A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is a downloadable arcade game. There's no blood, gore, violence, or language of any type. A tutorial lays out new features of the game nicely, and the controls are easy to pick up and play. But hitting the highest scores or playing on the pro level requires a ton of strategy and will challenge even the most seasoned Pac-Man players. The Nintendo Switch version also comes with an exclusive new co-op mode, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus 2P, where two players complete mazes and defeat bosses together.
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What's it about?
PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2 takes aspects of the previous Championship Edition and Championship Edition DX games and adds new modes and features. As with most Pac-Man games, players control Pac-Man as he travels through various mazes eating pac-dots (or pellets) while avoiding four ghost enemies: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde. Score Attack, Adventure mode, boss battles, and ghost trains add fun twists to this classic game series. The Nintendo Switch also gets an exclusive co-op mode, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus 2P, where the computer or another player has to help with clearing the dots from the maze, eliminating ghosts with power pellets, and defeating boss ghosts. Can you and your friend beat the clock before it runs out?
Is it any good?
This fast-paced arcade experience feels turbo-charged thanks to the addition of co-op play, boss fights, and rapid chases of ghosts around each maze. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 builds on the strength of the previous game in the challenging series, giving you timed limits to fly through various mazes, eating as many dots as possible while fleeing from ghosts. As you clear each maze, the speed of both Pac-Man and the ghosts accelerates to an incredible pace, until you're eventually caught and die. But unlike in the original, you can run into ghosts a few times before you make them furious enough to melt Pac-Man, and you also have bombs to launch you away from danger and back to the level starting point. New to this game is the addition of ghost trains; passing by sleeping ghosts wakes them up and attaches them to one of the four main ghosts to create an ever-growing train of ghosts. Chomp down on a power pellet and eat the leader, and you chomp through the entire ghost train with a rewardingly exciting visual. Racing to complete each maze while avoiding ghosts gives you a huge adrenaline rush, especially as you try to get newer and higher scores.
The Switch version of the game also manages to include a new mode, 2 Plus 2P, where two players (AI or human controlled) race around and clear the maze. To finish a level, you have to collide power pellets or fruit together, which requires a level of teamwork between you and your partner. Similarly, there are boss levels where both Pac-Men need to collect power pills and collide with a gigantic ghost to beat the level. While this adds a new challenge, these levels are also the weakest portion of the game, because the tight, responsive controls for navigating mazes don't translate well to Pac-Man moving along walls or leaping off ceilings. As a result, you may find yourself fighting the game for the direction that you actually want to go in. But these are minor issues compared to the fun, accelerated gameplay across the various mazes in the game. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is so much arcade fun in single and multiplayer modes, you may look for a place on your console to insert quarters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about challenging your personal best. Some challenges in Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 leave no room for error to complete a level or battle. When are challenges simply too challenging?
Discuss how Pac-Man games have changed over the past 30 years. Which Pac-Man is your favorite, and why?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $9.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: September 13, 2016
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E for Mild fantasy violence
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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