There was one glaring omission in the recent Pac-Man Museum+ compilation, alongside some questionable inclusions. PAC-MAN WORLD, the 1999 original for PlayStation was released to coincide with the videogame icon’s 20th anniversary. Its omission from the latest compilation did raise a few eyebrows, especially considering it is one of the best games to feature Pac-Man himself. At least now we know why it wasn’t included; to cash in on a full remake.

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PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is a full remake of the 2D/3D platforming classic. In it, Pac-Man returns home where a surprise party is awaiting him for his birthday. If we assume it’s his 20th birthday, does that then mean he was an infant, only a few days old, in the first game? We’re probably looking too much into it. Anyways, the real surprise is that his entire family has been kidnapped, including Pac-Dog, by Toc-Man and his army of ghosts. Now, Toc-Man has an intense desire to become Pac-Man, which may go someway to explaining why he’s kidnapped his entire family. To get them back, Pac-Man heads to Ghost Island.

Ghost Island is split into six distinct areas: Pirate Ship, Space, Ruins, Funhouse, Factory and Boss Mansion. These themes are all fairly run of the mill but the level designs are impressive. They play predominantly as 2D side-scrolling platformers, albeit in a 3D environment. Certain sections are more open, and most levels feature a section that plays out in true Pac-Man style with a grid of pellets and a few ghosts to contend with.

But Pac-Man isn’t just limited to his power pellets for a form of offence this time around. Regular pellets can be pelted at enemies, and he also has a charge attack and a butt bounce to help get rid of most foes in his way. As you progress, these enemies may have certain defences from specific attacks but once you figure that out, there is nothing else to really trouble you.

That’s not to say that anything in PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC overstays its welcome. On the contrary, each area is only three or four levels strong and packed full of secrets. There are hidden keys, mazes, P-A-C-M-A-N letters, family members and more to be found. Many of it requires backtracking within an individual level to find what you need but only when you have discovered everything will you be awarded a gold crown for that level and can truly consider it finished.

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Each area also has a themed boss to defeat, and they are all brilliantly designed. In particular the space themed one, which goes fully into shoot ‘em up territory, will be a level you’ll want to repeat again just for the sheer fun of it.

If you are more of a Pac-Man purist, then PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC has you covered also. Each area has six themed mazes that are classic Pac-Man gameplay. Three are unlocked as soon as the area is, whilst the remaining three need to be found by finding the Galaxian collectible. And if that wasn’t enough for you, the original Pac-Man is fully playable once you have completed the main story.

For the most part, the remake hasn’t changed things at all. Pac-Man still controls beautifully which is always a necessity in a platformer. Obviously, the graphics have been substantially updated, with the remake looking much more like watching a cartoon than the original did. There are comparison videos out there which highlight the changes but nothing feels out of place and it plays very similar to the original.

Now, depending on which side of the fence you sit, this next point could be a positive or negative. Whilst graphically things have been improved, the sound of the game doesn’t appear to have been touched at all. The soundtrack is very good – the overworld theme will be stuck in your head for ages – but it sounds at times like it has been badly ripped from the original files and just left as is. The soundtrack doesn’t need changing, but some work could have gone into making it sound less muffled.

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This next point may also be contentious, but I firmly believe Pac-Man World to be Pac-Man’s greatest game and finest hour. You may tell me that the original cannot be topped, but I would argue it can and has many-a-time. None come close to Pac-Man World however, and this remake should remind everyone that Pac-Man can do decent spin-offs.

Besides, the original game is still here, just wrapped up in a very solid platformer. So no-one really has a leg to stand on saying the original is better. It may be, but here it is along with an excellent 3D platformer.

PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is a fantastic remake that does justice to the original and then some. I am still unsure what the reasoning behind the remake is; whether it is to do the whole trilogy, or because there such a demand for it. Either way, it is here and does itself justice. Fans of the original will find PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is like slipping on a comfy pair of slippers, and new fans will enjoy finding all the secrets and collectibles. There is a lot to enjoy in what is the greatest Pac-Man game of all time.

Save the PAC-FAM in PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC from the Xbox Store

There was one glaring omission in the recent Pac-Man Museum+ compilation, alongside some questionable inclusions. PAC-MAN WORLD, the 1999 original for PlayStation was released to coincide with the videogame icon’s 20th anniversary. Its omission from the latest compilation did raise a few eyebrows, especially considering it is one of the best games to feature Pac-Man himself. At least now we know why it wasn’t included; to cash in on a full remake. PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is a full remake of the 2D/3D platforming classic. In it, Pac-Man returns home where a surprise party is awaiting him for his birthday. If…

Pros:

  • Huge amount of things to collect and complete
  • Original Pac-Man game is included
  • Pac-Man handles really well with no cheap deaths
  • Soundtrack is untouched but…

Cons:

  • … that soundtrack does sound a bit muffled

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 26 August 2022
  • Launch price from - £34.99
TXH Score

4.5/5

Pros:

  • Huge amount of things to collect and complete
  • Original Pac-Man game is included
  • Pac-Man handles really well with no cheap deaths
  • Soundtrack is untouched but…

Cons:

  • … that soundtrack does sound a bit muffled

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Purchased by TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 26 August 2022
  • Launch price from - £34.99

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