reviews\ Dec 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 3DS Review: Pac-Man deserves better, and so do we


I recently played Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures for the Xbox 360, and it was one of the most mind-numbingly dull experiences I've had in quite some time. The platformer is easily my favorite genre, so playing through that bastardization of both run-and-jump games and the treasured Pac-Man franchise hurt. Literally. It was actually painful to play. But what about Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures on the 3DS? Surely this side-scrolling offering could provide what its 3D counterpart failed to, right? Wrong! Ghostly Adventures on the 3DS is essentially the same kind of painfully boring and dreadfully awful experience, condensed into a smaller scale.

So in case you're wondering, yes, it hurt to play this version of the game, too. It hurt just as much, but in a different way. The pain was relegated to two smaller screens instead of one giant screen, so you decide which is more brutal.

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For better or for worse, the handheld version of Ghostly Adventures doesn't feature voice acting for its story sequences. It's a drag having to read the bland character dialogue, but I suppose it's a step up from being forced to listen to the woefully cheesy kids' show voice acting. A slight, near nonexistent step up, but a step up nonetheless.

All of the same issues that plagued the console version of Ghostly Adventures are present here. The only difference is that this is a 2D platformer. Aside from that, you've got all of the basic grievances including uninteresting platforming and lackluster combat. Pac-Man can eat most ghosts even if they're not blue, which is just inane and spits all over the legacy of the iconic maze-like Pac-Man games, which required the yellow spherical hero to ingest a special pellet before gobbling up those pesky ghosts.

There are also power-ups, and while these add some nuances to the gameplay, they're thinly veiled nuances. Pac-Man can get a Fire Mario-inspired ability that lets him throw fireballs, become a chameleon and swing from pegs using his Yoshi-like tongue, and even don purple overalls to fart and perform piledrivers like Wario. Just kidding! That last power-up isn't in the game, but it might as well be considering how blatantly some of these power-ups rip off the Mario series. It's a shame that these power-ups are actually kind of cool, because the game they're wasted on is just plain dull.

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A few boss fights are thrown in for good measure, and admittedly, these aren't bad. They're actually some of the best parts of Ghostly Adventures, but I wouldn't say it's worth playing through the awful levels just to experience them. If for some reason you decide to play this game, you at least have some challenging boss battles to look forward to ... and about four or five hours of weak platforming. Um, yay?

Ghostly Adventures looks okay — it's certainly nicer to look at than it is to play, that's for sure. This is a colorful, cheery platformer, but it's also really lifeless. Despite the cartoony direction of its graphics, Ghostly Adventures fails to deliver the lively aesthetics that these types of games usually incorporate.

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If you were to remove the sound from this handheld title, it wouldn't really make a difference. Why? Because Ghostly Adventures already lacks so much personality that missing sound effects and music wouldn't even have a direct impact on the low quality of the game. Of course, there are sounds and music in the game, but like this whole adventure itself, the mix of themes and chimes is largely forgettable.

I was curious to see what other outlets thought of Ghostly Adventures on the 3DS, and I was surprised to see that a few of them scored the game a 7. I'd like to take that 7 score and turn it upside down to change it into an L, because this game is lame. Maybe you have to be on drugs to enjoy it, I don't know. I'll probably never know, because I don't do drugs ... and because I have no clue where I tossed my copy of this abysmal game after I finished playing it.

Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.

Below Average

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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