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Bandai Namco releasing Pac-Man 40th anniversary jacket

Now that's snazzy

Bandai Namco continues to celebrate Pac-Man's 40th anniversary in unique ways. The latest goody revealed for the anniversary is a replica jacket that recreates the one seen in KEN ISHII’s "Join the Pac" music video that you can see below.

The jacket will launch in Japan on Sept. 3rd, 2020, and it comes in two different versions. You can grab one with Pac-Man featured on the back, or Blinky if you'd rather. The jacket is priced at 21,780 yen ($191 USD), and you can check out more pics of each version here.

Hasbro reveals Pac-Man Monopoly, releasing on August 1st

Waka, waka, waka!

Hasbro has announced a Pac-Man themed version of the Monopoly board game for the arcade icon's 40th anniversary, and will be available starting on August 1st for an MSRP of $30. A miniature, playable, arcade cabinet will be included, featuring a simplified version of Pac-Man for you to play every time you pass GO. Using plastic coins for activation, the machine will also keep track of each player's points (money), and allow for buying, selling, and stealing levels (properties). You can check out the Amazon listing here for even more details!

HORI releasing Pac-Man themed Split Pad Pro for Switch

More Pac-Man anniversary celebrations!

HORI released their Split Pad Pro for Switch awhile back, and have had a few different designs along the way, including one for Daemon X Machina. Now they're working up a new version that pays tribute to Pac-Man on his 40th anniversary.

This Split Pad Pro contains all the same features as previous releases, but obviously looks quite different. The controller is emblazoned with Pac-Man, alongside Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde. Of course, there's also some maze designs, filled with all the pellets Pac-Man could want.

The Pac-Man Split Pac Pro has only been announced for Japan at this time, and it's due out in Fall 2020.

Gorillaz drop new track titled 'Pac-Man' with video homage to the iconic arcade hero

What a collab!

The acclaimed virtual band Gorillaz has shared a new track and music video titled 'PAC-MAN’. An audio-visual delight bursting with nostalgic sounds and sights, the track features the multiple Grammy-nominated American rapper ScHoolboy Q and a video inspired by the iconic arcade game with colorful visuals that draw on the classic PAC-MAN coin-op aesthetics.

This new Gorillaz track release coincides with PAC-MAN’s 40th anniversary this year, further underscoring the timeless appeal of the original coin-op hero.

‘PAC-MAN' is the fifth episode of ‘Song Machine’, the newest concept from one of the most inventive bands around. 'Song Machine' will see Gorillaz joined by an exciting and ever-evolving roster of collaborators captured live in Kong Studios alongside the world’s most successful virtual band members 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, Russel Hobbs.

GoNintendo Review: Namco Museum Archives: Pac-Man Championship Edition

Pac is BACK!

So happy to write a review up for this one. I am uncontrollably ecstatic about it. Hopefully my passion for the game comes through! As always, thanks for reading.

Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 are jam-packed with classic NES games from Namco's past. Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, Mappy, and so on. Two collections meant to tickle the nostalgia bone in older players. It's always nice to see companies revisit the games they cut their teeth on, and give today's players a way to enjoy them, while also making sure those classics aren't forgotten.

While seeing all these games collected in two virtual packages is lovely, there was one thing I've had my eye on ever since it was announced. We've known about Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 for awhile now, but Pac-Man Championship Edition was only revealed a couple weeks back. This title is not like the others in the collection. Instead of a port of a classic NES game, this is a brand-new NES title, while also being a demake of 2007's Pac-Man Championship Edition. The second I learned about this, I knew I had to have it.

For someone like me who was on the fence when it came to grabbing Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition made it a no-brainer. I'll always have a special place in my heart for both Pac-Man and the NES, and something brand-new that combines the two was just too much for me to resist. I knew right then and there that I'd need to get my hands on this game, and I couldn't hop in fast enough on launch day. I already knew that Pac-Man Championship Edition was going to be good, but I didn't know it would be this good.

The best Pac-Man games are the simplest ones, and Pac-Man Championship Edition is about as simple as it gets. The game follows along with the original Pac-Man very closely. Run through a maze, avoid the ghosts, eat pellets/power pellets/bonus items, and go for the high score. All the elements that made the original Pac-Man such a big hit are present here, but it's how they're slightly tweaked that makes them even more enjoyable.

While the original Pac-Man remains fun to this day, Pac-Man Championship Edition aims to provide an experience that is more in-line with today's gamers. The gameplay has been sped up to a ridiculous level. You're going to be flying through the mazes at breakneck speed, dodging ghosts left and right. Twitch skills were always a part of Pac-Man, but you really need to have them honed for Pac-Man Championship Edition. The maze has also been changed, going from a stage-clear approach to a never-ending run. Depending on the pellets you eat and bonus items you grab, the left and right portions of the maze will fill in with new pellet patterns. You zig-zag back and forth to constantly eat the new supply of pellets to see just how many you can gobble up in an allotted time. Again, it's the same Pac-Man mechanics as the original, but with some revamps that make the overall experience much more intense.

Pac-Man Championship Edition offers two modes of play; Normal and Extra. Normal gives you a 5-minute run through the maze, and gameplay starts off at a modest speed and only grows as the timer ticks down. Extra is a much more intense experience, with a different style maze/pellet pattern, a three minute time limit, and a ridiculous starting speed. Both modes are sure to push you to your limits, but Extra is absolutely insanity right out of the gate.

That's all that Pac-Man Championship Edition offers, and quite honestly, that's all it needs. Two modes of roughly the same thing might sound like an embarrassingly small amount of content, but that's not something I ever experienced while I played. That's because both modes in Pac-Man Championship Edition are pushing you to do one thing. They want you to snag the high score and see just how good you are. Each 3 or 5 minute round plays out like a blur, and when all's said and done, you see just how well you did. The thing is, every time you see that score, you get the urge to play one more round. You know you can do a little better...you know you can change your route to squeeze out a few more points.

That simple motivation mixed with the equally simple gameplay mechanics make Pac-Man Championship Edition quite an addictive experience. It's legitimately hard to put the game down, and I find myself keeping my Switch close by in order to sneak in a round or two. I constantly want to hop back in and improve on what I did last time. I'm often thinking of ways I could approach the maze differently to get a better outcome. The game definitely has its hooks deep in me, and that's how I know it's something special. Even with all the new games coming out left and right, my day doesn't feel complete unless I spend some time with Pac-Man Championship Edition.

The game itself is an absolute blast, but for me, the visual and audio package make it that much better. As I mentioned earlier, Namco Museum Archives' Pac-Man Championship Edition is an NES demake of the 2007 title. I played a ton of that version of the game as well, which was full of base-pumping music, neon visuals, and all sorts of flashy effects. While this NES version can't stand alongside the original release, it really does an amazing job of capturing that same style and feeling of the 2007 release. It's just so damn cool to see this type of experience with an NES approach.

It should be no surprise that this demake is top-notch, as it was handled by the team at M2. They are the go-to team for bringing classic titles back to today's platforms. They've done straight ports and revamped classics with new features, so an NES demake of Pac-Man Championship Edition is right up their alley. Everything in this version of the game looks, sounds, and feels just like an NES game. There's even sprite flicker worked into the experience to mimic how things would have run on an actual NES. This doesn't just pay tribute to a bygone era, it feels like it came straight from it.

The same goes for the game's soundtrack, which is so damn cool. If you like chiptunes, then you're going to love what Pac-Man Championship Edition has to offer. Just like the original Pac-Man, there aren't a ton of tracks to listen to in Pac-Man Championship Edition. You get a few menu themes, and then just one song for Normal and one song for Extra. That said, everything here is absolutely top-notch. The music really sounds like something an NES could handle, albeit genres that you've never heard in an NES game. We're talking about hardcore techno/bass/EDM style stuff. It's so crazy to hear how that kind of music would have sounded on an NES. The crunchy nature of it all perfectly fits the on-screen action, and it without a doubt heightens the entire experience. When Pac-Man is flying by at insane speeds and the chiptunes are blasting with old-school thumps, you really get immersed in it all.

I really do consider Pac-Man Championship Edition to be an almost perfect game. I have to say almost because the game lacks an online leaderboard. You do get your own high scores, and those are saved for as long as you'd like them to be. Still though, when a game's focus is high scores, it's a damn shame that you can't measure up what you've done against other people online. That would only help to keep the game alive for years to come, and give people more motivation to keep diving in. If you want that high score competition, you'll have to find a corner of the internet that's dedicated itself to tracking scores.

Outside of that gripe, I have nothing bad to say about Pac-Man Championship Edition. I was unbelievably pumped when the demake was announced, and the final product is even better than I could have imagined. Pac-Man Championship Edition is some of the most pure gaming fun I've had in a very long time. A timeless series elevated with a few new features, and it results in an experience you'll constantly want more of. Just writing about it now has me itching to go back.

Here's the best bit of praise I can heap on Pac-Man Championship Edition. The only way to get this game is by buying Namco Museum Archives: Vol. 1, which is priced at $20. You get 10 other games in the package, making it quite a good deal. That said, I honestly think the entire Archive is worth $20 just for the inclusion of Pac-Man Championship Edition. I really do find the game to be that damn good.

Pac-Man's creator talks about the Pac-Man game he would make today

Make it happen!

Pac-Man creator Toru Iwatani hasn't worked on a game since 2007's Pac-Man Championship Edition. In an interview with Game Informer, Iwatani talks a bit about what he would do for another Pac-Man game if he were to return to the franchise. Check out what he had to say below.

If I have a chance to make a new Pac-Man game, I’d like to make a game similar to Pac-Man Championship Edition, where the game carries on the legacy of the original Pac-Man with genuine upgrades to the game rules, sense of speed, and graphics.

GoNintendo Video - Pac-Man Championship Edition's official demake is SO damn cool!

8-bit Pac-Man, baby!

Namco Museum Collection: Vol. 1 includes 10 Famicom/NES games from the good-old days, but it also includes one brand-new game! That game is an NES demake of Pac-Man Championship Edition. Believe it or not, this has been 5 years in the making!

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GoNintendo Thought: Namco Museum Archives' PAC-MAN Championship Edition demake is absolutely fascinating

What we do here is go back

I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on PAC-MAN Championship Edition next week. I love the original release and follow-up, and I'm dying to see how this Famicom/NES version plays. I just had to share my excitement for it! As always, thanks for reading.

After a Japanese announcement of the Namcot Collection, retailer leaks, and an Asian localization, we finally got word today that Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 are heading to both North America and Europe. The collections bring together classic NES/home console versions of numerous Namco classics, including Dig-Dug, Mappy, Xevious, Galaga, Rolling Thunder, and more. It'll be great to have another way to enjoy some classic games with added bonuses, but out of both collections, I'm most excited for the one "new" title included.

Just a couple weeks back, Bandai Namco announced that Namcot Collection in Japan would have a special bonus game. Those who separately purchased 10 titles in the Namcot Collection would be able to download PAC-MAN Championship Edition. This isn't the 2007 title that hit multiple platforms, but instead, a demake of that game. All the other games in this collection are straight from the NES days, but PAC-MAN Championship Edition is made to not only pay tribute to the NES, but also adhere to what was possible on that platform.

Namco Museum Archives Vol. 1 and 2 could have been fun enough on their own. A collection of legacy games from Namco with bonus features like save states, rewind, borders, and more. Fans of those old titles are more than happy to dive into a collection that groups them into two packages, and those quality-of-life improvements sweeten the pot. That said, the addition of PAC-MAN Championship Edition has taken this package and turned it into something really special.

Companies are extremely eager to remake their games nowadays. Remakes and re-releases are a huge deal, and they usually bring in big bucks for the devs and pubs. Take a game that is well known and loved, revamp the graphics and sound, tweak some gameplay mechanics, and watch the dollars roll in. Remakes and re-releases have always been a thing, but they really started to take off during the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii era. When devs and pubs started to see how much cash these reworkings could make, countless companies got to work on making them happen. Nowadays remakes and re-releases are pretty much expected, and are something fans clamor for.

While remakes are commonplace in today's industry, demakes are few and far between. Yes, there are plenty of developers who look to emulate the visual style or sounds of legacy platforms, but that's an artistic choice. Furthermore, that approach is being utilized for a new project. Shovel Knight, Panzer Paladin, The Messenger, and other games in the retro genre are brand-new experiences that are looking to recapture elements of consoles and gaming eras gone by. A demake takes a game that already exists and ports it down to a platform that we've long since moved on from.

Fan-made demakes are somewhat frequent, but official demakes are a rare beast. This is what intrigues me so much with PAC-MAN Championship Edition. Bandai Namco actually gave the go-ahead to take a game from 2007 and port it down to hardware that was thriving in the mid-to-late 80s. This isn't something you see nowadays! It's just so out of the ordinary that I can't help but be excited by it.

The story gets even crazier when you dig into it more. Turns out Bandai Namco worked with M2 to handle PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake. For those who enjoy retro games, M2 is the king of the ports. The company pays a ridiculous amount of attention to making sure ports of classic games look, sound, and feel like they did back in the day. They know fans of those titles expect the exact same experience when they play straightforward re-releases of those games today, and it seems there's no one better at nailing the minutia than M2.

Just recently, we learned that PAC-MAN Championship Edition was originally going to see release on the 3DS. Now while it's not perfectly clear, it does seem the plan for the 3DS version was to mimic the original release, rather than be a demake. For reasons unknown, the 3DS version didn't end up panning out. Eventually things shifted over to the Namco Museum Archives, and M2 saw an opportunity to do something special. With Bandai Namco's blessing, they went ahead to create an NES/Famicom replication of PAC-MAN Championship Edition. While bringing PAC-MAN Championship Edition to the 3DS would have been hard enough, now M2 was working with a more powerful platform, but limiting themselves even further by adhering to what the NES could do!

According to M2, the team has been working on PAC-MAN Championship Edition for 5 years now. Again, it's not clear how much of that time was spent on the 3DS version and the Switch version, but it's still an incredible amount of time to work on this one project. Even if the demake only took a year's worth of time, that would still be extremely surprising. All that time spent to replicate a platform that we moved on from decades ago. If anything, it only goes to show just how dedicated both Bandai Namco and M2 are to not just respecting the history of games, but also keeping it alive in new ways.

I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on PAC-MAN Championship Edition in the Namco Museum Archives. Seeing such a love letter to the early days of gaming tickles me a million ways over. We finally got to see some footage of the game today, and it certainly looks the part of a Famicom game. PAC-MAN Championship Edition in 2007 retained the look of Pac-Man while enhancing it with tons of neon lights and special effects. PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake looks right in line with what the NES/Famicom could do, but still tries to keep some of those fancy bells and whistles from the 2007 outing.

What we don't get to experience in the trailer is the audio side of things, which I might be even more excited about. PAC-MAN Championship Edition has an amazing soundtrack, full of thumping beats and pulse-pounding music. I cannot wait to see what M2 and Bandai Namco have done for the demake. Will they keep those same tunes but recreate them in a chiptune style? Will they work on all-new chiptune tracks? Will it be a mix of both ideas? I am so bummed they didn't let us hear what was going on in the debut trailer, but it makes me that much more excited to go hands-on next week.

All in all, I think there's one main reason why I love seeing official demakes. When you take a game and try to make it run on hardware that came out decades prior, a lot has to be stripped away. Visuals can't be anywhere near as good, sound is limited, and features have to be cut back. With all that said, the core thing that has to be retained is the fun. A demake is forced to boil a game down to its most essential features, showing what makes us enjoy the game to begin with. When you strip a game down to its bare-bones, you're left with something that either excels in fun or doesn't. I have no doubt PAC-MAN Championship Edition's demake will be just as fun as the 2007 it stems from.

Namcot Collection's Pac-Man Championship Edition Famicom demake was originally made for 3DS, took 5 years to make

The Pac-Man plan

While the Namcot Collection was an exciting package from day one, things got even more interesting last week when a very special game was revealed. For those who buy 10 titles in Namcot Collection, a special version of Pac-Man Championship Edition will be offered. This is a Famicom demake of the original 2007 release, as the Namcot Collection is full of other classic Famicom titles.

With Namcot Collection being a grouping of classic Famicom titles, how in the world did a modern game get commissioned for a Famicom demake? M2 director Naoki Horii explained on Twitter, and you can check out the translation below, courtesy of Siliconera.

Now then… Our company is allowed to do everything we want. Regarding the extra Championship Edition game, it’s becoming something big to the point that I don’t want to call it an extra game.

Originally, this should be sold alone, right? So that as many people would play it as possible? That’s exactly the case, so we originally negotiated to port the game to Nintendo 3DS, and afterwards, we’ve been working on this for around nearly five years. When it was still just a 3DS port, we had already put a lot of effort into completely replacing the soundtrack, but for this game we’ve basically further replaced and remade many things even beyond just the soundtrack…! We worked hard to make this a Famicom game on Nintendo Switch where you can move to the rhythm of the music and the graphics.

While there are some people who knew about this project beforehand, I bet even they will still be surprised at the finished game! I really wanted to release this game no matter what, so I’m glad that we managed to do so even five years later!

Pretty surprising to see that a seemingly humble Famicom demake took so long! No specific reason for the game skipping the 3DS was given. You have to wonder if the demake took so long that releasing on 3DS wasn't viable anymore, or the 3DS version was simply cancelled until a better option came along.

Bandai Namco releasing a Famicom port of Pac-Man Championship Edition for the Namcot Collection

Oh man, this is SO damn cool

The Namcot Collection is coming to Switch in Japan on June 18th, and it lets fans of classic Namco games put together a virtual collection. You can piece together various games to play, and also display on a virtual shelf. Players will be able to pick and choose the games they want, and a very special addition was just announced today.

Bandai Namco has gone through the trouble of porting Pac-Man Championship Edition down to the Famicom, which will be based on the time-attack version from 2007. You'll need to purchase 10 different games in the Namcot Collection first, and then you'll get Pac-Man Championship Edition as a bonus. It's unclear if this game can be purchased separately.

Along with that, Bandai Namco went over some other quality of life features the Namcot Collection will include. Those new features include...

- save function that lets you suspend and resume at any time
- rewind function
- various screen formats

Thanks to Kolma for the heads up!

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