Pac Man Fever
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  • Namco
  • Namco
  • Action - General, Other
  • 11/1/2002
  • 4
  • memory card
  • 1
  • $30.00
  • Everyone
7  |  Pac Man Fever Review (PS2)
larsoncc , 4/15/2003 8:43:27 AM

moving in Pac Man Fever (pic) Let me get this out of the way right now.  These guys hated Pac Man Fever for almost exactly the reasons why I liked the game.  If that makes me an uneducated, mentally incapable clod, then so be it.  They have several unimportant, whiny little gripes about Pac Man Fever - because it is Mario Party, for all intensive purposes.  Pay no attention to them.  These high-minded, big concept folks lack context.  To know Mario Party, you must know Nintendo - but most people that own a PS2 don't know Nintendo.  PS2 owners, for the most part, don't own GameCubes.  For that matter, I'm willing to wager that most current PS2 owners never even considered the Nintendo 64 (who would?  The system was awful.).  In the land of milk and honey, where everyone has every game system, and little angels feed us brisket with plenty of au ju, these bastards would be right.  But...  They're not.

The Driving Mini Game (pic) Pac Man Fever fills a gaping void in the PS2 library.  Finally, I've got a reason to go out and get that 4-player adapter.  And FINALLY, I've got girls and guys alike gathered around the warm glow of the TV.  Gamer men have long yearned for their female counterparts to partake in a bit of gaming action with them.  Pac Man Fever brings us one step closer to living that dream. 

Game play works thusly:  You are on a gigantic board game surface, much like the game "Sorry!"  You choose your character, then you play in several miniature games of skill against your chosen opponents.  How well you do in these games determines how many spaces you'll move.  First one to the finish line wins.   The characters that you get to choose from include the disco guy from Tekken, Heihachi (also from Tekken),  Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man, the girl from Ridge Racer, and Asteroth.  Throughout the game, you earn coins which can help you advance or send other players back on the board.  It's all quite competitive and mean spirited, which is just PERFECT for a party.

When you play a game such as this, you'll want mini-games that are easy to pick up - they need simple controls, simple goals, and they need to be quick.  All of the games are timed, so quick isn't really an issue here.  A few of the games have controls that aren't as accurate as they need to be.  I'm thinking of the "Whack a Mole" game and the "Move a beach ball" game.  Of course, these are the games that my buddies schooled me with, so I'm sure I'm just a little biased. 

If you play Pac Man Fever in single player mode, you will miss the point entirely.  Do not get this game if you are a hermit - you may be inspired to find and play with friends.  Two player mode is good, but when you play two player mode, you'll be blessed with the presence of near perfect dart throwers and otherwise frustrating computer opponents.  Unless you play four player, you are forced to have computer opponents.  I didn't like that one bit. 

Asteroth Wins (pic) It should be known that I didn't play this game in isolation.  No one plays an online game off-line, and no one should be playing Pac Man Fever by themselves.  As fortune would have it, I was also in a room filled with people blissfully ignorant of Mario Party's existence.  There was not a quiet moment playing Pac Man Fever - it really lit up the room, and put smiles on everyone's faces.  There are other features to love about Pac Man Fever - one is its price ($30, max).  There's also the fact that Astaroth looks like a total goof ball when surrounded by bouncing pastel balloons.  And here's the big one - if you have nothing more than a PS2, the alternatives just aren't there.  Pac Man Fever is a competently executed four player party game with a decent amount of variety, and characters that most people recognize.  That doesn't happen on the PS2 all that often (Game Cube is a different story).

Here's how I'm grading Pac Man Fever.  I had a blast, and so did our group of buddies, but it misses a point for forcing CPU opponents in two-player mode, another for poor execution in a few of the mini-games, and one more point because given the choice, Mario Party is a better alternative.  Pac Man Fever earns a solid 7/10.

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