Title: Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures
   Genre: Puzzle Adventure
   Developer: Namco
   Publisher: Namco
   Release Date: 1994
   System(s): Super NES, Sega Genesis
   Box Art Credit: GameFAQs
   Systems Used: Mac on Snes9x
   On Wikipedia: Yes

Nearly every successful video game gets its own spin-offs and sequels with lots of ports, remakes, and merchandise, and the venerable Pac-Man was no exception, getting a true sequel, Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures in the 1990s. And now you will find out why Pac-Man 2 isn't seen on any re-release collections. Basically, it's a game where you have to control Pac-Man (who looks quite a bit different than his basic "slice out of a pizza" appearance) as he goes around town solving things. Pac himself makes no actual voice (just noise), and you don't control him directly (for the most part) either. It's mostly hitting him with a slingshot (occasionally with a Power Pellet, transforming him into "Super Pac-Man", another departure from the game, complete with cape and mask) or using the Y button to tell him where to look. The world is easy to walk in and explore, and the music even changes depending on what Pac's mood is in. I have to admit that I played this a number of years ago (2005?), and has several missions. The first has you getting milk for Pac-Baby, which is fairly easy, the second has you getting flowers from the mountain (with the Ms. giving you a tram ticket to get up there) but it's easy to get stuck (as I almost did), even if you get the flowers (the problem is finding a way back down and with Pac's fickle mood, he'll ignore you sometimes). Even if you don't have a clue as to how to beat the game, it shouldn't be more than several hours (and only four missions exist). This is hampered by Pac often screwing you over (there's a mine cart ride that you need to do to beat the game, and if Pac kicks the cart out of anger, you need to re-do the sequence again, trouble is, his mood won't change).

Funny visual gags won't save this game.
All in all, while trying to make it innovative, having a character refuse to listen to you because they're in the wrong mood is one of the "games that shouldn't exist" category. Well, maybe it could. The game would benefit greatly from mouse control and a "lock cursor" option instead of having the crosshairs drift away as Pac walks away. The final boss involves the Gum Monster which isn't easy to beat (at all) because of the poor design and controls, and even you true Pac-Man fans will notice that Blinky is absent through the entire game, except for the cut scenes. There isn't a story reason why he's gone. He just is. The "Ghost Witch" isn't well-explained, you'll see her a few times in the cutscenes but she runs away, perhaps for another game never made.

End conclusion? It stinks. I admit it was significantly more entertaining on the first run through about 10 years ago and there are definitely good parts about the game, but it's all washed up with Pac's newfound bipolar disorder and overall shortness. The SNES has good games but this ain't one of them.



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