Pacman & Galaga Dimensions Review

By: Victor “VicJohUSMC86″ Johnson

Under very low fanfare and word of mouth Tuesday July 26, 2011 Namco Bandai and Nintendo released ” my most anticipated game of the year” on the Nintendo 3Ds. As a big fan of retro-games from my youth I need to put this review out to everyone who is a gamer with even some what of a love of this genre of games because I feel like Nintendo and Namco Bandai have done this game no justice.

First let me start out by telling you all of my search for this game which turned into an hour or more of looking from store to store. My first stop was Toy’s R Us and to my disappointment they didn’t have it in stock at all and of course there profession salesmen had no idea or had never even heard of the game. He went to the back of the store to look for the new releases of the day and there was nothing. He called the Manager and she said to my face ” there is no such game”. Of course being the person that I am, I had to put that employee in her place and then proceeded to leave the store for the next place. With the clock running for me to start my regular work load I decided to make a call to Gamestop after a stop to Best Buy  and Walmart with no luck. So I make my call to Gamestop and they tell me yes we have the game in stock and you can come get a copy we have our new shipments in this morning. I get to the store and the knuckle headed employee couldn’t find the game on the computer or in the back of the store so in the mean time I’m getting pissed. Finally he looks in the computer again and it says they have “one copy” of the game and that no one has reserved it and that I can have that copy. Now he needs to find the game and it takes a good 15-20 minutes only to find it in the back of the store. I am now a happy boy.

So the reason for my anticipation for this game is the fact that it has six games on the disc. Yes, I said six games all on this one very tiny game disc. There are three Pac-man games and those being the Classic Pac-man, Pac-man Championship Edition and the new for 3D version Pac-man Tilt.

The Classic Pac-man version is available on three different machines. The classic stand-up arcade version the classic flat top version and another version that I’m not aware of are available to play. The thing about this version that bothers me is that the top screen is the only screen thats used and the game looks tiny on that screen. (maybe it’s my eyes) The bottom screen is for in game achievements, which I like but I wish they could have some how used both screens for this version.

Pac-man Championship Edition is also available with a Championship Ranked Mode and two Challenge Modes also there are three extra modes. Highway, Manhattan and Fusion are the three extra modes. If you were a fan of the Xbox version of Pac-Man CE then you will like this version just like I do. The screen set-up is the same way as the Classic version with the game on the top screen and in game achievements on the bottom screen. Un-like the classic version I believe the game is more bold and easier to see. I think this looks more 3d then the classic version as well.

The newest version made especially for the 3Ds is Pac-man Tilt  and the game is controlled by tilting the 3Ds system and getting through the obstacles by jumping and running and rolling kinda like the Pac-man adventure games made for the Ps2 some 8-10 years ago. There are moving platforms and alot of obstacles to test your skills and the motion physics of the 3Ds. Although I really haven’t had a lot of time to play this particular game I do look to jump into it and hope to have hours of fun with it. I’m not really sure how many different levels of play there are but I expect there to be quite a few. The screen set-up is also the same as the other two versions but I think this one has alot more color and is very bold looking. The controls may take a little time to get used to only because of the motion physics.

So if I were to rate just the three Pac-man titles overall I would give them a solid seven out of ten and the reason why is because of the size of the game on the screen. I believe if  Nintendo were to release this on the Wii or the WiiU that it would be perfect on the large screen. The motion controllers and HD would make this game a Day one purchase for me.

On to my favorite game of all times (except for Tetris) Galaga and all is retro glory. There are also three Galaga games on this disc  with the titles being Galaga (the classic version), Galaga Legions and the newest version for the 3Ds Galaga 3D Impact. This is the main reason why I have wanted this game so much since I heard of its release.

Classic Galaga is presented to you the same way Pac-man is. There are three different  machines you can pick from and the game is also very small on the top screen  with in game achievements on the bottom screen. Once again I am very upset by this size of the game and only being able to see it on this screen. I felt like I need bi-focals  to see this game but all the while I did have a great time playing it.  The entire time I played all I could think of were my days in the arcade playing this game for hours and loving every minute of it.

Galaga Legions to me is the best remake of any retro-game that I’ve played. With Nintendo putting this on the 3Ds was a special thing to me. That meant I can take this game with me any where I go and just blow stuff up. If you have the Xbox version of Galaga Legions and enjoy it then this is definetly gonna give you hours of enjoyment on the go.  There are two game modes and they are Adventure and Championship. You have to shoot your way through hordes of galaga. It feels like your in the arcade all over again. You can choose auto-fire or manual fire. I usually choose auto-fire because there is alot of stuff flying around the screen and you have to move your co-pilot around to help you out. The top screen is where the game play is with in game achievements on the bottom screen. I can’t complain about the size of the screen in this one because its just so much fun.

Galaga 3D Impact is the newest remake of this game and this is by far the best game on the game disc. This game uses the movement physice of the 3Ds to its fullest and the 3D is outstanding. There is a training level on the game when you first start it up to kinda get you used to the controls before the good stuff starts. You have to keep the 3Ds held at eye level the entire time your playing or the screen will go blurry on you. I have to say, if you have played the 3Ds and had some motion issues then this game isn’t for you because there is alot of things moving around the screen that can give you some motion sickness. I had never had any problem with the motion or the 3D of the gaming system until I played this game so beware when you play this game.  The view you have of the game is like your in the cockpit of the plane or ship and you have to line up your cursor or cross hairs on the baddies. Its kinda hard at first but you will quickly get used to it and you’ll be blowing up the bad guys in no time.  The bottom screen is very similar to the screen from SteelDiver you can use the touch screen to center yourself if you get off  course. You hold down the A button to rapid fire and the B button to capture those bad guys. So far in the time I’ve had to play the game it hasn’t been to difficult to play so I would say a young child could play it but just beware of the motion part of the game because that could bother a child or even an adult.

So as you all can see I like the Galaga part of this game the best and if I were to rate only this portion of the game I would give it a solid 8.5- 9.0 only because I felt a little sick from the motion but the game is perfect for the 3Ds system and for kids and adults of all ages.

Thank you Namco Bandai and Nintendo for giving me this game and allowing me to go back to my childhood and relive my days in the arcade when both these game were at the peak of its popularity. The only thing I would ask you to do is “Please do a better job of Advertising these type of games and please send enough supplies to our stores” because there are alot of Retro-gamers out there (like me) that are looking for these type of games to be remade.