Video game review number three hundred and forty three in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Pac-Man Party".
Once upon a time in the world of Nintendo, Mario decided to throw a party. He invited all of his buddies from various games he had starred in, and challenged them to play competitive mini-games. The party was such a success that he had 8 or 9 more of them, on many different gaming platforms.
Elsewhere in Nintendo world...Pac-Man sat alone in his kingdom. He was never invited to Mario's parties, and this pissed him off because without him, there would be no Mario. Pac-Man knew deep down in his little yellow heart that he was the original video game icon, and he was pretty sure that if he threw a party of his own, it could be at least as popular as Mario's...maybe even moreso.
Unfortunately for Pac-Man, the only people that showed up for his lame party were the ghosts he'd spent his entire career trying to eat. Sure, they played mini-games with him, but they kept calling him names the whole time, and even tried to steal his awesome cookie recipe. Pac-Man reluctantly decided that his first party would be his last, and went back to the only thing he'd ever been successful at: Chasing and eating ghosts.
I played this one for about an hour and a half this morning, and I can confidently say: This game isn't quite Mario Party.
There are several modes here. First up is "Story", which is basically playing the different boards and mini-games until you've played them all. I played through an entire round of this (took roughly an hour) and during that I got to experience about 12 of the mini-games. The rest of the time, you're rolling for position and movement around a giant game board, and trying to build castles on every space you land on. It's sort of like Monopoly meets Mario party. Moving around the board collecting cookies is the basic point of the game, and you only stop to play mini games. The "party" mode is the same thing, but with humans. It might be fun with a couple of other human players. Against the computer, it was fairly boring.
Next, I played some of the standalone mini-games. They're not bad, and they make good use of the Wiimote. Some of them are not as instantly playable or fun as Mario Party, but some of them are. I particularly enjoyed the pizza making mini game, the swimming and pinball games. There were others I enjoyed a lot less, and some I couldn't figure out at all.
Finally, there's "Arcade" mode. I wasn't sure what this was going to be, and it turns out it was just the old Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug ports that Namco has released about 8 billion different times. I played a round of Dig Dug, and I found the Wiimote d-pad to be severely lacking in the "control" department. I still scored around 85,000, but for me...that's just a warm-up game.
Overall Score? 5/10. Purely average, this game has some unique mini-games, but mostly...it's just a lower quality rehash of Mario Party. Although I enjoyed several of the mini-game competitions, I felt that the overall game was too long, too slow and too random as far as the gameplay was concerned. The story mode was stupid, and revolved entirely about a stolen cookie recipe. I don't know why Pac-Man didn't just eat the ghosts and take his recipe back. :-)
Maybe next time.
Oh wait....there won't be a next time.
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