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Hands-On With Pac-Man’s Return To Platforming

“The Pac is back!” is the message Namco Bandai wants to deliver during E3. He’s got an animated show starting soon and a companion game that seems pretty fun in a simple way. Both the game and the show are called Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures.

The animated show premieres on June 15 on the Disney Channel. The video we saw for the show looked pretty, even if there weren’t any jokes or characters that stood out. The villain’s name is Betrayus, which is amazing. Pac-Man’s animated world has a sort of Ratchet & Clank vibe to it, with most of the action taking place high atop the buildings of a futuristic city.

The game itself looks very close to the visuals of the show. As Pac-Man, I run around chomping away at ghosts and collectibles, eating everything from hamburgers to vending machines. Pac-Man’s chomp animation is delightful, and he chomps on hanging cables in order to activate Futurama-esque clear traveling tubes to get around.

I find a suit that turns me into a chameleon and gives me a much larger tongue that I can use for attacks and to grab hold of swinging points. Much like Mario’s suits, getting hit by enemy causes me to lost my chameleon powers. There will be more suits in the final game, but the chameleon is the only one seen during E3.

As I was playing, I asked a representative if there is a sprint button for the game, and he tells me that I am not the first person to ask. The Pac may be back, but he feels a little sluggish. Of course, that could change by the final release.

Multiplayer is planned, but details are light and there is nothing on display to check out. It is described to me, however, as a sort of reverse Pac-Man, where players take on the roles of the ghosts. I mentioned the GameCube title Pac-Man Vs., where players played the ghosts with a limited field of vision and one player played as Pac-Man with full view of the map, but it’s unclear if it will offer similar gameplay.

The game is coming to Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U this Fall. There is a 3DS version in the works as well, but it is a 2D platformer, and will differ from the console versions of the game.

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