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SCORES EXPLAINED:

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: 5th Best 7800 Game

5th Best Homebrew

Genre: Maze Game

Awards: The 2007 Value Shopper Double High Five "Bang for That Buck" Award
You Can Finally Play Pac Man on the 7800, Yo! Pros: Incredible Value, Over a Hundred Game Variations
Cons: Makes a Few of My Game Carts Obsolete
Or Some Bastard Variation of Your Own Design!


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: If you own an Atari 7800, buy homebrews and you like Pac-Man maze games, you are probably in hog heaven. Back in the early 2000s, Bob Decrescenzo (Pac Man Plus) pooped out, ewww, I mean popped out 7800 hacks of Ms. Pac-Man like crazy. They have all been very good, but let's face it... he basically was tweaking an already excellent game engine to produce similar good games.
Those hacks were better than 99.99% of the population could do, but in 2007 I felt a little Pac-Hacked out, honestly. But the arrival of Pac Man Collection slapped me in the face and awakened me to my senses. This package is incredible. Not only does it feature several rare and obscure Pac Man-style games that have been released over the years... it features a few that haven't been. Oh yeah, every game is customizable, too. By now it should be obvious... Bob owns your azz. If you are a Pac Man fan and an Atari 7800 nut, this is the only maze game you'll really need.

Graphics & Sound: As with Bob's other early hacks, this game's graphics and sound are pretty much taken from or borrows from the Atari 7800 Ms. Pac-Man game. And... that is a good thing. What is noticeably different in this cart is the easy to navigate menu. Did you groan when you read there was over 100 variations inside, remembering your youth when you had to press select a blue million times while playing the 2600 versions of Space Invaders or Maze Craze? Well, relax my fragile orchid, everything is self contained in one easy to navigate menu. It's simply amazing.

What You get: There is no need to reiterate what Pac Man is about or how the Atari 7800 Proline controller may be a little stiff for your liking with these type games. If you need to catch up with the rest of us, knock yourself out with our Ms. Pac-Man Review. For everyone else, here is what you get with the Pac Man Collection:

***Pac Man (The original maze game. Features one maze)
***Puck Man (Known in the arcades as New Puck-X. Weird. Features one slightly harder maze than the original)
***Hangly Man (2 mazes, featuring either disappearing walls or no inner walls)
***Ultra Pac Man (Has six mazes!!!)
***Ms. Pac Man (hubba hubba)
***Ms. Pac Attack (features more difficult mazes)
***Random Mazes (New game. Suffer through 21 random mazes!!!)
***Ms. Random Mazes (New game. Same as above, but with more lipstick and the fruit moves)

I feel like I'm on an infomercial, but let me say it: "BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!" Every game you select can be turned into a "Plus" version of the title you select (Remember Pac Man Plus?). This basically converts the game of choice into more of a Vietnam flashback... sometimes one ghost won't turn blue when Pac Man eats an energizer, or the maze randomly turns invisible. Another nice feature in this collection is that there are three options concerning game speed: Fast, Slow, and Button. Fast and Slow are obvious, but Button mode is quite interesting. When you press the button, the game moves at a faster pace. Getting caught in a jam? De-press the button for the Prosystem's version of "Matrix Mode!" Okay, the game doesn't move in slow motion, but the option to slow it down to regular speed can help you in a pinch. I should also mention that Pac Man Collection is different than the Ms. Pac-Man original in a very interesting way. When Pac Man eats dots, he slows down, making him very susceptible to ghosts chasing him from behind. That's a neat twist, but it sucks for me because I suck at these games to begin with.

Best Variation: All of this is well and good, but the variation that may keep you coming back is the never released "Random Mazes" option. Think about it: Switch from a Ms. Pac Man maze to the original, then into one that disappears, then into one that you have never played before. Look at the zig-zaggy, pink one. Man, that's crazy! The replay value of this is incredible. 21 mazes, fools! That's Black Jack! The best thing for 7800 owners is that we and we alone are the ones that can enjoy this version of Pac Man. Pimp-slap Mr. PS5 in the face and tell him that the 7800 owns his mom.

Overall: To call Pac Man Collection just a hack is criminal because this game offers so much more than Ms. Pac-Man does. If you are a fan of Pac Man style games, what in the heck are you waiting for!?!? This is the definitive maze game collection for ANY game system! Hell, I can't even deduct points for not including that weird Super Pac Man thing, because Bob had the good sense to leave it out. I really can't find a flaw anywhere. I thought about deducting points for not mentioning my name anywhere in the game, but that's not fair. I throw up my hands! I don't like giving out perfect scores, but I have no choice! Congrats Bob! Another perfect Score!!!

Other info: ***Want Pac Man Collection? Sure you do! Buy it here, where it is the best selling homebrew for any Atari system: Atari Age Store: Pac-Man Collection

***Bob has finished a new Pac Man Collection in 2020/2021, entitled "Pac Man Collection 40th Anniversary Edition XM" that has been delayed with the hot mess that was the XM module. This features near arcade perfect coding and superior graphics and sound. Keep an eye for it!

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