|Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures|
|Platforms||Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis|
|Genre||Anger Inducing Adventure|
|MtAMinutes to Action||1|
|Score||4 Gameplay: 3
Fun Factor: 5
|Buy from Amazon|
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is of course, the one and true sequel to Pac-Man! You may be wondering, but what about Ms. Pac-man, Super Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, or Pac-Mania? Nope, none of those have the number two in their name. Pac-Man 2 is the definitive sequel, and it is a side-scrolling adventure game with puzzle elements. How about that. It was released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis and is quite the departure from the traditional series.
Fourteen years after chomping pills in a dark maze, Pac-Man is now a moody middle-aged blob living with Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Jr., and Pac-Baby. Pac-Man won't be shoved around by anyone though, as you don't even control him directly! Instead you shoot a slingshot to point out things to Pac-Man and hopefully grab his attention. This doesn't always work though and Pac-Man can get angry pretty quickly. This is pretty much a recipe for complete disaster, so let's start cooking the first hour of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures for the Super Nintendo.
(minutes are in bold)
00 - I select Game Start and the first hour of Pac-Man 2 begins. We get a look at Pac-Man's house. Pac-Man introduces himself and explains his world. We'll have to work together to solve "mysteries" (quotes are mine).
01 - The game goes to full color and we're outside Pac-Man's house. I now have full control, if by moving a crosshairs around the sreen means I have full control, then so be it. I press and hold the B button to shoot my slingshot at stuff. Pac-Man tells me to shoot his house and mailbox.
02 - Okay, I'm pissed off already. I shot his mailbox and a letter came out. Pac-Man goes first goes over to his door and looks inside, then starts walking towards his mailbox. But the letter is on the ground and he won't look down. And he's getting upset that he doesn't have a letter.
04 - That was kind of funny, I knocked Pac-Man's windmill off its post and it chased him around until he knocked himself out on his mailbox. Then I had to shoot him to wake up.
05 - Outside his house is a power pellet tree, I can give him power pellets when he's in real trouble. Oh oh, here come the ghosts! I feed him a pellet and he eats the ghosts. Pac-Man also tells me that if he is happy, he'll be more cooperative... Ms. Pac-Man calls him inside. The letter is still laying there.
06 - Pac-Baby is hungry and they're out of milk. Are these the "mysteries" we'll be solving together?
07 - We're out in the village way now, I start shooting apples off a tree, that makes Pac-Man happy. He sneaks by a mean looking dog. The animations are really good. We enter Lucy's house.
09 - Pac-Man helps her move her couch. Underneath is a Pac-Man game cartridge! Lucy gives it to him, he's super happy.
10 - Nothing makes Pac-Man sadder faster than an open mailbox. It's not even your mailbox! I shoot a crow off a power line and it chases him around. Poor guy, oh, there's a sign for milk, it's the other way!
12 - We're at Stock Farm now. There's a farmer sleeping under a bail of hay so I knock it off its winch and it lands on him. Pac-Man is now whistling he's so happy! Oh, there's a cow. And a free bottle, I shoot the crow so that he'll knock it off the sign (my slingshot wouldn't).
14 - Pac-Man milks the cow and has the milk for his daughter! Is Ms. Pac-Man dry? Oh, Pac-Man now has to walk back home and get distracted by everything again. He walked right by his front door. Pac-Baby sucks the milk down.
15 - Oooh, a cutscene. It's the ghosts, some witch is pretty mad at then. She zaps them with some lightning, their eyeballs fly off.
16 - I beat the level and get a password: GO(Pac-Man symbol)VT7T. It's Lucy's birthday today so the Misses tells me to get her some fresh moutain flowers. I have to take the rope-way.
18 - Walking right past the farm, Pac-Man gets distracted by the farmer, the cow, and the crow. This is taking forever. Oh, there's the rope-way station. I shoot the sign and he heads in. It's the overworld map, there's the village, the mountain, the factory, and the metropolis.
20 - Oh, holy crap! Pac-Man just got crushed by a falling rock! I shot a sign that said danger and it flipped around and pointed up, so he lookd up and got flattened! Pac-Man reappears though at the entrance... he looks sad now though. The other way is a dead end though.
21 - Ha! Right when the rock was falling I shot Pac-Man and he jumped out of the way. Good boy.
22 - He just ate a poisonous berry, the guy isn't looking too good.
24 - There's a rope hanging down, I'm trying to get Pac-Man to see it and climb it... but he just walks right by. Now there's a jumping part, of course he won't jump on his own so I have to shoot him to jump. But then he falls into the canyon and dies.
26 - Oh, I figured it out, you have to knock the board out from under him so he falls to a lower one, then he can make the jump. Now what's this, a mine cart? Push Y to make it go faster, shoot him to make him jump. Easy enough.
27 - Well, except for the fact that I accidentally shot the mine cart away, so now I have to kill Pac-Man to reset it.
29 - This is weird, pressing Y makes some unknown guy's voice yell "Faster! Faster!" Pac-Man hits a rock and dies. Retry. I shoot him and he jumps it, but then I try to jump a rock and he hits his head on a stalactite.
31 - The ghosts are here and causing trouble. I shoot one of them but the weapon he leaves behind kills me anyway. Ugh, retry again. Died same place again. And again and again.
34 - Maybe I'm supposed to time it and go under it? Guess I'll give that a try.
35 - Well, I make it under one but then there's another one right after it. Bastards. If I didn't have to do the whole beginning part every time this wouldn't be so bad.
38 - Ugh, got crushed by the second one.
40 - Oh my Lord, I made it really, really far this time, but then the stupid crusher ghost was there again. When will it stop?
43 - I FINALLY MADE IT! 15 MINUTES OF A STUPID MINE CART!
44 - The ghosts attack me so I lob Pac-Man a power pellet and he takes them out. Okay, I also accidentally discover that pushing Y and either up or down makes Pac-Man look in that direction. Well, at least encourages him to look. Why didn't the game tell me that?
46 - Crap, I shot the box where the ghosts were in (Pac-Man fell off a cliff and killed himself so it reset), now I have to toss him another power pellet. I'm down to one. And I had to use my last one as another ghost was hiding in the box still...
48 - I can also make Pac-Man look left or right. Hey, one of the ghosts dropped an ID card. Don't know what it is but Pac-Man sure is happy. I tell Pac-Man to check out a machine but he can't do anything with it so he just gets mad.
50 - Well, I'm back to the entrance of this level, except the way is blocked off, and I don't have the flowers. I do find another Pac-Man game cartridge in a box though. Why can't we just give this to Lucy?
51 - Nothing for me to do except keep shooting this machine, it finally starts up and something happens to the right... The rocks have been moved aside and I can go back to the start... crap.
52 - Ah, there's the rope I didn't know how to climb before. But now I know how to make him look and he begins climbing.
54 - Oh no, a hang glider. And a guide sign telling me how to ride it. You have got to be kidding me! Y makes Pac-Man go higher, shooting him makes him go down.
55 - Now the creepy voice says "Higher! Higher!" I was doing pretty well until he ran into a rock wall. I can do this!
56 - Well, not this time, accidentally shot him into the ground.
57 - I did it! Pac-Man made it to the goal!
59 - The flowers! I've found them! Now I have to get OFF the mountain though.
60 - Oh, that was easy enough, I shoot a vine and a hole in the ground opens up. Then a rabbit shoves me in it, I fall right back to the entrance of the mountain. Time to head home! We give Lucy the flowers and that's a wrap of the first hour of Pac-Man 2! (new password: BWBZ27Y)
Time for some scores out of 10.
Minutes to Action: 1
Who's idea was this? Pac-Man 2 is definitely unique, and it does have a certain appeal to it, but there's just something so wrong. Why can't I control Pac-Man directly and shoot the slingshot? I know a lot of the effort in this game went towards Pac-Man's animations, and if you could control him directly, that would be gone, but something was lost in the process. There's so much frustration that is automatically built in when all you can do is shoot things. Well, as I found out about 45 minutes in, you can also hint which way to look (why didn't the game teach me this in its tutorial?) but there's still layers of gameplay in between you and Pac-Man, unnecessary layers.
Fun Factor: 5
All right, I admit, while it can be really frustrating, there's a certain amount of satisfaction gained when you actually get Pac-Man to do what you wanted! This might actually be higher if I hadn't spent half an hour riding in a mine cart and flying a hang glider.
Graphics and Sound: 8
Pac-Man 2 doesn't look half bad, actually it looks pretty good with its detailed animations and colorful backgrounds. The art team did a great job conveying Pac-Man's emotions, whether he's angry as a bull or happy as a baby, his face and body show it off. If only more of the game could have been inspired by this.
Lame, generic, uninspiring. Those words sum up New Adventure's story pretty well. I know for a fact there's not a lot of meat to this game and going to get milk and some flowers is such a waste of my time. What the heck happened to Pac-Man over the last 20 years? He turned into a 45 year old guy going through his mid-life crisis. Not exactly your everyday hero.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures was definitely a brave attempt at some kind of new genre of game. The genre where you don't actually control the main character but instead yell and scream at them because they won't listen to your slingshot. Maybe Pac-Man 2 actually inspired The Sims? Wow, I might actually be on to something here, but Namco wasn't when they made this game. Maybe someday I'll review Pac-In-Time, which, if memory serves me, was actually a fun game. Fun. A three letter word, but missing from so many games' first hour.