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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 'The Adventure Begins' Review

Pac-Man is what Superman is to comics, the original video game character. Predating Sonic, Mega Man, and even Mario, 'leamonball' (as pinkie in this cartoon refers to him as) is the first video game character, first appearing in the arcade classic circa 1980. The game has remained a classic, almost everyone has played it at least once. (If you haven't, go here quickly to avoid the shame!) Like Mario and Sonic, Pac-Man is an evolving character. He made the leap to 3D in Pac-Man World. He has since been passed his prime, but with this cartoon and an upcoming game people are looking forward to, the yellow ball of fury looks to be making a comeback. (And an appearance in the next Super Smash Bros. isn't too far fetched.) This show's marketing has been truly awful, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of people didn't know there's a Pac-Man cartoon currently airing. It doesn't really matter, because they're not missing much.

The story follows Pac, (whom apparently is a high school student) who accidentally releases the ghosts on Pac-World. Their leader is Betrayus, whom wishes to rule Pac-World. With the help of his friends and some berries, Pac goes on a journey into the Netherland to rescue the Tree of Life Betrayus had stolen. First off, you'll notice the show took the route of making Pac-Man a teenager. Why? It seems to be the popular thing these days, high school stories. Iron Man: Armored Adventures started this trend, and Ultimate Spider-Man is continuing it. Even the latest host of Japanese hero Ultraman will be a high school student. The second thing you'll notice is that the show is taking a comedic approach. This too seems to be the popular thing in action shows these days. Well written serious action shows like Young Justice and Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes have been replaced with Teen Titans GO! and Avengers Assemble. It's the winning approach in cartoons these days, which is hopefully a fad. Or it's a sign of the times. Now, this show isn't awful. I can't say I'll be sticking with it, but it's a decent kids cartoon.

The story is generally okay. The Pac-Man games have never been known for their expansive plots, so what we got here is good enough. Pac is just starting out as a hero, so he's basically an amatuer that likes food. The first thing you'll notice is his awful voice. Maybe it would have been best if he didn't talk at all like Kirby in his anime. His two friends, Spiral and Cylindria (the latter whom is voiced by Andrea Libman, who also does Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, I knew I recognized her!) are decent enough characters. Thankfully they don't sink down to 'comic relief sidekicks.' The antagonist, Betrayus is actually the most interesting character. His backstory with being the brother of the President of Pac-World was interesting, and he's just a blast to watch on screen

The CGI is surprisingly fantastic. The theme song is one of the best parts of the show, first starting out with the classic arcade theme then going into lyrics. I like how the show uses some of the sound effects from the original game, a very nice touch. The Ghosts, Clyde, Blinky, Pinkie, and Inky look to be main characters. The names will fly over kids' heads, but longtime fans will get a smile. But that's pretty much it for references/things older fans can enjoy, you can tell the show is pandering to its younger target audience with no intention of an older audience joining in. Such things such as the use of not one, but two burps and just the goofy atmosphere keeps the premiere from being called 'great.' I don't see it going beyond the realm of average, but who knows. At least the CGI is nice to look at.

Overall, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is off to a pretty much expected start. If you're expecting anything other than a kids show using the name of Pac-Man in a high school setting, you will be sorely disappointed. Instead, go watch the cutscenes of Pac-Man World for a more serious (and I would say better) take.


1 comment:

  1. Well, the Pac Man show has it's ups and downs. I've give it a 2.5/5 but it's decent. A fair warning is that the crude humor becomes a lot more frequent the more that the episodes go by. There's actually a whole episode that is pretty much all about it.

    I plan on sticking around with the show upon my honor as a huge Pac Man fan. Also, it still could be a lot worse. I like Pac Man as a character anyway. He makes for a decent protagonist