Title: Ms Pacman Maze Madness   Developer: Namco   Type: Platform Kids
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Ms Pacman Maze Madness
"The ghostly game that first made 'gobbling' a fashionable event is back to haunt us one again, only this time Ms. Pac-Man (isn't that a contradiction?) enters a whole new dimension as dot-munching goes 3D in this a-maze-ing game. "
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PSone REVIEW:
 
I cannot believe that anyone under the age of 5 yrs wouldn\'t have heard of the original Pac-Man so I\'ll refrain from delving into the past and just say that this extra-dimensional environment takes the yellow munchkin up to a whole new gaming platform.

Before moving onto Maze Madness I\'ll run through a few of those \'little extras\', which some of you may be find more intriguing than the main game. Yep, the original Pac-man game is there in all its aging glory and amazingly still proves to be as highly addictive as ever. The objective still involves racing around a flat 2D maze, gobbling up all the dots in front of you before those ghostly apparitions can get their grubby hands on you. Little dots rack up the score, while bigger dots allows the hunted to momentarily become hunter.

As a bonus to all you retro pack\'ers there is also a wonderful series of multiplayer games set in a selection of 3D mini-mazes. Up to four human players may take part in a manic battle to become the ultimate gobbler throughout three separate games packed with power-ups; Dot Mania (first to eat 80 dots wins), Ghost Tag (play as a ghost, tag a Pac-Person and try to eat 50 dots before you are tagged), Da Bomb (do not be the one left holding the bomb when the timer reaches zero).

Of course if all you were interested in was the original Pac-Man game and a few bonus sub-games then I don\'t think you\'ll be shelling out full price for Maze Madness, however don\'t disappear, as the main game is actually quite good.

Even though it\'s now set in a 3D world Ms. Pac-Man remains confined to rails, meaning she cannot actually go anywhere except through the narrow paths of the maze. Where things do get a bit more interesting is the puzzle element involved in working out how to reach bonus fruit nesting on higher platforms or even how to unlock the exit and move onto the next stage. Teleporters, dynamite, springs, giant ice cubes, keys and sliding blocks are just a few of the interactive objects used to pass over a series of hazards, pits and traps that litter the route forward. For example, to pass over an open pit a large immovable rock must first be blown up with TNT to reveal a sliding block. This is then pushed around the maze and dropped into the hole. It\'s all pretty lateral and non-too taxing on the old gray matter, but events do prove a little trickier when there\'s a few ghosts on your case. A gold star is awarded for each completed level, while a time trial mode adds longevity to each zone.

Graphically Maze Madness is a tidy little game in a cute sort of way. The themed level designs are all bright, colorful and solid with many little animations and effects constantly catching the eye. Apart from the wide range of chasing enemies (mummies, pharaohs and yes… plenty of ghosts) rock throwing ogres, fire breathing statues and caterpillars wearing hob-nail boots all add to the appearance and further the challenge. All along you are constantly aware of the bright and breezy tunes that shroud over the hypnotic \'wah,wah\' of your Pac-Person gobbling up dots.

FEATURES:
 
With over 180 mazes and a myriad of puzzles, Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness offers endless exciting gameplay.

4 Mystical Worlds to explore

The first region is called Cleo\'pac\'tra where The Gem of Generosity must be located. This is divided into three separate stages: Cleopactra, Mummy Dearest and Temple of Dots.

The second region takes you to the icy caverns of Crystal Caves in search of the Gem of Truth.

Next it\'s onto the mysterious land of Pac Ping Harbor to seek out the Gem of Wisdom. Apart from the main level this region comprises of Year of the Pac, Pac Crackle Pop and a bonus round Pier Pressure.

It all ends at Haunted Halloween to rummage around for The Gem of Courage and includes a Boss stage, Gobblin.

Players can enjoy the game solo, chilling to its hypnotic grooves and mesmerizing state-of-the-art 3D graphics.

Multi-player mode, Maze Madness pumps up the volume by allowing up to 4 players to engage in a variety of games.

OPTIONS:
 
• 1 Disk(s)
• CD Media
• 1 Block required on Memory card per save (min)
• Up to 2 Players (without Multi-tap)
• 4 way split screen multi-player option
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Buttons
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Analog Sticks
• Uses Dual Shock Pad Vibration facility

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Review SUMMARY and SCORE
Martin  "Very much in the mould of the original Ms Pac-man game except now she has been released into a 3D environment. Yeah, there are still loads of yellow dots and ghost catching power-ups to gobble up but the emphasis is more on working out how to escape from the maze environments using the objects scattered around. With the retro Pac-man game also included there should be something in this for all ages… just don\'t expect to suffer from brain-drain. Gobble... Gobble... Gobble..."
Graphics  15/20
Playability  40/50
Sound  7/10
Lastability  12/20
74%
This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.
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REVIEW SCORE GUIDE:

OUR PLEDGE:

We promise that we have fully played 'Ms Pacman Maze Madness' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.

SUMMARY OF FINAL RATING (%)

00 - 59 This makes your console seem like an older machine. It utilises little or none of the PSone power.

60 - 69 This game is little more than average and we advise renting or play-testing before considering a purchase.

70 - 79 This is a good solid title that should still appeal to those who like this type of game.

80 - 89 This is a fantastic game that we think you will enjoy playing for quite some time.

90 - 100 This game either pushes the boundaries of it's genre further than ever before on this system, or creates a completely new gaming experience. Either way, it should not be missed and is an essential purchase in our opinion.

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ:

It is very important that you are aware that the criteria we use to obtain review scores on the PS2 is very different to that used for games on the original Playstation (PSone). The Processing and Graphical power of the two consoles are vastly different and as our reviews are graded against what we estimate is the achievable potential of each system, it does not mean in any way that a game scoring 80 percent on PS2 is worse than a Playstation (PSone) equivalent which scores 95.

A more detailed breakdown of this guide can be read here.


READERS REVIEWS:


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