Never in my life did I think I would be excited for another Pac-Man game, and yet, here we are. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS is the Nintendo Switch version of the arcade game released on the other consoles and PC in 2016. Only this time, it comes with an absurdly fun 2-player mode.
For starters, Pac-Man Championship Edition is not your standard game of Pac-Man by a long shot. It’s way faster, louder, and colorful. If you’re looking for a traditional Pac-Man experience, you’re going to want to buy Namco Museum instead. The initial Score Attack mode of the game has you collect all the Pac-Dots in a stage, then the fruit, then on to the next one, all within a 5-minute timespan. As you progress, the movement speed of you and the ghosts gets faster. The ghosts also don’t kill you in one hit anymore, since if you bump into them, they’ll jump up in anger then chase you down. Don’t let them catch you at this stage, or you will die. Thankfully the 1-Ups are plentiful, but you’ll rack up a better score at the end if you save them.
I was quite surprised with how addictive this game is. Whenever I took out my Switch on my lunchbreaks, I could have chosen to play any one of my in-depth adventure games, but I always wanted to go back to Pac-Man and beat my high scores, and it wasn’t just because I needed to for review’s sake. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 offers a unique arcade experience that is easy to learn and fun to try and master. Often times it’s as simple as just following the Pac-Dots in the path they lead you down, but complications always arise when you’re dealing with four colorful ghosts.
As addictive as this game is however, it’s not without its fair share of faults. These are the occasional framerate stutters and lack of meaningful content. Score Attack is the second mode next to the Adventure, which offers a series of challenges that aren’t very diverse. Ranging from collecting 10 pieces of fruit before the time expires to a boss fight. Though when you realize the game is only $20, this softens the blow immensely.
The Switch exclusive 2-player mode is where the game really shines. You can always play this mode by yourself with a CPU, but it isn’t nearly as much fun as when you’re with another person on the couch. The same rules of Arcade Mode apply here, only the ghosts can get you in one hit- though you can be revived- and there are boss battles at the end. The experience I’ve had playing this game with friends was full of laughter and a little bit of hair-pulling. Sidenote: don’t try playing this with my girlfriend. Sorry, babe.
Either way, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 PLUS is worth the $20 price tag. Even though it has a few issues and isn’t the most content-heavy game, the amount of joy I’ve gotten out of it with myself and friends makes this a must-buy for fans of Pac-Man and those looking to have a good time.