How about we play a game? What do you get when you make a sequel to a rather lackluster game, change only a few of the overall design choices, and push it out a year later? You get a sequel that is basically on par with the original game. Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures was pretty much the worst game I played in 2013, since I was smart enough to dodge utter failures like Ride to Hell: Retribution, Day one: Garry’s Incident, Dark, and you get the idea. I was rather confused that the game got a sequel, and that it was coming out this year. I guess the game sold well enough, but the first game didn’t get glowing praise, which shows that money talks no matter if the product is good or bad. Anyway, while this game does improve on a few elements, the game is still rather lackluster. Want to know why? Well, you have to read on to find out!
The story is once again about Pac Man, voiced by Erin Mathews, and he must stop Lord Betrayus Spheros, voiced by Sam Vincent, from taking over Pac World and unleashing a massive army of spooky ghosts! If you thought the story was going to be an improvement over the waste of time the last one was, well, you will have to read on to know if it is or not.
Once again, the game is a 3D platformer, and is pretty much the same game from the last one. You will control Pac Man, and go through five different worlds. You can run, jump, spook ghosts, and eat them on the spot. A lot of the power-ups from the last game return, like the fire, ice, magnet, stone, and rubber, which will give Pac Man different powers. For example, the magnet power-up will let Pac Man attract ghosts and stand on metal surfaces, and the fire power-up will let Pac Man shoot fire balls and surf on a surfboard-type glider. There are two new power-ups that are used for boss fights, one is where Pac Man will turn into a giant, and the other is where he turns into a King Kong version of Pac Man. Luckily, the levels have more variety, like tiles that flip when you jump, rotating cylindrical platforms, and segments where you go through a rail shooter as one of Pac Man’s two friends. Another improvement to the overall game is that the bosses for each of the worlds are unique, and are a lot more memorable than the ones for the last game. The game is about as long as the last game, at around four to five hours. It’s a little short, but even at that length, the game has its problems.
However, let us talk about the graphics that this game offers. Once again, they are quite nice. The game, while being on last gen consoles (and no, the Wii U is not last gen), looks nice. It’s at least pretty look at. The music is also energetic and catchy. Unfortunately, that is all that I have to say about this section of the game.
Well, what is wrong with this game? How about we start with the story? How about that I didn’t care what was going on within the story?! Seriously, I know these games need to follow the show, but come on! They could or should have the ability to make a compelling, or at least entertaining, story, but nope! I hate that this game is still based off the cartoon show. Why not have its own world and story? The voice acting, while decent, can get really grating. I didn’t like anyone’s voice, and Pac’s voice got really annoying when he would say something after every action. I also encountered a lot of slowdown in the space levels, which is weird, since, well, I am in space. It was very jarring, and it almost made me quit the entire game altogether. They also once again don’t take full advantage of every single power-up you are given. Sure, the metal and fire power-up might have unique level set-ups, but still, the game is pretty forgettable, even if it does have colorful graphics and solid level design. I also hate that in the challenge levels, where you are tested to get to the end of the level with a certain power-up, there is an obnoxious design choice, where you can’t skip over a character telling you how to use said power-up. If you hate fixed camera angles, you will really hate this one. It isn’t the worst camera, but I died many times because I over-jumped a target, or took a hit from a ghost that I couldn’t see. The controls felt stiff, and I never felt like I had full-on control, as I do with Mario in games like Super Mario Galaxy 2. Why does it seem like most developers don’t use that game, or follow what made Rayman Legends an example? I felt like I was going through the motions, and I honestly can’t remember one level or line from a character. The bosses, while better and slightly more memorable that the previous game, are still again, going through the motions. I know it shouldn’t matter what a story, character and atmosphere should be like. since all you are doing is jumping from platform to platform, but it really does matter nowadays. There are reasons why I get pulled into Super Mario Galaxy 2, or feel like I am in a truly living world, like in Rayman Legends or Puppeteer. It’s because those three games weren’t soulless platformers!
The worst part about reviewing these kinds of games is that this isn’t the worst game I have played this year. While games like Magus and Rambo: The Video Game are much worse in design, gameplay, and being an overall enjoyable experience, Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is so boring, lazy, and forgettable. Sure, like I said above, the level design is slightly more interesting, and the bosses are for the most part, more memorable, but the story sucks, the characters are annoying, the fixed camera can be obnoxious, and it feels like not enough was improved upon to be a much better game. I feel like with every improvement this game makes, it makes a couple of more mistakes that make the game just as bad as the first one! If you haven’t picked this game up, you shouldn’t! I would highly recommend you go out and buy Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, The Last Tinker: The City of Colors, or if you want to wait for a few more days, go get Little Big Planet 3 for your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, and don’t waste your time with this game. Again, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 isn’t terrible, and I can see this game getting a hidden gem title slapped onto it more so than the first game, but I really hope that Namco doesn’t grace us with another sequel next year. Not the worst, but you can gladly skip this game
This game gets a 4 out of 10.