Preview: Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures (TV show & game)
Pac-Man is the original mascot of video games. Many have come and gone in the years since the first game was released in 1980 but Pac-Man is still as popular now as it was then. So it comes as no surprise then that a new TV show featuring our favourite ghost gobbler has been made. Airing now on Disney XD, the new 13 episode series of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures features Pac-Man and his friends Cylindria and Spiral protecting Pac-World from Betrayus and his aim of taking over the world with the help of his Ghosts.
I was shown the first episode of the series which I thought was going to be interesting to see. I’ve glanced at the weird creations that have captured my niece and nephew’s imaginations but as I don’t have any children myself I haven’t watched any full episodes of kid’s TV since I was a child myself. For a point of reference, Pingu, Catdog and Rosie & Jim were favourites of mine.
Anyway, Pac-Man started off with a headache inducing theme tune that reminded me of German techno-dance group, Scooter. And then Pac-Man spoke and I instantly took a dislike to him. His voice reminded me of Sonic when he gained one. However with its bright and colourful animation, characters with the exaggerated personality a show like this needs plus a plot that mum and dad would approve of, I can see why children would like it. There were certainly kids in the audience who were enjoying the show.
I was also given the opportunity to have a hands on with the game, due out March. History tells us that tie-in games are most likely to be rubbish but the time I had with the game was promising. It’s is a 3D platformer where you hop from platform to platform, picking up the pellets that litter level and gobbling up ghosts. Now I didn’t go in expecting a Mario beater but the last children tie-in I reviewed like The Croods: Prehistoric Party! which was appalling. It paid no attention to the source material, gave no freedom and it simply wasn’t fun and engaging. But here was different. It looked and sounded just like the show, the graphics were decent and kids will love gobbling up the ghosts.
I’m pretty sure adults would get bored very quickly as it looked like it would get pretty monotonous or so but I did use one ice power-up that allowed me to attack a fire ghost. I did glance in the TV show trailer many other power-ups which I assume will all make an appearance in the game. Whether they spice up the gameplay I can’t say. The game also handled like a decent third person platformer should with user-controlled camera, character movement and attack function not causing any frustration. Adults of course are not going to be buying this for themselves but if I had a child I would happily buy them Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, if they enjoyed the show of course. And with a second series already commissioned, for children at least, it seems that Pac-Man is well and truly back.