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Subject: The Greatest "Classic" Love Story in Gaming - A Loki's Flying Circus Review rss

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David Hicks
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The Greatest "Classic" Love Story

The Greatest "Classic" Love Story

A Loki's Flying Circus Review


Publisher: Namco Ltd.
Developer: Midway Games Inc.

In 1980, a great warrior took to the mazes to satisfy is appetite and vanquish the ghosts that lived within. In 1982 the love of his life followed suit and did the same.

Ms. Pac-man, released by Namco in 1982, was the sequel to one of the greatest retro games ever made, Pac-man. A sequel to a game best referred to as a "phenomenon" is a risky venture at best, but one Namco pulled off with style.

The game is very simple in concept, much like Pac-man. You are to navigate a maze eating pellets and evading the ghosts - Blinky, Pinky, Sue, and Clyde. Consuming "power pellets" will cause the ghosts to be edible which will allow bonus points for consumption. As will various fruits and snacks that will dance on and off the screen. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Now, no review of Ms. Pac-man would not be complete without a comparison to the original Pac-man. Where the original Pac-man's level layout was the same the whole way through, Ms. Pac-man changes and alternates patterns. Also, the ghosts are on a semi-set pattern, versus a counter intuitive AI setup, for good and for bad. While it gives it a memorization level, the game is easier because of this. The game is also faster than Pac-man. To end the comparison in terms of feel, Ms. Pac-man is really just a more "refined" version of Pac-man.

While I feel this is a great game, it definitely has an Achilles Heel. The memory allocation to the game by Namco has been flawed since 1982. The game will glitch unplayable ("kill screen") just like many others did back then like Pac-man and Donkey Kong. But this one glitches out potentially earlier. Being anywhere from screen 134 to 256.

But in the end, it is a great game, just like its predecessor and Pac-man and Ms Pac-man are married in the end, and are even visited by the stork.

The first great love story in gaming.

Now for my Five Points:

Concept/Story: I have to give this game a negative in the story department. But I won't be to hard on it, because story was never its bag, nor was it intended to be

Graphics: I have to judge the graphics by 1982's value. It was neither good or bad. While it did make improvements over Pac-man in terms of color and sprite movement, there were games doing it better in 1982, but not many

Audio: Once again, not a Pac-man forte. But there still is an infectious memory retained for the start theme and the waa-waa-waa-waa chomping sound effect that is still clearly identified with today.

Gameplay/Input: Now you are to the meat of the game. Fun repetitive gameplay that is celebrated in its welcomed repetitiveness. This game set a new high standard in arcade play back in the day that has not been surpassed by many for me. The controls were at the time the most sensitive out there. Ms. Pac-man took corners and changed direction like Pac-man only wished he could.

Replay: This isn't even worth commenting on. The Pac-man series' replayabilty speaks for its self. Generating billions of dollars of quarters from 1980 to 1990 and beyond.

Overall - 7

Loki's Flying Circus

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Michael Sieffert
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Still a classic. One of those games from my childhood that will always have a place in my gaming heart. I don't think I will ever tire of this game.
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