Pac-Man may have been around a long time, but he's not afraid of newfangled technology, as you can tell in this Nintendo DS title!
Anyone worth his or her salt knows that Pac-Man's the real grand daddy of the platform genre. Namco's yellow ghost gobbling machine has been tearing up arcades and consoles for years, so it's only fitting that one of gaming's greatest mascots makes the transition to the latest systems, in particular Nintendo's DS. The game is Pac-Pix, an innovative title that presents you with a new take on a familiar concept, and it's set to hit Japan very soon.
Unlike Nintendo's Luigi, Pac-Man has always been the original ghost buster, and he's not deviating from his specter-munching ways in Pac-Pix. You're still going to help him eat ghosts, but it's how you're going to do this that's got us excited. An evil magician has created this mysterious ink that turns everyday drawings into supernatural monsters, and Pac-Man's called in solve the problem... by eating...everything!
Instead of maneuvering him around mazes, all you need to do is use the stylus to draw Pac-Man (as big or as little as you want), and then guide him to his afternoon snack by drawing lines on the DS's touch screen, so the game keeps the Pac-Man fundamentals intact while providing you with a brand new way to play the game. In fact, if you really want to test your game skills you can sketch another Pac-Man! Supposedly, you start out the game with a limited amount of ink and can draw as many Pac-Men as you want as long as you have precious ink. While details are scarce, we're speculating that the object of this game is to eat as many ghosts as you can before time runs out without compromising your ink supply.
Visually there really isn't too much Pac-Pix. The top screen features pleasant-looking pastel images that include a clock, the amount of ghosts you need to munch as well as other assorted pictures. The bottom screen is where the action happens, and based on what we've seen it's just a blank slate that features colorful and sort of detailed ghosts (in that they have eyeballs) and then the crude yellow lines that form the familiar Pac-Man shape. A very cool effect comes in when your whacked out drawings of Pac-Man take life, and you'll quickly see how no two drawings will be the same!
There's no doubt that the concept behind Pac-Pix is very intriguing, because after all, the last thing we want to do is play corny games that don't take advantage of the DS hardware. However, we're also a little concerned about this title's replay value. On the surface it provides a very shallow experience, the kind of thing where, after you try it once may think, "Ok. That was cool. I'm done." We certainly don't want Pac-Pix to be a one trick pony, but we're not going to make any speculations at this point because not much is known about the game.
Personally we can't wait to check this game out. After the tease that is the Super Mario 64 DS screen where you can mess up Yoshi's face and then draw and manipulate pictures, we've been chomping at the bit for another chance to doodle on our DS systems. It's a desire that'll hopefully be quenched by Pac-Pix when it releases in Japan in March and then the U.S. in April.