Pac-Man is one of the greatest games of all time, and it's difficult to dispute that fact. But if you're just now getting around to checking out this 1980 arcade hit, you might not immediately get why Pac-Man was such a big deal in the first place. And with its bare-bones, stick-to-the-script presentation and some nagging control issues, this Xbox Live Arcade version of Pac-Man manages to be a little disappointing, even if (or perhaps, especially if) you're already a fan.
On the surface, this is a really accurate version of Namco's arcade hit. All of the graphics and sound seem to be perfectly intact, and little tricks, like the way you can hide out in the spot just up and to the right from your starting position, are there, too. Unfortunately, the game is brought down a bit by some less-than-ideal control options. The D pad doesn't seem responsive enough, making it easy to miss turns, and the analog stick is too touchy, which, incidentally, also makes it easy to miss turns. This can be awfully frustrating, especially at the higher levels. Reaching those higher levels is a snap, because you can start a new game at any stage you've previously reached, which makes the majority of the achievement points very easy to get, as well.
Your only option for interaction with other players comes from the scoreboard. While other Xbox Live Arcade developers have shoehorned some interesting and weird multiplayer modes into classic arcade games, Pac-Man is only Pac-Man, the one-player game.
For many players, a nearly arcade-perfect version of Pac-Man is more than enough to warrant a purchase, especially considering the game runs for 400 points, or $5. But the control issues get in the way more than they should, so if you aren't already some kind of crazed Pac-Man fiend on the hunt for yet another version of Pac-Man, you should probably take a pass on this one. Additionally, there's an unlockable version of Pac-Man available in Ridge Racer 6, so it's possible that you may already own a copy of Pac-Man that works on your 360.