Over a year after its initial release, Namco's latest maze muncher is now on Switch with a cool new multiplayer mode. However, is that enough to warrant another purchase if you already own the vanilla version?
Before I get to the review, I should mention that I already reviewed Pac-Man Championship Edition 2. Therefore, I won't go in-depth about the basic mechanics so if you'd like to know more about this fun-filled game then head over to my full Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 review before reading this review.
With that out of the way, I'm glad to say that the incredible fast-paced and super-fun gameplay remains intact. For the unfamiliar, you gobble up all the dots within a succession of stages then grab the delicious fruit that emerges in order to advance to the next maze. Meanwhile, ghosts are chasing you around and it's your job to avoid them. Thankfully, using a bomb will help you escape danger but they're in limited supply so your best weapon is the Power Pellets that turn the tides and let you eat the ghosts. There's nothing more satisfying than chomping on the head of a ghost train only to watch Pac-Man rapidly chow down on dozens of ghosts while your score drastically increases.
Although this is all familiar stuff if you've already played Pac-Man Championship Edition, this new 2 Plus version features one awesome addition in the form of Plus 2P mode. This mode allows you to team up with a friend to tackle the courses together. I'm happy to say that it doesn't feel slapped together because the developers actually took the time and effort to craft nifty multiplayer-specific mechanics. For starters, the fruit now shows up right in front of your face so to collect it, you have to make both players collide. A similar mechanic is in play when you're chasing edible ghosts. Basically, they bounce off you and you have to squish them between the 2 players in order to score points. When you factor in the awesome boss fights, you're looking at one fantastic multiplayer experience.
Fun fact: What the Puck, man?
Pac-Man was originally called Puck Man because the character resembled a hockey puck. However, it was renamed for its North American release due to concerns that vandals would turn the "P" into an "F".
All of that being said, there are only 5 courses plus a boss rush mode to play in this new multiplayer component which is quite disappointing. On the plus side, there is a ton of single player content to play through with 10 score attack courses and a huge adventure mode. However, if you already own the vanilla Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 then none of this content will be new to you. You can play the multiplayer mode with a computer-controlled ally but that's not nearly as fun as playing with a chum.
Finally, I wish the few issues that I had with the original Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 were remedied in this new version. More specifically, encountering ghosts isn't nearly as intense as it was in the first game, the music is pretty obnoxious and doesn't feel like it belongs in a Pac-Man game, and jumping in certain courses will frequently cause you to be disoriented. Considering they had over a year to work on these issues, I'm disappointed to see that none of these problems have been fixed.
Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus offers the same exciting fun that fans are used to while also including a fully realised and wholly enjoyable multiplayer component. Even if you played the vanilla version, this is worth getting for those who want to play with a pal.
- + Same incredible frantic gameplay
- + Plus 2P mode is a great inclusion with nifty multiplayer mechanics
- + Lots of enjoyable content and replay value
- - Not enough multiplayer courses
- - Besides multiplayer, nothing new is added
- - Problems from vanilla version remain