Bandai Namco has been bringing some classic PS1 titles to modern platforms here recently such as Klonoa: Phantasy Reverie Series and now Pac-Man World. Most of us know Pac-Man as the arcade game but back on the original PlayStation he starred in his own 3D platformer. Now, over 20 years later it is back in the form of Pac-Man World Re-Pac. How does this platforming version of our yellow dot hold up? Read on for my review of the PlayStation 5 version.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a remake of the first Pac-Man World game but sadly not the second as well. I never got to play the second game back when I was younger and it would’ve been nice to experience both in this like the Klonoa remake last month but alas perhaps it will come later. The story set up is that it’s Pac-Man’s birthday and he returns home to celebrate it with his family only to find that they have all been kidnapped by those dastardly ghosts. Pac-Man then has to set out to Ghost Island to rescue his family from the evil Toc-Man and finally celebrate his birthday.
Pac-Man World’s gameplay has you venturing through six themed worlds made up of a few levels each where you’ll be collecting pellets, various fruits to open doors, letters that spell Pac-Man, and trying to destroy a statue of Toc-Man at the end of each one. The levels are mostly linear and operate with a fixed camera so you won’t have to explore very hard to find what you need in this game. Levels are also full of enemies that you’ll have to defeat using the move set that the team came up with for Pac-Man. This includes a butt bounce that allows Pac-Man to gain height, a dash attack not too dissimilar from a certain blue hedgehog, and a ranged attack that lets you fire off the pellets that you collect at enemies. There are also various power-ups you can use with one making you metal which you’ll use to navigate underwater sections while another makes you huge and invincible letting you easily take out anything in your way. Finally, you can use a little flutter move while in the air to help with platforming sections.
Each world that you finish wraps up in a boss fight and these are actually pretty good and varied. One boss will shift the gameplay to like you’re playing Galaxian while another will be a normal arena fight. They aren’t very challenging though and that is pretty much the case for the entire game. Enemies don’t post much of a threat and to some that could make this game feel rather boring. Each level has a theme to it whether it be a Pirate level, a Carnival, etc but you pretty much are doing the same things in them over and over. In all, it shouldn’t take you anymore than six or seven hours or so to reach the end so it at least doesn’t overstay its welcome.
The visuals are the area where this remake has seen the most improvement as levels are more colorful and vibrant than ever and new cutscenes have been added in various places. Due to issues with Ms Pac-Man though she had to be removed and replaced in scenes so that is different from the original. The game also runs very smooth on the PlayStation 5 which you would hope would be the case. The soundtrack is also quite jolly and each world’s music seems to fit the visual theme while you’ll also enjoy many of the classic Pac-Man sound effects throughout. Trophy hunters will find 41 trophies to collect including a Platinum. It’s a pretty easy list overall that should be doable for anyone who is moderately skilled at platformers.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is another fun blast from the past 3D platformer but one that I would say isn’t a must-play. The game plays well and the visual improvements are excellent but those who like challenge in their platformers or imaginative level design will likely find themselves disappointed in this. If you are a huge Pac-Man fan or just enjoy platformers in general and missed out on the original version then this is the best way to experience it.
*Pac-Man World Re-Pac is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by Bandai Namco for this review.