In hindsight, I wish I had planned this out a bit better and celebrated Cinco de Mayo with a game from Mexico. Alas, I haven’t been great about checking the dates my episodes will come out. It’s something I’ve been meaning to work on. So, I guess I’ll just say here, maybe consider going and playing some Kerbal Space Program? There aren’t many games developed in Mexico (Here’s a LINK to some thoughts on why this is) but KSP is one of the few success stories. Next year!
5/5 – Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness
Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Ms Pac-Man is one of the most recognized characters in gaming history but most of the non-arcade Pac-Man games have been pretty poorly received. Let’s look at one of the more well-received games in the 3D realm, Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness. Developed and published by Namco, Mc Pac-Man Maze Madness was released on the Playstation in 2000.
Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness doesn’t stray too far from the classic arcade gameplay but evolves it in a few unique ways to fit with games of the time. Each level involves Ms Pac-Man in a maze, trying to eat dots and avoid ghosts but levels are designed with progression in mind. For example, early levels will only have two, slow-moving ghosts and many different escape paths for Ms Pac-Man to take. Plus, when enough dots have been eaten, the level doesn’t just end but a door opens that allows Ms Pac-Man to teleport to a new section of the level. Mazes also have power-pellets which function similarly to their arcade counterparts, as well as moveable blocks, exploding blocks, life power-ups, bounce-pads and teleportation squares, among many other inclusions.. Players must eat enough pellets to clear the maze.
Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness also has a full story to give context to the maze exploration. The storyline is wonderfully cheesy, involving an evil witch named Mesmerelda stealing the four gems of virtue to control the wonders of Pac-Land. Ms Pac-Man must stop Mesmerelda with the help of Professor Pac, who has been trapped in a mirror by the witch.
Along with the single-player story mode, Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness also has three multiplayer modes for four players. Dot Mania has players race to eat 80 dots, Ghost Tag has one player at a time play as Ms Pac-Man eating dots while the other players try to chase her as ghosts, and finally Da Bomb is a game of hot potato where players have to pass a bomb off to other players before it explodes. Finally, the game also comes with a full arcade version of Ms Pac-Man available from the start.
Ms Pac-Man Maze Madness received mostly positive reviews for the single-player modes. It wasn’t ground-breaking but it offered a good way to experience Pac-Man gameplay on the Playstation with a little progression and story thrown in. The multiplayer mode was not as well received due to a lack of game balance and terrible camera angles, making it difficult to see what was happening on-screen. The game was soon ported to the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast and was brought to the Game Boy Advance 4 years later as well. A sequel was planned but was cancelled before release.
Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want to hear more episodes, check out the archives on videogameoftheday.com and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.
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