Tagged "Pac Attack"

Feb 23
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads No Comments

Judging by the bitterness of the weather outside, we’ll be spending most this week in the warmth and out of the way of the elements. Luck would have it that there are a few new arrivals of note on the eShop.


It’s two new Virtual Console offerings that grab our attention – SNES cult classics Cybernator and Pac-Attack. Although we haven’t played Cybernator for many years, the fact that it received an almost unaltered PS2 conversion back in 2005 would suggest that Konami’s shooter still holds up well.

Having shown Pac-Attacksome love early last year, it’s is one that we can vouch for. For fans of Tetris in particular, it’s well worth a look. Despite the Pac-Man license fitting the puzzler like a glove, it was actually designed with Namco’s often forgotten Cosmo Gang in mind. A bit of trivia for you there.

Both are due on Wii U for £5.49. They’re the US versions, if that means anything to you.

The Wii U also gets artwork creation tool SDK Paint (£3.99) – which features Miiverse support (uh-oh!) and 3D viewing via anaglyph 3D glasses – and the purse pleasingly priced Hyrule Warriors: Boss Pack (£2.69). This add-on includes, and we quote, “Two new challenge modes (Boss Challenge and Ganon’s Fury) with five new alternatively-coloured costumes as rewards”.


Nintendo also reports that “each mode also contains three battle types across three difficulty levels, as well as one extra-difficult scenario”.

Things are a tad busier over on the 3DS eShop. Five new releases, no less. Say hello to Hello Kitty & Sanrio Friends 3D Racing (£29.99) – also due out at retail this Friday – stupidly titled pre-school rhythm game Mes Comptines (£4.49), 8-bit style platform adventure Zombie Incident (£1.99), blatant Tetris clone Best of Arcade Games – Tetraminos (£8.99) and Titan Attacks! (£7.99).

That last one is a Space Invaders/Galaga-alike from Curve Studios. The PS4 version went down well, with many reviewers claiming that it puts a welcome spin on a classic formula.

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Jan 07
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

Namco’s iconic yellow fellow has starred in countless games over the years, so it’s no surprise that some have fallen into obscurity. Arguably, none of these are more deserving of a lookback than 1993’s Pac-Attack, a neat little puzzler with more than a whiff of Tetris about it.


Although the puzzler appears to have been designed with Pac-Man in mind, that’s actually not the case – its roots can be traced back to Cosmo Gang the Puzzle, a very similar game released in arcades the year before. The curious thing about this is why Namco didn’t put Pac-Man in pride of place from the start. Although there had been a few other arcade games featuring the Cosmo Gang in the past, the puzzler’s concept of lining up rows of enemies so that they can be haplessly eaten has Pac-Man written all over it.

Like all good puzzlers, Pac-Attack is easy to pick up. That’s especially the case for those who have played Tetris before, and to be fair, it’s hard to imagine that anybody hasn’t – even way back in 1993. Blocks vanish when a full row is formed, thus preventing the ever growing pile from touching the top. As the levels rise, the speed of the block’s descent increases until the point where lightening quick reflexes are required.


So far so Tetris. As well as standard blocks though there are also rows of ghosts to line up for Pac-Man to munch whenever a block formation containing Pac-Man appears. Herein lines the genius streak – huge combos can be pull off by blocks dropping down after the ghosts underneath have been eaten. This goes a long way to making it a very satisfying game to play, particularly after lining up a long string of ghosts for Pac-Man to dine on.

But while Pac-Attack adheres to the golden rule of being easy to pick up, it isn’t particularly hard to master. It has been said that Tetris is pinnacle of puzzling due to featuring just seven shapes – with seven being the optimum amount of things a person can remember. Aka Miller’s Law. Block formations in Pac-Attack are altogether far more random – bunches of blocks, small stock piles of ghosts and mixtures of the two.

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Apr 05
By Matt Gander In Blog 7 Comments

Sega recently announced the first batch of GameGear games that’ll be appearing on the 3DS’s Virtual Console. If you missed the announcement, the line-up comprises Sonic & Tails 2, Sonic Drift 2, The GG Shinobi, Dragon Crystal: Shirai’s Maze and Columns.

Why they chose to use the Japanese names of each is beyond me – Sonic & Tails 2 was known as Sonic Triple Trouble outside of Japan, while Sonic Drift 2 became Sonic Drift Racing. Still, it’s not a bad little line-up.

Sonic Triple Trouble is one of the best 2D Sonic games; not just on the GameGear, but in general. Dragon Crystal is very Rouge-like with a nice soundtrack. It’s bound to be panned by the press for being basic by today’s standards, but back in 1990 it was ace. Don’t be fooled by Sonic Drift 2 – Mario Kart it isn’t. The GG Shinobi has stood the test of time, and if Columns only costs a couple of quid – which is likely – then it should be an essential download if you’re looking for something to play during lunch breaks.

It’s hard to see anybody but Sega re-releasing GameGear games on Virtual Console. Nonetheless, I’ve knocked up a list of ten titles I’d like to see.

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
A straight conversion of the Sega Master System version, but no less brilliant with some memorable bosses – including a giant chocolate bar – and the chance to go swimming in a giant cup of tea. The sequel – Land of Illusion – makes my head hurt due to the way the screen scrolls, but thankfully the rare and largely unknown Legend of Illusion corrected this. Legend of Illusion would be more than welcome on VC too.

Coca-Cola Kid
A Japanese-only platformer from Aspect – the developers behind most of the 8-bit Sonic games. It bears great resemblance to Sonic Chaos, in fact, with similar presentation and some recycled sound effects. The titular kid is rather acrobatic in nature and can also jump onto a skateboard to zoom through the levels quicker. A nice little game.

Tails Adventure
Miles better (pun intended) than Tails’ Sky Patrol – in which you can lose a life by crashing into trees, walls and other obstacles – this platformer is slower paced than the Sonic games and rather lovingly made. Visually it showed what the GameGear could do when tickled in the right places. Once Sega gets the Sonic games onto VC then chances are this’ll appear at some stage.

Gunstar Heroes
One of the most impressive GameGear games to be released; only the 3D FPS Faceball 2000 looks more impressive. It’s missing a few levels from the Mega Drive version and the sprites flicker badly but the charm still remains. As with Coca-Cola Kid, this was also a Japan-only release.

Mortal Kombat II
Potentially this could make it out if Warner Bros. could ever be arsed to do a deal with Sega. There are only two backdrops but it plays smoothly and it’s better than Rage’s GameGear version of Mortal Kombat 3, which is so bad it’s almost unplayable.

Pac Attack
Combine Tetris with Pac-Man and you get Pac Attack. As well as forming lines you also have to line up ghosts for Pac-Man to eat whenever he appears. Even though it was available as part of a Pac-Man compilation on Game Boy Advance it’s something of a forgotten gem.

Marko’s Magic Football
If you ever saw this in action you’d think that it’s a Mega Drive game. The sprites are large and well animated and Marko has dozens of football-related tricks up his sleeves. And Marko is way cooler than Soccer Kid – who had a face only a mother could love.

Power Strike II (aka GG Aleste 2)
An awesome and impressive 2D shooter that’s uncommon on eBay and moves like greased lightening. With no R-Type games on GameGear this is the best example of the genre, with busy backgrounds, varied levels and a bonus stage viewed from a third person perspective.

Prince of Persia
Much like Mortal Kombat, this could appear too if Ubisoft had a chat with Sega. They’re probably too busy kissing Nintendo though. Prince of Persia, much like the early Sonic and Mario games, plays just as well now as it did when it was first released. The animation was jaw-dropping back in the day.

An underrated platformer which plays a lot like the original Rayman. The Japanese version has an extra level which was removed from the US and European versions on the grounds that it was deemed too tough. It’s still present on these versions but you have to play it on a Japanese system to get it to appear.

I’ve left Wonderboy off the list as I’m willing to bet my last Wagon Wheel that it’ll be included in the second batch of games. Other likely candidates? Streets of Rage, Virtua Fighter Animation, Ax Battler and no doubt Sonic 2, a game which I can’t really stand. At all.

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