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
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.
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
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
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.