Pac-Man Championship Edition is not a new game. In fact its first appearance was on the Xbox Live Arcade back in June 2007. Developed by the original Pac-Man creator, Tōru Iwatani.

This is a straight PSN port. No added bonuses or anything after all this time, which is a little insulting. I’ve already bought the game twice before; first on 360, later on iPhone. I love me some Pac-Man.

Firstly this is a PlayStation Mini, so it’s a small file size, 21MB. But this comes at a cost. It’s 38.9MB on the Xbox 360. I know this is just comparing numbers. But once you boot it up on your PS3 you’ll know that this didn’t have the PS3 in mind. Even though it supports play on the PS3, it really is just meant for the PSP.

The game takes up the middle of the screen, with black bars above and below as if you’re watching a widescreen movie on an unsuitable screen. I also doubt that it’s in HD.

Being the lucky owner of both a PS3 and PSP, I gave the handheld a test drive. And it does fit the PSP screen rather snugly. I think I prefer the d-pad over the iPhone’s touch screen for more precise control. Which makes the PSP version infinitely more playable. But judging by how often I pull out my PSP from hibernation, I doubt that’s going to happen anytime soon.

The gameplay is still the same addictive Pac-Man fun from 3 & a 1/2 years ago. Ridiculously frustrating fun I might add. Knocking off 9 minutes on the clock only to turn a wrong corner and get your last life snuffed out by a ghost. It’s controller-throwing material.

This Mini is coinciding with the release of Pac Man Championship Edition DX. I don’t know why Namco waited this long. Perhaps it was a timed exclusive for Microsoft, who knows? DX is a great game, well… the trial’s great anyway. And playing it right after CE you can notice the difference immediately. The overall presentation is much better in DX. CE’s menus and layout feel dated. DX is the more fresh and colourful younger brother. And new gameplay to boot.

Closing Comments

It all just feels like Namco are a little too late to the party. It’s mainly there for those PSP owners who want to take Pac-Man out on the road, err… public transport. After such a long time and without any extra additions it’s just not an exciting release.

Most of us console owners have already experienced Championship Edition, and are ready to try DX. The only good thing about CE on PSN is its price at $8.45. But honestly you’re probably better off putting another $10 in and buying DX instead.

Released 23/11/10 on PSN for $8.45.

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