78 - Pac-Man Championship Edition (Xbox 360)

Pac-Man C.E. surprised the hell out of me, as I think it did a lot of people. It turned up on Live Arcade and I didn't give it a second thought. I'm not a fan of Pac-Man and never have been. After hearing a bit of buzz about it from people that also weren't too keen on the original I thought I'd check it out at least.

Wow. This is how you take an established classic and rework it. The graphics are improved only in the sense that the resolution is upgraded, and a few special effects added (lightsources, glowing effects). In all other respects it looks like Pac-Man, and it's perfect. The controls are spot-on (though sometimes the accuracy required suffers from the 360s analogue sticks) and everything moves smoothly. Squelchy sound effects are present and correct, along with a reasonably throwaway tune - fine but neither memorable or annoying.

Instead of a purely endless mode the focus here is on a number of timed modes. Highscores are still the aim though - and to be honest its more about the score than surviving the time limit, as extra lives rack up pretty swiftly. It's a game perfectly designed for a 5 or 10-minute bash.

Pac-Man C.E. is one of the best reworkings of an old game I've ever had the pleasure of playing.

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