Quick hands-on / Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions

Namco’s always been good about keeping their classic franchises alive, and that tradition holds strong with a surprising arcade package for the 3DS. The cart will include a total of six games: Pac-Man, Galaga, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Galaga Legions, Pac-Man Tilt, and Galaga 3D Impact. The latter two are the new, 3DS exclusive titles, and thus the ones I played at E3.

Pac-Man Tilt actually plays out more like an old Sonic the Hedgehog game than anything else. You control Pac-Man’s movement and jumping, but you really get him around with the gyroscopic sensors. By tilting your 3DS, you tilt the entire game level, and thus cause Pac-Man to roll and tumble around. It takes some getting used to, but it was clear that mastering this could be pretty satisfying. Learning the ramps, controllable springs and pinball flippers, and fruit for attacking ghosts can all go toward maximum pellet consumption. I played one level, and it was good simple arcade fun.

Galaga 3D Impact was even more fun. My guide said that it’s a popular game to play in a swivel chair, and it didn’t take long to see why.  This game is fully controlled with a fire button, and gyroscopes.  To aim around, I aimed around the entire 3DS. Think of the turret sequence toward the end of the original Star Wars and you have an idea how it plays out, and where the swivel chair would really add to the immersion. Just like the arcade classic, the name of the game is shooting anything and everything for that coveted high score. To score new weapons, the game also has a tractor beam you can fire at enemies. Like Pac-Man Tilt, it’s good simple arcade fun, but also a great use of the technology powering the 3DS.

For anyone looking for a simple good time, this package seems like a very safe recommendation upon its release late next month. It’s hard to deny these classics any time of day, and Namco’s modern revisions often do their originals justice. And if you disagree… well, the originals are always there for you too.