Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V Reviews

7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Maze Game

Awards: None
In the Age of Super Hero Movies, Comes a New Avenger Pros: It's Pac Man Gameplay with Interesting Caveats
Cons: Some of the Gimmicks Feel More Desperate than Innovative
But This New Avenger is more Hawkeye than Hulk...

Reviewer Note: There's a zillion Atari 7800 maze games out there in Atari land. And guess what? They are all pretty good. So these Pac Man game style reviews will be in a different format unless the game deserves special attention (like Baby Pac Man). So there you have it: This game is at least good. So let's jump in and see what makes this make title tick.

Is this game just a graphical hack of a Previous Pac Man Game? NO.

The Skinny: Super Pac Man was a gimmicky arcade game that looks like it attempted
to cash in on Pac Man fever by offering gameplay wrinkles that were completely original, and quite honestly, look kind of dumb. Like with most Pac Man games, we must clear the maze by eating nearly everything on it. But the plethora of dots have been replaced with random items that were found in the ghosts' closets: Hamburgers, birthday presents, apples, bells, clovers... ya know... a Galaxian... what have you. These tag sale items have been placed into little chutes. Keys need to be eaten to open the doors to these corridors so you can eat the items inside... because that's how sh*t works in the real world. Power pellets can be eaten like the old days, where the ghosts turn blue and run in fear, allowing you to eat them, SO DO IT. We also have these new-fangled SUPER pellets up in har. The super pellets are greenish and turn Pac Man fast and HUGE (just like those certain MAN pills I keep getting emails about). But even in the attract mode, you can see that this pellet is actually lamer than the old fashioned power pellets. Pac Man can only pass through the ghosts with this new gimmick (in my opinion, he should crush them- like your mom's butt- but he doesn't). He CAN bust down the doors like Kool Aid Man while tripping off of the super pill and that's fun. The effects of the power pellets and super pellets can even combine, but that only lasts a short while. Then Pac Man has to do his shucking and jiving "Clark Kent style" again. Avoiding physical contact, running away whimpering and peeing his invisible pants.

There seems to be only one maze lay-out in this game, but there are some neat little caveats to experience. You can activate a jackpot style game in the middle of the maze for points... not needed, but cool. And when you get to the higher levels the ghosts get faster and the keys start opening up tunnel doors on opposite sides of the maze instead of ones nearby, making things quite tricky. Included are cute little cut scenes that happen every few levels and timed bonus mazes with no ghosts, which are reminiscent of the bonus levels in Mario Brothers.

The Execution: The famed Atari 7800 programmer Bob Decrescenzo (Pac Man Plus) recently admitted to me that EVEN HE wasn't originally a huge fan of this game, but it won him over through time. He also got tag team help from the late, great Ken Siders for some of the code in the game. This legendary Atari 7800 homebrew tandem made this a programming tour de force and a very good translation of Super Pac Man. One thing I wish Bob included (like he does with later releases) was the option to have up to 5 Pac Mans... Men... Menz... instead of just 3, because I'm lame like that and I NEED it. But again, this may be a version for the maze masters. Because of the longer screen, the arcade version is easier than this 7800 port. I made it to screen 2 on the 7800 SPM the first time I played it; screen 5 on the arcade version. The amount of points needed for extra men is ridiculous... 30,000 for the first and then only one every 100,000. GTFO.

The Verdict: Not as cool as Pac Man, not as weird as Pac & Pal... quirky, but not in that sexy Baby Pac Man way, (did I just type sexy baby????) Super Pac Man should have been Pac Man's crowning moment, crushing foes underfoot like Zangief, King Kong and your mom's butt combined. Instead, the super gimmick falls kinda flat and I'm not sure if the changes are a fun deviation or if they just feel desperate. Still... it's Pac Man, so its pretty damn good. I will say this, the more I played this game, the more I liked it. Super Pac Man is a very good translation of a quirky gaming experience and it helps solidify the Atari 7800 as the king console of maze game type hoop-la.

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Atari Age for allowing the use of these screenshots for this review.