After the recent release of Pac-Man Museum+, we get another helping of Pac-Man with Pac-Man World Re-Pac, a remake of a PS1-era 3D platformer. How does it hold up, almost 25 years later? We played it on a PS5 to find out.
Funnily enough, when we reviewed Pac-Man Museum+ we lamented the fact that we hadn’t gotten some of Pac-Man’s more recent 3D adventures in any kind of compilation form. A few months later, and here is Pac-Man World Re-Pac, which partially helps with that issue by bringing back a beloved (though often forgotten) classic. We definitely wish that they had included the sequels for a trilogy treatment though, as now it feels like we’ll have to wait a while before we regain access to all of Pac’s 3D adventures (which also includes the later Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures games).
Having said that, Re-Pac is a solid introduction to some of the more modern takes on the classic character, and it’s one of the first that came with a full story campaign – one in which tons of familiar characters have been kidnapped, including Pac’s kids an even his dog. The antagonist Toc-Man is behind it all, and it’s up to you to defeat this evil robot version of Pac-Man.
You’ll notice a big overhaul of the audiovisual presentation of the game early one, with graphics that are sharper and more vibrant in color this time around, but especially in extra cutscenes that help flesh out the story and its characters a bit more. Some of the characters are new too, but that’s mostly because legal troubles surrounding Ms Pac-Mac, who is Pac-Mom now. We’re guessing that license issues were also behind the change from actual voiceovers to gibberish, which seems a bit odd when you realize a 23 year old game used to have voices and now it doesn’t.
Levels still look familiar, and Pac-Man World’s structure of being spread across six worlds has been left intact as well. Each world has a few levels and a boss to defeat, and completing the story will take about seven hours, with a decent amount of stuff to collect and unlock along the way. It’s a fairly kid-friendly platformer as well, with a very forgiving easy mode that makes it easy enough to land nearly all of your jumps and an accessible moveset for combat. This includes a butt bounce, a ranged attack and a dash – though Pac-Man signature abilities to turn invincible for a short period also pop up from time to time, as do other superpowers. Some boss fights have also been made a bit easier for this remake, but what’s still there is the multi-layered nature of these fights, with some diverse enemies and battles that showcase a lot of creativity.
In terms of the audiovisual presentation of Pac-Man World Re-Pac, the game is similar to other remakes from the same era (like Spyro or Crash), though the use of square-looking platforms gives Pac-Man World a more dated look in terms of design. The soundtrack is still excellent though, with a mashup of classic Pac-Man samples and new arrangements. For Pac-Man fans who feel like the older classics are a tad too basic for their liking, this is a great start and intro to Pac’s more modern adventures.