In 1999, Namco released the original Pac-Man World on the PlayStation 1 as part of the classic arcade game’s 20th anniversary celebration. Pac-Man World looked to bring Namco’s iconic mascot to the modern age in the form of a 3D platformer, taking its cues primarily from the Crash Bandicoot series. It’s been 23 years since Pac-Man World launched for the PS1, and now the game is back as Pac-Man World Re-Pac.
Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a full-fledged remake of the original Pac-Man World game, significantly upgrading the graphics while retaining the PS1 game’s level design, for better or worse. The game starts with Pac-Man’s family and friends kidnapped by ghosts, and so the titular yellow hero sets off to save them. As one might have guessed, this requires going through a variety of themed worlds and gathering collectible items in typical 3D platformer fashion.
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Pac-Man World Re-Pac has levels themed after pirates, carnivals, factories, and more, with most stages calling to mind Crash Bandicoot’s mix of side-scrolling and 3D level design. The main goal is to reach the end of the stage, but players can also hunt down hidden letters that spell out P-A-C-M-A-N, collect fruit, hoard dots, and free their kidnapped family members, assuming they have the key to do so. Unfortunately, the collect-a-thon aspect of Pac-Man World Re-Pac is one of its biggest downsides, as almost every collectible requires players to backtrack, artificially inflating the length of the game and hurting its pacing.
The excessive back-tracking in Pac-Man World Re-Pac’s levels gets old quick, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fun to be had. Fans of 90s-era 3D platformers will enjoy playing through the game, even if they don’t have nostalgia for the original release. Each world only has four levels, so the themes don’t wear out their welcome, and the way the game incorporates classic Pac-Man features into 3D platformer stages is clever.
Most levels have hidden…