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Nintendo 3DS Review: Pac-Man Party 3D

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That little yellow dude known fondly as Pac-Man has made his way into the 3D revolution of gaming! Yes, Pac-Man has been around for several years and is one of the oldest gaming icons around. However that does not stop him from changing and evolving with the ever-growing times.

What can you expect after popping Pac-Man Party 3D into your Nintendo 3DS? On the home screen you will be given the choice of a few different ways of playing. First there is Story Mode, Party Mode, Mini Game Mode and Classic Play Mode. Story Mode and Party Mode are rather similar in game play. Both modes play like a board game which can be played in single player mode with up to 1-3 CPU (computer) players as well as an alternating player mode. This gives the game a bit of repeat play flexibility, in my opinion. The number of spaces that you move around on the game board depends on the outcome of mini games. There is a chance to move from 1 – 8 spaces total. As you move around the board, you collect cookies (the games version of points) as well as obtaining castles. Is the game difficult? No. Does it take a lot of mind concentration? Absolutely not. Is it fun? Not bad, if you are looking for a simple, mindless and relaxing game that allows even young players the ability to quickly figure out the rules of play and latch on.

Now, in mini game mode, you are allowed to choose up to 3 CPU players and once that is done, you are allowed to pick between 1 and 20 of the mini games to play, depending on the number of rounds you want to play. With close to 50 mini games to choose from, there are plenty to try out and experiment with. Just a few of the games include: Pop n’ Balloons, Hot Foot Hop, Wobbly Ice Cream, Pac-Golf, Spaghetti Roll-Up, Bottle Rocket Blastoff, Gummy Catapults, Jiggling Gelatin, Pac-Man Hustle, Pizza Party, Haunted Pumpkins, Pooka Pop, Snowball Sumo and Chick Magnet just to name a few. Most of the games are simple and self-explanatory (though there is a quick tutorial on the beginning screen of each game). They each have a certain level of fun and will be engaging to the casual gamer as well as the young gamer.

When playing with CPU characters, many faces that you can choose from will be very familiar to Pac-Man lovers. There is Pac-Man (of course), Pinky, Woofa, Inky, Blinky, Patra and a few others. Each character has their own unique personality – both in looks as well in verbal noises.

One mode that I was rather excited to try out was the Classic Mode which includes the classic Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug. If anyone has the plug-n-play Pac-Man that made an appearance a few years ago, these are the same games included on that. Or if you are a gamer from the Atari Era, you know all about these. My excitement was soon deflated, however. The screen dimensions of each of these three games is simply too small to really enjoy, taking up only 1/3 of the screen. The “d” pad control of the 3DS is an important aspect to these games, but does little to compensate for the size. So if this is one of the reasons that you are looking to get this game, skip it.

Pac-Man Party 3D is enjoyably played in either 3D or 2D mode. I played around with both aspects and enjoyed each one equally. The vivid colors and graphics of the game are extremely fun and the depth in 3D mode is great. Audibly, the sounds and music are not overly torturous and lend a bit of whimsical fun to the overall game playing experience.

My overall opinion of Pac-Man Party 3D is that it is fun and great for vegging out a bit. Kids will probably greatly enjoy the game play and fun characters. Serious gamers will probably find themselves bored to tears within the first ten minutes of game play. I would have to say that this would make a good edition to the family video game library and enjoyed it myself.

Pac-Man Party 3D is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

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