By Jayson Young - November 11th, 2013
Pac-Man, at this point in time, is unassailable. His original game was one of a handful in history to reach outside of the realm of videogames, and into genuine pop-culture phenomenon territory. Though today’s youngsters may not know it, there was a time in the 1980s when Pac-Man was everywhere: in pizza parlours, on breakfast cereal aisle shelves, even on the radio. This legacy should be enough to stand on its own, cementing Pac-Man’s place in history as a titan of the medium, alongside Mario, John Madden, and those beguiling Tetris blocks. Sure, Pac-Man has been involved in some missteps along the way, but who hasn’t (right, Sonic the Hedgehog? right, Lara Croft?)? Let’s not forget that, even in the modern era, Pac-Man has been involved in some hot genuine bangers. Like other legends of their respective fields (Prince in music, Michael Jordan in basketball) he’s had his ups and downs, but he has earned the right to experiment, and ultimately will always be remembered fondly.
So, given Pac-Man’s strange career trajectory up to this point, the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures action-adventure videogame for the Wii U is a strange thing to try and evaluate – especially when one considers that it is actually a licensed product based on a television program of the same name (a program which looks…well, it looks like this). It’s strange for many reasons: this is a game aimed squarely at youngsters, but they likely won’t care about the brand that it’s based on; this is a game which awkwardly attempts to blend classic Pac-Man aesthetics with hip 90s-style ‘tude. It’s a game which begs the question, over and over: why?
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