Pac-Man helped revolutionize arcades, as players spent millions to enjoy addictive ghost gobbling. Party game Pac-Man Battle Royale follows in franchise tradition, but this time, pits four players against one another in a winner-take-all fight to the finish.
The game recently found its way to the home market as part of Namco Bandai's Pac-Man Museum compilation, available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. To prepare you for the all-out craziness, we produced helpful tips that will have you dominating the maze like a champ.
Always Think Ahead
If you played the original Pac-Man, then you probably have a good idea how fast and frantic things get. That's the case with Battle Royale, as each round speeds up as the match goes on. After the first minute, the ghosts, released from the cage in the center of the maze pick up speed and hunt you and your friends. Watch their patterns and stay out of their way, unless you pick up a power pellet.
At first, the mazes are small and frantic, as you only have so much room to run around. However, as they expand, you'll find a safe spot and plan your next strategy. Don't stay still for too long – the ghosts will eventually try and catch up, and you'll need to get moving again.
Chase for the Pellet – Otherwise, Run
Watch out for the power pellets. These slightly larger dots let you turn the tables on both the opposing ghosts and your fellow players. It doubles your size, allowing you to eat anything in your path.
These dots appear at random, so if you see one on the play field, there are two things you can do. If you're nearby a power pellet, snag it before someone else does. Doing this increases your size and makes opponents easy pickings. In addition, it allows you to munch ghosts that would otherwise take you out. Don't worry about scoring. Take the opportunity to eat and run.
However, if you see a pellet and realize that a friend is about to snag it – stay away from the area. They'll increase in size and have the chance to eat you. Stay far enough away and run down a different path. Being stuck on a straightaway will make you an easy target.
Bump Like Crazy
Another technique you'll want to utilize in Battle Royale is the bump. When you and a fellow player are the same size and collide, neither of you will lose a life. Instead, you'll bump backwards from the collision. This is not only a good equalizer, but also a great technique to use to your advantage.
For example, if you see rivals and ghosts in the same area of your play field, you can actually bump them into each other, causing them to be eaten. A good technique to master is reading a ghost's position in the maze and then sizing up a player in the vicinity for the bump.
The bump usually sends you in the opposite direction of where you were headed, not particularly where you were facing. For instance, if you're facing ahead in the maze and someone bumps you from behind, you'll travel forward. Momentum is everything, so master where you can bump your fellow Pac-Men and send them to their demise – or, at the very least, away from the power pellets you're trying to eat.
Always Play Against Other People
The key to Pac-Man Battle Royale is having four players join in at once. You have the option to play against a computer-controlled Pac-Man character (in case you need to practice), but the real fun comes from quickly outwitting the three remaining players to be the last player standing.
Battle Royale doesn't have online play in the home versions, sadly, but if you have four controllers, you have no excuse when it comes to setting up a local match. It's more fun, especially when it comes to attempting to win the most matches in the five offered.
Winning is Great, but it’s Ok to Lose
Keep in mind that even though the game is a best-of-five affair, Pac-Man Battle Royale still rewards you for your efforts following a loss. Awards are handed out at the end of the match to show where you excelled the most, whether it was staying alive for the longest time in a match or eating the most ghosts. They may not be unlockable Achievements or Trophies, per se, but it's nice to have some form of reward than none at all.
Pac-Man Museum is available now on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.