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On a bright shiny day in Pac-Land, Pac-Man joyfully headed home to celebrate two decades as a video game icon. He arrived at his humble abode to discover quite a surprise — but not the pleasant type he was expecting! Unfortunately, just prior to the planned shindig, an evil mechanical Pac-wannabe named Toc-Man kidnapped all of his friends and family. Now it's up to our chomp-happy yellow hero to save them as he ventures to the dangerous Ghost Island.
Unlike previous Pac-games, Pac-Man World is a 3D platform adventure in which our hero progresses through over 20 levels of action. However, he still faces the opposition of ghosts like Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Clyde, but he must also run, jump, and swim his way past other malevolent creatures such as skeletons, spiders, and killer fish.
In order to combat the enemies, Pac-Man has a variety of attack methods. Excluding ghosts, most baddies are susceptible to thrown Pac-Dots, his new Ultra Butt-Bounce (which also helps him jump higher) or the Rev Roll, a speed burst allowing Pac-Man to make lengthy jumps off of ramps. When disposing of ghosts though, he must first ingest a good old-fashioned Power Pellet and devour them before its effects wear off.
Pac-Man World's levels are found within six areas, each with a powerful boss at the end. The first three can be accessed at any time, and the rest become available once the bosses are defeated. Successful navigation through a level requires the avoidance or destruction of the obstacles and enemies in your way as well as the activation of a variety of switches. There are also several secrets to be uncovered, many of which require a piece of fruit to open a door. Here, goodies such as letters (spelling out P-A-C-M-A-N yields a bonus round) and Power Pellets can be collected.
Grab a Galaxian and gain access to a 3D maze bonus game similar to the classic that made Pac-Man a household name. Besides being in 3D and featuring the theme of the area with which they are associated, the mazes also contain extra obstacles that may hinder Pac-Man's progress sporadically. The 3D mazes can be played outside of the quest, but only 18 of the 36 are initially available (the others unlocked as you access them with the Galaxians). The classic 1980 arcade version of Pac-Man is also included, now enhanced to rattle your Dual Shock whenever you meet your demise.
Unfortunately, it seems as though all of those whom Pac-Man loves are poised to meet their demise as well. Will they (and Pac-Man) celebrate his birthday in peace or in pieces? It's all up to you in Pac-Man World 20th Anniversary. ~ Christopher Michael Baker, All Game Guide