2011-08-02

Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions – It’s Good To Remember The Classics

by Yo Snyder

The Nintendo 3DS is the company’s latest, cutting edge piece of
hardware. So I find it hard to understand why this brand new system
that’s capable of so much has seen a glut of old-school titles. Remakes
and releases abound on the 3DS, while original titles are scarce beyond
the few available at release and some coming up this Fall. After Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D,
there haven’t been many releases. Now one has finally come along, and
what should it be, but yet another old-school rehash. Still, it’s hard
to go wrong with Pac-Man and Galaga being as they’re such classics.
Still, I wouldn’t really call Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions a new game release, it’s more like a glorified downloadable title that’s being passed off as a full retail game.

Personally, I enjoyed the Pac-Man games more, and there are some fun options to pass the time with here. You have the classic Pac-Man
game, and you can even play it on either an arcade machine (remember
those?) or a table top machine (how about those?) or with just a classic
screen. The downside to all of that is the simulated screen is pretty
small, especially if you choose to simulate the appearance of one of
those machines.  Also the 3D doesn’t do much other than make it look
like Pac-Man and the ghosts are hovering above the maze. Still, there’s
something that remains very compelling, fun and challenging about
classic Pac-Man. Next you have the Pac-Man Championship Edition,
which was available earlier this year on Xbox Live. This takes the
classic formula and amps it up to a factor of ten with some trippy neon
visuals tossed in. This version of Pac-Man is all about high-scores and
it takes the classic game and makes it faster and crazier. There’s even
one level called the highway level where things move at an incredible
speed. The only way to  avoid the ghosts is to eat a power pellet
because then they slow down to a manageable speed. This is also a lot of
fun. The final game is somewhat of a oddity. Pac-Man Tilt is a
combination of pin-ball and Sonic the Hedgehog. This game uses the 3DS’
gyroscope to move the little yellow guy. As you tilt the system left and
right, Pac-Man rolls up into a ball and hurls down the pathway. Using
pin-ball bumpers you guide and bump him to the level’s end goal. It’s
fast and fairly fun, but if I wanted to play Sonic, I would have played a
Sonic game. In addition to the three games, you also get a 3D Pac-Man
movie which looks nice and is kind of fun. Overall, it’s a great
selection of Pac-Man, although there were times where the 3DS’ little
D-pad just wasn’t as responsive enough for me, and it’s smallish size
made my thumb hurt after awhile. Still, I liked it better than using the
analog nub.

There are also three Galaga games to choose from. Galaga 3D Impact
makes the best use of the 3D effect of any of the games in this
collection, and it also uses the systems gyroscope…which can cause
problems with the 3D on. It’s best to just use the analog controller
when enjoying the 3D effect. You also have classic Galaga, and then Galaga Legion
which takes the classic formula and turns the waves of enemies into
flowing kaleidoscopes of color and mayhem. It gets pretty hectic but
looks really pretty. These are all enjoyable, but as I said, I’m more of
a Pac-Man guy so I didn’t spend a lot of time here. You can also play Galaga on classic arcade machines, but again, the simulated screen is really small.

You
know, it’s fun to go back and play the classics sometimes; to remember
what video games used to be. So much has changed that it’s easy to
forget that there was a time when simple was really, really fun. Of
course, that’s a common problem with us; we tend to be forgetful. That’s
probably why the Bible spends so much time talking about remembering.
Over and over again it encourages us to remember the Lord, to remember
what God has done, to not forget all of his benefits. Now, you may be
thinking that there’s nothing for you to remember. God hasn’t done you
any favors of late, so why bother remembering him. Well, I can’t speak
to your personal circumstance, but I do know of one thing for sure that
he’s done for you that you shouldn’t forget; he died for you. Jesus
Christ, Son of God, suffered and died on a cross because he loved you
too much to let you suffer for your sins; so he did it for you. He rose
from the dead and offers eternal life and freedom from sin to all who
would accept his offer and simply believe in him. It’s the classic
gospel message of the Bible, and one we would do well to remember.

Look,
I love classic video games as much as the next gamer, but to pawn this
off as a full retail game seems a bit much. Granted, you get six games
in this pack, which is a nice collection, but this still feels more like
a fancy downloadable title. As a retail package, it’s just not that
great. However, if you’re a super fan of these franchises, you’ll
probably really enjoy this collection. This is a nice title for a few
minutes of pick-up-and-play, but it isn’t something you’ll invest a
whole lot time in unless you’re obsessed with getting high scores. If
you’re looking for some classic, retro gaming fun, this is a nice little
collection, but look for it bargained price.

Score out of 7:

Graphics:
5 – This varies from the older classic to the more recent games. Galaga
3D Impact looks the best, but Pac-Man Championship Edition also looks
very sharp and colorful. The Pac-Man 3D movie really shows what the
system is capable of; too bad there aren’t more games taking advantage
of that.

Sound: 4 – It’s all pretty basic stuff, but then again,
these are all simple classics. Still, I love those classic sounds of
Pac-Man.

Controls: 5 – Again, this varies slightly from game to
game, but overall the controls are responsive and precise. The gyroscope
function works well (and as always, is amusing to watch when someone
plays that way). The D-pad is a bit small for Pac-Man, but it’s the best
option for that game. The analog slider is smooth and responsive and is
the better choice for the Galaga titles. 

Gameplay: 5 – Overall,
this is a fun collection. I think the Pac-Man games fare a bit better,
but Galaga fans will find plenty to like. It may be simple, old-school
gameplay, but it’s still challenging and a lot of fun.

Story: N/A

Content: 7 – Unless you object to eating ghosts or shooting space bugs, nothing to worry about here.

Final:
4 – The overall value of this collection is what hurts the score the
most. These games are fun, but they’re either really old classics or
available other places. This should have been offered on the E-Shop as
premium content as opposed to a fun but slim retail package. These are
classics and they’re fun, but not quite worth full price.