Pac-Man World 3
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-12-19 GameCube Action/Platform Namco

Happy 25th anniversary, Pac-Man! Namco is celebrating the little yellow fellow's birthday with another 3D action-platformer adventure.

Before he even has time to eat his cake, Pac-Man is transported out of Pac-Village into a strange world. His former enemy Orson has summoned him to ask for help. Apparently, an evil scientist named Erwin has found a way to open up a portal into the Spectral Realm, causing evil ghosts and other monsters to invade Pac-Land.

Pac-Man's heroic task of restoring order through the 15 lands and closing the portals will count with the help of a couple of his "old friends", Pinky and Clyde, who can prove very useful to solve puzzles and access certain areas. They will also work together to find Inky and Blinky, who have been kidnapped by the evil Erwin.

Pac-Man himself has some neat tricks of his own. He can roll, butt-bounce, punch, wall jump, climb fences, shimmy across ledges and swing on poles. Additionally, he can use the pac-dot chains (series of dots that he chomps away through the air in the direction of the dots) and b-doings (trampolines) as transportation to get to other areas.

His other special powers come from gobbling down certain power-ups. The Classic Power Pellet allows Pac-Man to chomp on Blue Spectral Ghosts. The Electro-Shock Pellet creates bolts of electricity that he can shoot from his hands (come to the Dark Side, Pac-Man!) and are especially useful against robots. The Ribbon Loop Pellet leaves a trail behind so that if you complete a circle around several enemies, you will destroy them all at once. There is also a Chrome Power that makes him temporarily invincible, and a Super Stomp Pellet that makes his butt-bounce a lot more powerful.

Aside from the usual pac-dots, there are lots of collectibles spread all over the different levels. There are several yummy fruits (finding all the fruit in a level gives you a collectible card), pac-statues, extra lives, health refills, crystals to activate the pac-dot chains and galaxians. Galaxians are especially cool to come across, since they transport you to a bonus 3D Pac-Man level every time you find one.

Pac-Man veterans will be happy to know that Pac-Man World 3 includes the original Pac-Man arcade game from 1980, available right from the start. This title also includes a few more extras: an interview with Toru Iwatani the original creator, a timeline showing Pac-Man's evolution and containing information about every Pac-Man game released, plus a sneak peek of Pac-Man World Rally.

Pac-Man is one of the most memorable game icons. He captivated the hearts of gamers 25 years ago with his wakka-wakka-wakka, and he's still going strong today, keeping up with technology.

Namco has successfully combined contemporary 3D action-platform gameplay with classic Pac-Man elements in a title that will certainly please fans of the franchise.

Special thanks to Kit Ellis and Namco for providing a copy of this title.