Pac-Man World Hands-On

Everyone's favorite yellow munching machine is reprising one of his old adventures on the Game Boy Advance.

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Pac-Man games on handhelds are a no-brainer, and Namco is furthering that fundamental truth with a port of Pac-Man World, the neat little 1999 platformer released for the PlayStation, to the Game Boy Advance. We got to check out a build of the game at a recent press event to see how it's coming along, and it looks like it ought to provide some good platforming and a fun adventure for fans of the classic gobbler. And who among us is not a fan?

This here's Pac-Man's world.

The story goes that the nefarious Toc-Man has kidnapped Pac-Man's friends, like Ms. Pac-Man, Pac Jr., and so on, and it's up to the yellow muncher to rescue them by traversing a number of levels set in deserts, underground caverns, and so on. While the original Pac-Man World was in full 3D on the PlayStation, the GBA version will be strictly 2D, with the action depicted from an overhead, isometric perspective. You'll have a number of moves at your disposal that you'll use to interact with the environment and solve simple puzzles, such as a bounce move and a "rev" move, which has Pac-Man rolling like a wheel. Then again, it wouldn't be a Pac-Man game if you weren't chomping power pellets and chasing frightened ghosts around, and we saw some of that in the demo level we played as well.

Aside from the graphical changes, Pac-Man World is said to be a direct port of the game from the PlayStation to the Game Boy Advance, and since the original was a solid action game, we imagine the new handheld version will hold up pretty well too. Alas, the game won't have an unlockable version of the original Pac-Man arcade game, as the PlayStation edition did, but that's a small price to pay to fit this previously console-only game in your pocket. Pac-Man World ships in a couple of weeks, so look for more soon.

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