Our favourite little yellow chomping companion is back in Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2. Very little has changed since our last encounter with is both a good and very, very bad thing. Based on a popular cartoon series many of the references are lost on the older generation while nearly all the retro, nostalgic elements leave younger gamers wondering “what is going on”? This is a reoccurring theme throughout the game… neither here nor there, battling to find its own identity.
We take control of Pac-Man who is a cocky, attitude driven teen tasked with the feat of once again saving his home, Pactropolis as well as other surrounding regions throughout Pac-World. As a platformer the mechanics themselves are solid and easily accessible. The actual platforming itself however suffers the same outcome as the first title in the series. It can be too confusing for kids and far too basic for the more mature gamer. Add to this the blatant copy/paste syndrome that makes up the level design. If you’ve played any 3D platforming Sonic game over the past 10 years this is more or less what you can expect. Throw in some ideas from Super Mario Galaxy and you have the general outcome of Ghostly Adventures 2. Wait a minute… Super Mario Galaxy was amazing, why would this be any different? It’s all in the execution. Most new platformers stick to a tried and tested formula while adding new innovative elements to the game. Ghostly Adventures 2 however takes original concepts from other title and implements then in a watered-down manner.
Once again Pac-Man is able to collect various power-ups which are essentially parallel to the levels they are acquired on. The ice, rubber and fire power-ups are all back and can be executed in exactly the same way as the games first installment. Freeze water to create platforms, bounce from wall to wall… rinse, repeat, continue. The anti-gravity levels and Pac-zilla power-up add some variation but not enough to make a real impact. One of the few new additions to the game are the on-rail sections where you take control of Pac-Man’s friend, Cylindria, in what can be described as a colorful, children friendly Sin and Punishment knockoff. There are also vehicle sections to undertake but are so short you’ll probably forget they’re there.
While there isn’t much new to celebrate in Ghostly Adventures 2 there are some game changing advances namely the camera rotation. What was the height of frustration in the first game now flows smoothly throughout the generic level designs. there are also grief 2D platorming sections that may be simplistic provide a distraction from the general gameplay.
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 isn’t a terrible platformer. Sure, some ideas are poorly executed but the genuinely important part of the game, the mechanics, are intact. The bright visuals are appealing and the soundtrack is fun and upbeat even though the voice acting and sound effects are enough to drive you insane. There is a clear target audience and gamers between the ages a 7 and 13 will most likely enjoy the title very much. The levels are short and plentiful and are far from intricate, perfect to hold the attention of a young mind. Ghostly Adventures 2 is a must if you want a dose of good, clean platforming along with fun-riddled nostalgic elements and simple gameplay.