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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions on 3DS

Let the retro 3DS craze begin with two classics, Pac-Man and Galaga

Another collection of old arcade games? Another collection or revamped arcade games? Well, yes on both fronts but worth the price of admission people as Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions on Nintendo 3DS is all that’s great about both titles where the new truly outshine the old and some 3D is thrown in for good measure. It’s a trip down memory lane that shows just how far these titles have come from their first table top adventures. Gamers of all ages, get ready for a trip down memory lane and a trip to create your memory lane.

Gameplay – Six games, two newer and more unique with four showing the original and recent iterations of these two franchises. First is Pac-Man with three flavors from Tilt which is more a platformer where gamers tilt the 3DS to change the game, advance our chomping hero in an almost Sonic manner while Championship Edition shows off the recent revamp available for download and finally there’s the original coin-op version. All three are unique with the best easily being Championship Edition. Tilt is by far the biggest departure from the franchises origins.

Second is Galaga with its 3D tilting, targeting, shooting (first-person-ish) 3D Impact which just feels way to odd and off for this gamers enjoyment. The original Galaga shows its age with waves of aliens attacking while Legions is such a great an fresh take offering gamers a more free reign of movement and lasers firing all different directions. It’s more like an update to Asteroids than to Galaga but the waves of enemies brings it back to its roots.

Graphics – Let’s start at the beginning. The originals have never looked so old and slow due in large part to the layout of the screen, its size and positioning. They are spot on what they were in the past but still dated. Both Tilt and 3D Impact look solid with expected more to date graphics but the thoughts and images of both Sonic and Starfox kept coming to mind. The middle children again take the cake as Championship Edition for Pac-Man looks and plays great with tons of great on-screen effect while Legions is just as impressive looking a visual fest. The entire package of games runs the gamut of looks so it’s a mixed bag overall.

Sound – From old to new, the signature sounds are all accounted for and updated in later titles. These are the sounds, the music and effects, which will bring back so many memories.

Design – Tilt and 3D Impact being the new kids are more tech demos for what the 3DS can do and, while fun, take a bit getting used to. For portable games just a bit too much moving needed. The originals suffer from constrained screen space so poor design choice there but the middle children, now they look good. Legions and Championship Edition are the two titles that make this cart worth purchase and play outstanding on the 3DS.

Miscellaneous – Seeing such three very different ages of the same game is a nice history lesson in game development and design. From the originals to their revamps to new 3D targeted adventures it’s amazing to see how such iconic games change over time yet remain true to their roots.

Overall Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions make this 3DS cart a must-buy. The original games pale to the updates while the 3DS targeted Tilt and 3D Impact are fun but overall not as addictive. A solid outing from Namco Bandai but if only 1 more game could have been squeezed in, and then we’re talking.

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