Ms. Pac-Man
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  • Atari
  • Atari
  • Action - Maze / Ladder (example - Pac Man)
  • 1981
  • 2
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  • $2.00
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6  |  2600 Ms. Pac-Man: View from the Tower
chadtower , 8/12/2003 12:28:51 PM
When you talk about Ms. Pac-Man, you’re talking about one of the all time classic video games. Love it or hate it, this is a game that nearly anyone who has ever played a video game has seen at one time or another. It has serious market penetration the likes of which most products could only dream about. The arcade version pushed just about every envelope you could imagine at the time and perhaps invented the concept of the between-level cinema (where would today’s games be without those?). I would have to imagine that this and Pac-Man sold more Atari consoles than all other games combined. You would think, then, that they’d put all of their Atari might into making Ms. Pac-Man a top notch Atari 2600 title, yes? Unfortunately, they didn’t.

It’s generally acknowledged that with many of their 2600 ports of arcade titles, Atari completely dropped the ball. This is one of those titles. Atari leaned so heavily on the license that they didn’t seem to put 100% effort into the game itself. 2600 Pac-Man is a disappointing game and even worse they based Ms. Pac-Man (arguably more important than Pac-Man because it had the ever elusive female player base) on the Pac-Man code. Gone are all of the niceties of Ms. Pac-Man. Gone are the between level cinemas that provide a bit of payoff to the player. Gone is everything except the fruit and the little bow on Ms. Pac-Man herself, and even that’s hardly visible.

Graphics – 6/10
I hesitate to give this game even a 6 but it’s really not that bad for the 2600. Later hacks of the code show just how much more this game could have been had they put the proper time and effort into it.

Control – 7.5/10
What can I say about the control here? She moves in all four directions. There are no button presses to be had. If your joystick works properly you’re fine.

Sound – 6/10
Again, they totally fouled this up. The 2600 wasn’t exactly a Soundblaster compatible but come on! Throw us a bone here and put some music in since you took everything else out.

Replay value – 7/10
If you’re a fan of the Pac-games and only have a 2600, you’ll find yourself playing this game a lot. If you aren’t a fan, and have something in addition to your 2600, you should find some other port of this game. I recommend the 5200 or 7800 versions.

Total – 26.5/40

Conclusion – What kills 2600 Ms. Pac-Man isn’t what it is but what it could and should have been. This should have been a flagship title. Instead, it was just another game with a famous license. Get it so that it is in your collection and then get a better version to play.

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