reviews\ Sep 6, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Pac Man Fever - PS2 - Review

Pac Man Fever by Namco is the newest addition to the somewhat successful party game genre.  Offering over 30 mini-games and an assortment of characters from their most popular titles, Namco has made an attempt to break in to this genre with a bang.  Unfortunately with the mediocre sound, average graphics, tedious pace and repetitive mini-games, Pac Man Fever is more likely to make you bang you're head against the wall, than make a meaningful contribution to gaming.

Pac Man Fever is a 3d board game in which characters from notable titles such as Pac Man, Tekken and Soul Caliber, stroll along the game board.  Players face off in mini-games rather than rolling dice to advance.  Their are several different boards available with different backgrounds and mini-games.  The mini-games are easy to pick up usually requiring the use of one button and the directional pad (or analog joystick).  Their is a considerable variety of games but it quickly becomes obvious that around number 20, new ideas were hard to come by.  As a result, several of the games have near exact duplicates with different backgrounds.  The length of the game can be modified to fit your taste with three options of board length, but even on the shortest length the slow stroll of the characters along with the fact that you must watch the AI characters play their mini-games, can make the game seem to drag.

Graphically the game has some good points.  The game is bright and colorful, and the style of the different game boards is well developed.  However the character models are nothing special, and the dynamic backgrounds tend to go to waste when there's no possible interaction with them.  The audio is not very impressive.  None of the characters have voice tracks and the music or sound effects tend to be repetitive.

Pac Man Fever takes a good idea and executes it in a mediocre way.  While some of the mini-games are fun, a few good mini-games are not enough to save a relatively boring title from falling into obscurity.  The game is rated E for everyone but I recommend you only buy it if you have lots of friends with time to kill and liquor to drink.  This is a party game after all.  

Gameplay: 5.5
Overly simplistic, repetitive and poorly paced.

Graphics: 7 
Very Average.  Not bad but nothing amazing.

Sound: 6
Teetering on the verge of annoying.  At best it grows simply dull.

Difficulty: Easy
Extremely easy to learn.

Concept: 5.5 
A mediocre rehash of an already used concept.

Multiplayer: 8
If you have a multi-tap and 3 friends this game is at its best.  Any other way...and...well...just get a multi tap.

Overall: 6
A below average game in a small genre.  If you love Pac Man and love mini-games you might think about this title. 

Above Average

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