In the last few weeks, Microsoft has released so many Game Room titles to Xbox Live that even huge Game Room fans like me became weary. Next week’s Xbox Live release still has a retro flavor, but it’s actually a much newer and more exciting game: PAC-MAN: Championship Edition DX.
In our review of the original Pac-Man, I complained “This title offers so much less content than sequels like Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man Championship Edition.” Namco has actually done me one better this time, because they skipped Championship Edition and went straight to its superior sequel, DX.
The console version of PAC-MAN: Championship Edition DX is an absolutely fantastic game. It features 9 different mazes, numerous selectable looks for Pac-Man and the ghosts, and three main gameplay modes: Score Attack, Time Attack, and Ghost Combo. DX throws dozens of ghosts on-screen at once, which might sound too hectic but is actually quite exciting and manageable in practice. Pac-Man even gains a bomb ability that knocks ghosts back to the center of the maze but resets the player's score multiplier.
Pac-Man CE DX is much easier than the first Pac-Man game, so it should be a better fit for mobile phones. Unlike the original Pac-Man game, this one is played in landscape mode, which should reduce the number of accidental presses of the nefarious Home and Search buttons.
The only bad news is its price: $6.99. Namco’s mobile games don’t come cheap. But thousands of gamers happily paid $10 for the Xbox 360 version; if the phone version matches the console game's greatness, 7 bucks won’t sting a bit.
The Windows Phone version of PAC-MAN: Championship Edition DX will debut on Wednesday, May 18.