Long-time readers know that I love some serious Pac-Man. To me, it’s one of the top “pure” gaming experiences (Tetris being the other, and I could argue the original Super Mario Bros.).

I’ve largely played the majority of these, from maze chases to platformers. My favorites remain the original, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man World, and the first Pac-Man: Championship Edition. I’m still waiting for Namco to get its priorities straight and just release a compilation of all the Pac games so I’ll have them all in one place, but that’s another discussion.

This year, the yellow ball has gotten two sequels (plus that ugly looking party game with the hideous character redesigns, and that miserable looking cartoon). While I’m yet to play Pac-Man: Battle Royale… a sequel to Championship Edition? What could possibly be left to do?

Pac-Man: Championship Edition: DX is utterly insane. It takes everything from the last update, and makes it faster, waking sleeping ghosts around the maze to create an out of control ghost train that shadows Pac-Man like an angry rainbow. When the tables are turned with an energizer…. Pac-Man goes on an out of control eating spree that destroys everything in vicinity. It doesn’t seem like much, but it changes a lot of things.

Did I mention Pac-Man now has bombs to ward off ghosts? Did I mention Pac-Man has evasive moves that don’t seem out of place from The Matrix?

This is coupled with a slew of new mazes, new music selections, and new visual styles that range from looking like Pac-Mania to neon lights to looking incredibly similar to the Atari 2600 version. You can change and customize to your heart’s content, while racking up absolutely ludicrous scores, and I’d go as far as to call it “enthralling” for Pac-Fans.

It’s a little harder to die in this game, but survival is not the goal here. It is pure point gain. Death results in slower speed and less point value for regular pellets. Bombs also lower your values, so use them sparingly when going for high score. It’s all about points and building stupid crazy huge ghost trains to devour en masse when that Energizer finally comes into play.

Is it fun? Definitely. Is it high energy pick up and play madness? Without a doubt. Do I recommend this? Highly so. Pac-Man: Championship Edition: DX has shown me that there are still a few more tricks left in my favorite childhood gaming icon, and is something I think anyone can get into and enjoy.

If your system has access to it, get it. If your system doesn’t, write Namco and demand it to be released on the respective download service. You deserve this game, and Namco should not deny you the privilege.

Highly recommended.

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