Retro beeps and boops recall classic arcade-era Pac-Man, which only makes you wish you were playing the classic game instead of this. The voices are something of an irritant, but hey, the kids will probably love it.
It's a pleasant looking game that nicely replicates the TV series, but it suffers from a few minor visual issues. Again, the game's supposed target market won't complain.
At a basic level, Ghostly Adventures 2's platforming is good, clean fun, but it soon begins to grate after a while.
There's a good 5-6 hours of gameplay, with repeat play encouraged through a few unlockable challenges and the opportunity to beat each stage's high score. Whether you'll want to go back and replay levels, however, is questionable.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 features half an achievement list, and it ain't that great. It deserves half a score.
October 03, 2014
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is a game for kids. If the bold colours and visuals, and the fact that it's based on the second season of the animated Nickelodeon show of the same name aren't enough of a clue, then the bright and breezy music, simplistic controls and general air of levity might tip you off. As such, you'd think that Ghostly Adventures 2 is easy, right? For the most part it is, but if you're part of the game's target market of kids aged seven and up, you may find yourself struggling during some sections.
Difficulty-wise, Ghostly Adventures 2 is all over the place, and some of its game mechanics are simply infuriating. And while the look of the game almost perfectly replicates that of the children's TV show, there's a rough quality to some of the environments, and although instances are rare, you'll sometimes run into areas that look unfinished. Hell, we fell through the game world about three times during the game's approximately six hour runtime, and ran into more than a few invisible walls. Should there also be too much activity on screen, the game stutters, suffering from some horrendous slowdown, in turn rendering it almost unplayable.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 also sees the return of Pac's special berry powers, including the chameleon tongue, as well as the ability to launch fire and ice projectiles from the previous game, albeit in a slightly improved form. Pac can also become a limbless bouncy ball, an almost unstoppable granite boulder and a metal lump, able to attract enemies and stick to designated metal surfaces. Pac's bouncy ball form can be annoying to control, but it's his latter magnetic form that brings with it the most headaches, as the ability seldom works like it should.
You'll be leaping between surfaces, virtually touching the opposite platform, only to be drawn uncontrollably back to where you came from. It's genuinely irritating. The game's fixed camera sometimes makes accurately judging perspectives a crapshoot too, resulting in us more often than not falling short of a platform or jumping over it completely into oblivion. We lost count of the number of times we died due to the game not working as well as it ought to.
Not that dying is much of an issue, mind you. With so many Pacberry Pies scattered all over the place, extra lives are in great abundance. Towards the game's final levels, we simply topped our lives up to the maximum of 99, and casually sashayed our way through the to the end. Strangely, it's Ghostly Adventures 2's last stages that provide the least amount of challenge. Like we said, the difficulty level is really inconsistent.
In spite of all its flaws, fans of the animated series will no doubt enjoy exploring the game's Pac Park hub, before venturing to the city of Pacopolis, the lost underwater land of Paclantis and beyond, to space, into prehistoric times and to the lava-filled Netherworld for a final showdown with the nefarious Lord Betrayus. But it all too quickly becomes something of a repetitious chore, with the only break coming in the form of rather dull on-rails vehicle sections, some of which see you playing as Pac's friends, Cylindria and Spiral. Others shoot Pac down a tunnel in his rocket-powered Pacerchini, which also fails to ignite much excitement.
To be fair, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 isn't a terrible game. It's fairly pleasant in small doses, despite patches of hair-tearing annoyance, guaranteed to make any kid spit their milk and cookies across the room in a fit of rage. Chomping through ghostly enemies can be fun and boss fights as PacZilla and Pac Kong are somewhat entertaining, but these moments of enjoyment are rather few and far between. And when you've finished the game, there's very little incentive to return to it, unless you want to complete the extra challenges or earn every gold medal and beat the high score on every stage.
This bouncy bugger is a sod to control.
Incidentally, you'll need to beat every high score and gain every gold medal in order to acquire every one of the game's achievements. Like the first game, the achievement list is an exceedingly simple one that takes more time and persistence to complete than any real effort. Given that the game can become quite tiresome, grabbing the 1000G will be the reward for perseverance above all else. The Ghostly Adventures 2's achievement list might not be particularly inventive, and there's only 25 of 'em, but it's easy Gamerscore, so y'know, whatever.
A little too challenging for the sprogs, a little too easy for grown-up children like us, like its predecessor, we're unsure as to who exactly Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 is aimed at. The animated series is the most popular non-Disney show on the Disney XD channel, so there's evidently an audience out there who'll enjoy this no matter what, but for anyone looking for a decent platformer to while away a few hours, you'd do better to look elsewhere. Pac-Man can take his pill-popping antics and go use them as a suppository, as far as we're concerned.