Villordsutch reviews Pac-Man on the NES…
Pac-Man is an all-time classic! Originally released upon the Japanese arcades in May 1980 from video game designer Toru Iwatani, this Namco game then went over to America and flew under the Midway flag come December 1980. As any Scott Pilgrim fan will tell you, our yellow hero went through a number of name changes before it arrived at its most universally known title, and now here he glides nearly 40 years on still chomping pills, still adored by millions and ready to land on the NES Classic Edition.
The NES version of Pac-Man is perhaps the closest you’ll get to having the original game in your home, unless of course if you’re a purest and you have hunted for the actual arcade machine. Obviously in this age with Xbox Live, the PlayStation store or A N Other app market there are numerous versions close to the original, but the Tengen release from the late ’80’s was and still is the one to have.
It looks almost spotlessly similar – only a person with both a keen eye and ear could pick out the minor details. The pills are a slight different shade, Pac-Man’s “waka waka” noise is just off, but here we do have Pac-Man and not just the arcade classic on our screens, as Tengen has delivered something rather clever to make it fit our televisions.
Tengen rather subtly rearranged the maze, the score and placement of the remaining Pac-Men, compacting the original play area and shrinking the graphics also removing some pills, but at the same time given it the appearance that they’ve filled the screen out and you haven’t lost a thing.
The Ghosts (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) all seem to have the same in-built tactics coursing through the spectral forms, they follow, they hunt and they wander the corridors being a pest. It’s all here in this Tengen release, you’re being haunted exactly as you’d expect to be. It’s unnerving still knowing that this classic game, that is little under 30Kb big (not even 1MB!), can have four enemies that can easily outsmart a human being which has a long chain of evolution and survival behind them.
The only real issue is you’re probably wondering which version to buy from the releases on the NES market. In truth the releases are the same; Namco originally created the conversion, which was then licensed to Tengen. However, due to some legal “whos’ and harr’s” over patent infringement this license then reverted back to Namco and in 1993 they released it with Ms. Pac-Man. So it’s down to you on where you spend your cash.
There are numerous Pac-Man clones, a lot of them quite brilliant too, but the quite frankly the closer you get to the original the better. There is nothing greater than a fantastic game of Pac-Man and here you’re getting just that.
- It’s a timeless classic
- Anyone no matter what age can sit behind the controls and play
- An excellent conversion
- Three different releases to pick from (all the same)
- …and that’s it!