Jump to content

Does Pac-Man Have A Place In Modern Gaming?


Recommended Posts

DOES PAC-MAN HAVE A PLACE IN MODERN GAMING?

 

http://equityarcade.com/2016/04/23/does-pac-man-have-a-place-in-modern-gaming/

 

 

On a certain level, we all have a fondness for the games of our youth. Who among us can’t remember our time in the video arcades of the eighties and nineties, whether in a shopping mall, at a miniature golf course, part of a bowling alley, or anywhere else, playing the games that would one day become classics. Galaga, Dig Dug, and of course, the Pacs, both Ms. Pac-Man and the regular Pac-Man. While these games may seem woefully out of date by today’s standards, there’s a body of evidence that suggests that these old games still have a place in the gaming universe.

 

Perhaps the greatest evidence for this was the plan to release a title called theArcade Game Series 3-in-1 Pack. Released on April 20, it contains three of the greatest Bandai Namco classic games of our era in Dig Dug, Galaga and Pac-Man. This may sound unusual, given that this combined package will be coming out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4; this represents a huge mismatch between system capability and program requirements that’s as ludicrous as trying to play Crysis on a 386, just in a different direction. As Dave Barry put it in his book Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys, running such a program would leave such a system “…bored to death, passing the time between keystrokes via brain-teaser activities such as developing a Unified Field Theory of the universe and translating the complete works of Shakespeare into rap.”

 

Yet in the end, this doesn’t matter much. One of the first questions commonly asked whenever a new console emerges is about backward compatibility. Microsoft’s work with backward compatibility, for example, has garnered praise from Forbes to Windows Central. Windows Central detailed how the work with backward compatibility will change the nature of the console argument, going from “the Xbox One can’t do 1080p” to “the PS4 can’t play my Xbox 360 games”. Windows Central also noted the backward compatibility efforts staged by Sony, discussing the PlayStation Now service that offered streaming access for digital titles already owned, describing it as “expensive.”

 

Forbes, meanwhile, described the reversal of fortune posed by Microsoft’s announcement of backward compatibility, detailing how Sony had won the public perception battle with E3 2013 and the masterstroke that was the Official PlayStation Used Game Instructional Video, yet lost a lot of the momentum it started up with when Microsoft brought out the backward compatibility that put Sony’s to shame. While it wasn’t enough to pull Microsoft ahead of Sony in terms of sales—as the results of month after month of sales show—it was enough to give Microsoft at least a decent showing in the field and keep it viable going into the approaching next generation. Microsoft’s backward compatibility isn’t remaining static, either; a report from November 2015’s Attack of the Fanboy notes that new games would be announced on a monthly basis for Xbox One backward compatibility, a goal that seems to be kept up so far.

 

But was does this have to do with Pac-Man? Essentially, it proves that there is always some level of interest in the previous generation—previous generations—of games. That interest might best be expressed in terms of dollar value; look at the prices on Dreamcast games. I personally have several such games myself, having purchased them inexpensively as used games. The current prices on said games are sometimes wildly more than the original price tags suggest.

 

A look at Price Charting, and a look at some of the old game cases with price tags intact shows the dichotomy at work. For instance, a copy of Timestalkers went for $7.99 used, yet sells between $16.07 and $21.79, nearly three times its original used value.  More notably, a copy of Illbleed went for $12.99 used, yet Price Charting notes a price range between $59.99 and $150.00, about five to 11 times its used price. This demonstrates a clear value for games that are in some cases over 15 years old and implies further value beyond.

 

People have a vested interest in keeping their game collections up and running when a new console generation emerges. Whether it’s out of a desire for maximum value—who wants to decommission a collection that may have been valued at hundreds of dollars just because a new console arrives—or just a desire to keep those old favorites near and dear, backward compatibility is a trait that’s been a value point for some time. With a clear value apparent for not only recent games but also older games, we can see that there is indeed value in the console for Pac-Man and the rest of her ilk. It’s easy to brush aside the games of the past, suggesting there’s no fun left to be had when the graphics are primitive, but the gameplay elements remain. Roaming the isles of Morrowind doesn’t stop being fun just because OblivionSkyrim, or anything else came out. We enjoy our games today, and we continue to enjoy the games we enjoyed so long ago.

 

There is still value in having Pac-Man on consoles. Those who found her particular brand of gameplay fun won’t stop doing so just because the console generation changes. Giving those who enjoyed a certain breed of gameplay an opportunity to continue doing so represents clear value, whether it’s paying huge prices for Dreamcast games or just downloading an old title one more time.

 

:pac_man:  :pac_man:  :pac_man: 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm less concerned with backward compatibility than I am playability. If an old concept or game mechanic can be expanded upon using the current generation hardware, I'm all for it. With regards to Pac Man, look at the success that Pac Man Championship Ed. DX had in the previous gen. 4p Pac would be a great online experience. The play mechanic works whatever the hardware. Along those same lines, this is what keeps Nintendo going through various iterations of Mario, Samus and Link. And because I'm a Jaguar fiend, Tempest 2K, Defender 2K, Breakout 2K and Missile Command 3D were all fine leaps forward.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm less concerned with backward compatibility than I am playability. If an old concept or game mechanic can be expanded upon using the current generation hardware, I'm all for it. With regards to Pac Man, look at the success that Pac Man Championship Ed. DX had in the previous gen. 4p Pac would be a great online experience. The play mechanic works whatever the hardware. Along those same lines, this is what keeps Nintendo going through various iterations of Mario, Samus and Link. And because I'm a Jaguar fiend, Tempest 2K, Defender 2K, Breakout 2K and Missile Command 3D were all fine leaps forward.

If this is the 360 enhanced arcade version you're speaking of, I love it. The last time I played Pac-Man, a few weeks ago, I felt like it was too slow after many boards and wanted the speed and upbeat pulsating music found in the 360 arcade version.

 

Nice writeup, Arenafoot!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...