Pac-Man Pinball Advance

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Pac-Man Pinball Advance
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*Insert Pac-Man death sound here*
Protagonist: Pac-Man
Genre: Pinball
Platforms: Game Boy Advance
Release Date: NA: May 2, 2005
EU: August 19, 2005
Developer: Human Soft
Publisher: NA: Namco
EU: Zoo Digital Publishing
Made in: Hungary
Franchise: Pac-Man
Next Game: Super Pac-Man Pinball (cancelled)


Pac-Man Pinball Advance is a pinball video game developed by Human Soft and published by Namco in North America and Zoo Digital Publishing in Europe for the Game Boy Advance. This is a pinball game that incorporates themes from the Pac-Man franchise such the pellets and ghosts.

Plot

It focuses on the four ghosts kidnapping all the residents of Pac-Land. The game here allows the plot to be secondary as it is used to explain why Pac-Man is on a pinball table.

Why It Sucks

  1. Generic title screen. It's only a white screen and the logo.
  2. While the cutscenes are reasonable due to the GBA limitations, they are just images with text except only somewhat different. What's worse is that not only does it look pretty ugly for GBA standards, but the models for the characters look uncanny when you look at how Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man look like in the cutscenes. Even Mario vs. Donkey Kong had passible looking cutscenes than this.
  3. The graphics are pretty sub-par. Even for a Pac-Man game. The pinball tables look bland and uninspiring. The cutscenes look like they were made from a basic 3D software or a bad CGI Movie (especially the characters in the cutscenes).
  4. Some of the animations look pretty stiff like the ghosts or whenever Pac-Man appears on the board.
  5. For some reason there isn't a high score table which makes the pinball game feel incomplete. What kind of pinball game does not have a high score table? Would a pinball game be called a pinball game if it does not have a high score table?
    • Also speaking of that, the back cover said that you can set your high score. However, the high score table does not exist in the game making this false advertising.
  6. This game is just bland and repetitive as it's only a game that feels pretty limited. All you just do is play a pinball game that does not have the charm of an actual pinball game. It's obviously the way this game portrays pinball alone.
  7. Some of the items in the game are extremely expensive. You have to keep getting the dots in order to buy what you want. For example, the extra life costs like 500 dots and the Ball Saver costs like 50 dots.
  8. The difficulty is unfair as you got to rescue the kidnapped Pac-Residents yet you then realize that the task is just too insane. they appear to just spawn randomly, and very infrequently, and begin roaming around on the playfield.
  9. There isn't any saves or continues as you have to rescue them in one lengthy sitting. You know how tiresome it can be just to try to free fictional characters in a pinball game? That makes the game itself look more like a poor job.
  10. The pinball physics are unbearable. The flippers felt weak and the aiming is hard to do so. It's like the pinball machine is broken or Pac-Man himself is lazy.
  11. The pinball tables here almost feel the same with some minor differences and design changes.
  12. The camera focuses too much on Pac-Man which makes the player have a hard time to see the whole board at any given time. This makes it hard to make some gauging hits and lead to confusion to where you want Pac-Man to go.
  13. The tutorial does not help that much. What are you going to do? It's like the tutorial is making the player play until boredom.
  14. The story is pretty off as it implies that you have to rescue characters, but you then start to notice that there isn't a definitive objective in order to save them.
  15. The music is mostly repetitive and simplistic. Even some songs don't fit well.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. A few parts of the game do have some nice or decent sprites.
  2. Decent soundtrack for some songs.

Reception

Pac-Man Pinball Advance got mixed reviews from critics who thought that there was a lack of content, physics, and mostly sub-par graphics. It got a 52/100 and 50.40% on Metacritic and GameRankings.

Trivia

  • A sequel titled Super Pac-Man Pinball was going to be developed by Rubik Interactive (now Zen Studios) for the Nintendo DS and was scheduled for fall 2005. The reasons for the cancellation is unknown. Though, the true reason why the sequel got cancelled could be because of the negative ratings the prequel had.

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