One of XBLA's best

User Rating: 9.5 | Pac-Man Championship Edition X360
The easiest way to say this is that I'm not that great at the game, but I absolutely love it. I used to think that Ms. Pac-Man was the height of this formula, but CE just runs away with the title without much of a contest.

Changing mazes, heavily increasing speeds, opportunities for crazy scores if you play well. The game, more than anything else, heavily rewards staying alive... Eat enough dots and the score goes from an initial 10 to 50 over time, which adds up pretty significantly. Perhaps the biggest change to the formula is the addition of a timer. The game simply doesn't allow you to live on indefinitely due to memorizing patterns. Rather it forces you to think about what is the most important thing to pick up at any given moment. This concept makes trying to beat your friends' scores even more exciting because you know they're playing under the exact same constraints you have. While the scoring system allows you to build up a heavy amount of extra lives, dying eats up enough time that you could have probably have eaten all four ghosts with a power pellet (not to mention the scoring for the dots resets to 10 -- if you had that up to 50, that's a major knock on score).

The game also features morphing boards, a two sided system that requires you to eat fruit or an item to rebuild the opposite side and expanded ghost eating abilities (up to 3200 points per ghost if you chain enough together). There's several board and timer choices to choose from, including one that blacks out the entire maze design (a dull light surrounds you and the ghosts, lighting things up).

It's just incredibly addicting, it's incredibly fun and it's dozens of times more fun than the demo would ever let on. Really, the only thing that could make it better would be a multiplayer function.

In my opinion this is one of the top handful of XBLA games and arguably one of the better games released in its year. It's not just a Pac-Man title. It's Toru Iwatani's swan song that makes up for years upon years of strange choices for the franchise. These games don't need to be like Mario 64. They need to be like Pac-Man.