PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC - Switch Review
"Very charming and chill."
Sometimes you forget just how old some franchises are. The original Pac-Man World for the PlayStation back in 1999 was a commemoration of Pac-Man’s 20th anniversary. Fast-forward 23 years and we now have PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC making Pac-Man forty three years old! That also means that we are further away from the release of Pac-Man World than Pac-Man World’s release was from the original Pac-Man arcade machine (I just made myself feel really old). I played the original Pac-Man World in my youth but I haven’t played it in almost 15 years, so I decided to go the extra mile and dust off my old Playstation to see how this remake compares to the original.
PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC is a bit more lenient than the original. You can take an extra hit before you lose a life; you now have the ability to hover in the air Yoshi-style for a short period to make platforming easier and the end of level slot machine mini-game is not only easier to predict and exploit, but it also gives plenty more extra lives. If that’s not enough, the game also has an easy mode if you need it.
The music in PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC is fantastic! Each themed world brings with it its own themed music, such as pirate, carnival or industrial, all of which uses the original Pac-Man theme as a leitmotif; sometimes subtly, sometimes more overtly. A personal favourite of mine are the space levels; the music used there have a very strong late 70s-early 80s Sci-Fi vibe to them.
- More lenient and accessible gameplay
- Superb soundtrack
The gameplay in PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC is generally unchallenging. While you are given multiple ways to defeat enemies, it's only on very rare occasions where you are required to use specific abilities on certain enemies. Also, a lot of collectables are locked behind doors but the items needed to unlock them are usually so close by that it felt more like an afterthought rather than deliberate game design. There is one level in the later half of the game where you have to search an underwater maze for a whole chain of items to open up a cage at the beginning of the level. This level stands out way more than the rest because it’s the only one that goes against this trend.
Being a remake, PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC is unfortunately stuck in the trappings of common early 3D platformer tropes, and the one that bugs me the most is that some of the boss fights completely change gameplay styles which are then never seen again. I’ve played a lot of games from this era that will just randomly throw in a kart racing mini-game boss fight that I’ve gotten very proficient at them over the years (it also helps that I enjoy kart racers as a whole) and yet, I am dreadful at shoot-’em-ups and had way more trouble with that boss than I’d like to admit.
- Unchallenging gameplay
- Unfortunately stuck in 90s 3D platformer trappings
Final Score: 6/10
While PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC might not be the most difficult or robust game out there, what it is is a very charming and chill experience. So why not make yourself a hot chocolate, wrap yourself up in some blankets and spend the afternoon hanging out with gamings grandpa, Pac-Man.
Thank you for checking out our PAC-MAN WORLD: Re-PAC Switch review, thank you to Bandai Namco AU/NZ for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out)
- Bel Cubitt
- NintenVania Podcast
- Rachelle Suri-Tucker