Fun game showcasing successful early experiments in pseudo-3D graphics
Pac-Man was one of the trailblazers of the video game boom, and an effort was made here to keep the franchise on the cutting edge. "Pac-Mania" is basically an adaptation of the original game, so you know its fun, but the key modifications are what make it particularly interesting. Firstly, Pac-Man can now jump over ghosts, which potentially makes the game easier; yet the game operates in an expanded side-scrolling environment. This allowed the developers to give this Pac-Man game a 3D feel with the maze, the ghost and even Pac himself getting a three dimensional makeover. Though of course nothing like the three dimensional graphics of today the effect really works. Indeed, this game, perhaps boosted by the simplistic game-play and environment defining of Pac-Man, works better than another attempt (the rather clumsy "Sonic 3D") at adapting a classic game character to the 3D format nearly a decade later. Overall, a successful and enjoyable experiment. Pac-Mania is available on Namco's Pac-Man Collection on the Game Boy Advanced, and it transfers to the portable medium well.
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