Pac-Man is a very simple game that has undergone many iterations and changes to the core gameplay first established in 1980. One would think that nearly every conceivable way to utilize Pac-Man’s basic concept and simple design would have been already done, but it looks like there’s more to be explored. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus (CE2P) adds another layer to the gameplay that makes an already addictive game into something new and interesting. What’s crazier than controlling one Pac-Man speeding around the game board, how about two Pac-Man doing so at the same time? It’s a small change that ends up doing a whole lot of the game in great ways. Add in Pac-Man’s take on boss fights and trippy visuals, and you have a very fun game for classic gaming maniacs.
There are two main modes in Pac-Man CE2P, both of which offer different experiences on the same classic gameplay. You can play through the original Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, with all of its score attack boards and adventure challenge mode, and have a great time aiming for high scores. Pac-Man has always been a simple and fast game to get into which works well on the Nintendo Switch for those constantly on the move. The visuals are just as colorful and psychedelic as the previous version of the game, with a combination of retro sounds you recognize and remixed background music. It’s Pac-Man Championship Edition at its best, no more and no less.
On the flip side of everything, you also have the other game mode that offers a lot more new changes to the Pac-Man formula. Pac-Man Championship Edition PLUS 2P is the real star of this package. In this version of the game, you control two versions of Pac-Man on the board at the same time, which can be done solo or with another player controlling the second Pac-Man. With the addition of the second ghost eater, many of Championship Edition’s mechanics are tweaked slightly to compensate.
This adds some new challenges to eating ghosts and fruits that appear on the board, which requires both Pac-Men to collide with one another in order to do so. This change even affects the boss battles against giant ghosts on some stages, which has both Pac-Men eating dots and attacking the giant ghost together after powering up. It’s a fun twist on a game that is already a great twist on a classic gaming icon.
Unfortunately, there are a few shortcomings with Pac-Man’s latest game. Unlike other versions of Pac-Man Championship, there isn’t much extra content that you can unlock outside of a few skins and boards that you can switch between. It would’ve been nice to have an abundance of new boards, extra music tracks, and costumes for Pac-man and the ghosts to unlock from completing challenges and getting high scores.
However, most of the options are open to you from the start, with only a few that you must earn through playing each mode. In addition to this, there is no online play for either game mode on the Nintendo Switch, which is a real bummer. Though you can play Pac-Man CE PLUS 2P with another player using the joycon controllers, having online multiplayer would’ve been ideal. There are leaderboard rankings to record high scores in every mode online, which would have been complimented if the multiplayer was able to go online.
Pac-Man’s style of gameplay is something that will never get old. Just when you thought there weren’t any more new ways to mix up how we play Pac-Man, another one surprisingly pops up. Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus is another fun take on the classic formula that will keep you eating more and more dots, only now you can do so alongside a friend in new and exciting ways.
This review was based on a digital review code for Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus for the Nintendo Switch, provided by Bandai Namco.