Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pac-Land

What. The. Hell.

A classic game that I remember from my childhood. A classically confusing game. Nothing in this game makes sense.

The first thing that struck me when I fired up Pac-Land for the NES was the so-called publisher's logo. It must have been a very long time ago, because I don't recall any company by the name:

NAMCOT

In case it isn't obvious, that's "NAMCO" with a 'T' tacked onto the end. Couple that with the "Pac" in Pac-Land, and that's classic IP stealing right there. (Update: Apparently, NAMCOT is a legitimate alternative name to NAMCO. See the comments.) That doesn't bother me too much, but it's always symptomatic of something far worse.

The gameplay. What's this thing supposed to be about? There's no mazes, no dots to collect, and apparently the only aim is to go from left to right, or from right to left. There's ghosts, and there's Pac-Man (even if he is adorned with a hat, for whatever reason), and that's about as far as the Pac-resemblance goes.

Here are the controls: A goes right, B goes left, and any press of the D-pad causes that yellow thing you're controlling to jump. What the hell. How can you screw up controls on the friggin' NES? There's only four buttons and a D-pad. The only way you could possibly screw this up is if you never saw what a NES controller looked like. Or if the "creators" hacked this abomination of a title out of something else, which would lead one to wonder how the original creators screwed it up.

It's so hilariously bad that it's good for five-minute time-wasting runs. If this wasn't on the NES, I would have no reason to play this. And yet since it is, I'm rather curious as to what happens at the end.

If there is an end.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Namcot is a legit alternate name for Namco they used for awhile, mostly in Japan. Why, exactly, I have no idea and the internet offers little in the way of explanation for it.

tunginobi said...

I would have never guessed that. Still, I can't imagine what they were smoking when they came up with the control scheme, which is the single biggest problem with the game.

Then again, it doesn't matter that much anyway. Seems like a coffee-break game, which is good enough for me.