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Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions Review

See PixlBit's Review Policies

On 07/26/2011 at 09:10 PM by Nick DiMola

One stand-out title buoys this collection of rehashes and spin-offs.

For fans of the included series or those who love to strive for high scores.

While Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions is a brand new game, it’s comprised mostly of existing titles. Both the original Pac-Man and Galaga make their appearance alongside their modern revivals, Pac-Man Championship Edition and Galaga Legions. Exclusive to the collection are two brand new games, Pac-Man Tilt and Galaga 3D Impact. Though 3D Impact offers a neat AR experience, its inclusion is mostly forgettable, leaving Pac-Man Tilt to carry the title. The problem here is that Pac-Man Tilt is mostly enjoyable, but occasionally infuriating due to its mix of traditional and motion controls.

Even with its flaws, Pac-Man Tilt is easily the best game in the collection. The 2D platformer puts Pac-Man in a very Sonic the Hedgehog-like role, wherein he must navigate through a neon-infused world that closely resembles Casino Night Zone. The levels even come complete with pinball objects like flippers, plungers, and bumpers. Using these various tools, Pac-Man’s ability to jump and roll, and the tilt sensors of the 3DS, players can move Pac-Man through the level.

While the game would be a simple traditional platformer without the tilt controls, they add in a bit of chaos and shake up the standard formula quite significantly. Whether you are trying to break blocks, make high or long jumps, move or swing platforms, or build up speed, twisting the 3DS is absolutely necessary.

Because the tilt affects gravity, it can often be frustrating and awkward to complete particular tasks. Certain segments in the level demand full tilt control, like bouncing on a series of bumpers. When trying to avoid impediments and black holes, it can often be nearly impossible to effectively twist the 3DS without button input to direct Pac-Man appropriately.

Despite this, most of the time it’s good fun collecting the numerous pellets in the level, dispatching ghosts with use of the power pellets, and chomping the sparse scattered fruits. You’ll quickly realize that it’s no easy task achieving medals by beating the levels quickly, while simultaneously collecting all of the items and defeating every enemy.

With 30 levels available, the quest can easily last four to six hours if the intention is to just complete the levels. Those who plan to master the entire quest will easily be able to pour far more hours into the overall experience in this single mini-game.

Pac-Man’s other titles are far less interesting by comparison. The original game needs no explanation, but it’s worth mentioning that Bandai Namco has added achievements to it, as well as Galaga. These aren’t anything particularly special or interesting, but they might provide some motivation to play these dated classics.

Pac-Man Championship Edition is an interesting spin on the original experience, wherein Pac-Man must collect fruits in order to rejuvenate a side of the board with new pellets. As you collect the various pellets and fruits your score will gradually increase. In order to really boost your score, you can grab the power pellets and continue to consume the increasingly fast ghosts, which will produce a multiplied score bonus. The entire purpose of the experience is to score as much as possible in the given time limit.

Various tweaks on the formula are available in the menu, such as a blacked out board and new stages, but the core concept remains intact across all of the modes. As someone who’s not particularly fond of Pac-Man, the mode grew old very quickly. Those obsessed with high scores will likely enjoy the fast-paced take on the original concept, as well as the achievements, which have been retained in the transition from the home consoles.

Galaga Legions is the other standout title in the collection. Instead of the slow-paced action of the original, Legions is now a bullet hell shoot-‘em-up that still maintains the unique aspects of the original game. Players can overtake enemy ships with the help of a special power-up and use them to boost their firepower against the hordes of enemies on screen.

In addition to this ability, the mini-game allows you to place ships in each of the cardinal directions in order to defeat enemies that comes from all angles. This is absolutely necessary as you aren’t able to aim your ship in any direction but up. Not being bound to the bottom of the screen, you can safely escape and let the invulnerable positioned ships do the dirty work while you escape to safety.

Though yet another high score experience, complete with achievements, the action is fast-paced and fun and will likely have a wider appeal due to its greater variety than Pac-Man Championship Edition.

Galaga 3D Impact, as previously mentioned, is an AR game that puts players in a 3D rendition of the ship and sets it on a track; it’s similar to an on-rails shooter. Using the special gyroscopic abilities of the 3DS, players can take aim by moving their system and pointing at the enemies on the screen.

As long as you’re able to get up and move around, it’s quite a bit of fun to play the game like this. With the ability to shift the reticule with the circle pad, players can achieve similar controls sitting in place, but this only makes the game boring and frustrating. It’s not something that will likely garner many playthroughs, but the short four-mission experience is enjoyable while it lasts, thanks primarily to the unique control scheme.

Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions is held up almost entirely by Pac-Man Tilt. While Galaga Legions and Pac-Man Championship Edition can be fun at times, they are treading familiar ground. Galaga 3D Impact is the only other significant portion of the collection and can be quickly conquered, leaving little reason to go back.

Though I mostly enjoyed Pac-Man Tilt, the collection as a whole isn’t anything groundbreaking. Only players with a strong interest in both series should bother grabbing this collection right away.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.



Jason Ross Senior Editor

07/26/2011 at 09:32 PM

It's a shame they didn't include Pac-Man Vs. in this. As it stands, the DS version of Namco Museum is probably a better deal, just for that, even with the new games.

I'm on the fence on it, myself. I love classic Galaga, and I don't have Legions or Legions DX, either.... Hmmm....

Matt McLennan Staff Alumnus

07/27/2011 at 09:03 PM

I love both Pac-Man and Galaga, and I love score attacking. So, basically, this game is like a love letter to me.

Though I do agree with Jason. Its a damn shame Pac-Man Vs. is not included.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

07/27/2011 at 09:53 PM

I've decided not to make the purchase, for a sad reason. People are reporting it just has one save file, and that file can't be deleted. It really isn't a big deal for me, personally, but it's a trend I don't want to see develop in the industry, and given that, I'm not buying it.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

08/02/2011 at 02:15 PM

Apparently, there is a way to erase game saves money in the game. Disregard my last post.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

08/02/2011 at 05:11 PM


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