Pac 'n Roll E3 2004 Preshow Impressions

Namco puts a new DS-style spin (pun intended) on Pac-Man's latest portable adventure.

Pac 'n Roll is the second Nintendo DS game from Namco on display at this year's E3. The game, once again, stars the Japanese developer's yellow mascot in a new variation on his original adventures. This time out the game uses a fully 3D display, similar to the 3D Pac-Man seen in Namco's early GBA offering, and gameplay requires you to move the little guy by dragging your stylus across the DS' touch screen at varying speeds, as though pushing along a marble.

The game display in the upper screen features a 3D map, with Pac-Man taking shape as a roly-poly ball you move around. The touch screen in the lower half of the DS is taken up by a large representation of Pac-Man's body. You'll move the stylus over him, trackball-style, to get him to move through the 3D maze. The speed and direction you move him in will direct his movement in the upper screen. As with just about every Pac-Man game known to man, except Pac-Pix (Namco's other DS game), you'll maneuver the little guy to eat dots, power pellets, and ghosts. The 3D layout will also require you to get Pac-Man up ramps by using momentum.

The graphics in the game look similar to the 3D GBA Pac-Man and move very smoothly. The audio stays true to the Pac-Man template we all know and love. While specifics on when the game will be released are still forthcoming, we expect to hear more about them soon. Look for more on the game from the E3 show floor and in the coming months.

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