booth Report'. IGN. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  3. ^IGN Staff (9 May 2003). 'E3 2003: Pac-Man Comes to GameCube'. IGN. Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  4. ^Houghton, Stuart (8 December 2008). 'Be A Ghost In Multiplayer Mobile Pac-Man'. Kotaku. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  5. ^'ゼルダの伝説 夢幻の砂時計インタビュートップ'. Nintendo. 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  6. ^ ab'Pac-Man vs. Critic Reviews for GameCube'. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  7. ^ ab'Pac-Man vs. for GameCube'. GameRankings. Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  8. ^ abcdeBADHARE (5 December 2003). 'Review Pac-Man Vs. for GameCube'. GamePro. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  9. ^ abcdHarris, Craig (9 December 2003). 'Pac-Man Vs. - GameCube Review'. IGN. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  10. ^ abcdeBloodworth, Daniel (14 December 2003). 'Pac-Man vs. Review'. Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 1 January 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  11. ^ abcdGriffiths, Ed (2003). 'Pac-Man Vs'. Nintendojo. Archived from the original on 24 September 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  12. ^Jones, Darran (2018). 'Review: Namco Museum DS' (51). Retro Gamer. p. 2. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  13. ^McWhertor, Michael (29 June 2017). 'One of the best Pac-Man games is coming to Switch (update)'. Polygon. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Pacman Online

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