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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

You Know What? Pac-Man Still Sucks.

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Look at this article date. Published AFTER Smash 4 came out.

You know when someone does something really unpleasing? You know, like when Facebook changes its layout once a month? (A month? Well, guess that means I missed whatever three new things they've done!) YouTube does that a whole bunch too. But most people eventually suck it up, move on, and accept it (while sticking with the unpleasing institution). "Hey, it didn't kill you. You can roll with the punches!"

YouTube in October 29 of 2012.

This does not apply to Pac-Man's presence in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. 4. Pac-Man is still, without a doubt, a disaster. He is just as disgusting as he was when first announced IN PRIVATE. Everything he has brought to both Super Smash Bros. For 3DS and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U is just frighteningly bad: More frightening than the Pac-Man ghosts themselves! Before, our insistence he not be in was just from not wanting that entitled Namco pizza in the game because Namco was making it... but... there is more than that now that it's out.

I'll explain everything, don't you worry. With sub-headings, too. That's a level of sophistication you usually don't see from KoopaTV!

Pac-Man's Play Style

While Health's guest post declared Pac-Man's play style as very interesting, I beg to differ.

Let's start by his move variety. His aerials (forward, back, up, and down) are all just kicks, as is his forward-tilt. I mean, he can't really do much else by design. His neutral aerial is him spinning around in his original pizza-shape form. He also reverts to his shape for his dash attack and his down-tilt, along with his side-b. His side-b and dash attack are basically the same, except his side-b follows a Power Pellet trail and can be used as recovery.

Pac-Man's B and Down-B moves are just him throwing things, whether it be "classic" Namco items (including a Galaga ship?) or a fire hydrant from the dreadful Pac-Land. You are already scratching the bottom of the pizza box when you have to take inspiration from franchises that you don't even belong to!  No other character in the series does that except for Villager, but hey, the Animal Crossing series does feature balloons (and an NES emulation of Balloon Fight) and does feature boxing in both an NES emulation of Punch-Out!! and a boxing-themed set of furniture. Pac-Man's grab also uses the Galaga tractor beam for some reason.

It's just incredibly lazy to have a moveset of throwing things. It's one thing for Link to throw bombs and boomerangs because he does that in his own games, but Pac-Man's franchise — to my limited knowledge — never has him throwing fruits, keys, fire hydrants, or Galaga ships.

Pac-Man's Smash attacks are all him lobbing ghosts at you to the side, up, or two below in typical Down-Smash fashion. Captain Olimar does this with his Pikmin too, but the Pikmin also benefit from unique mechanics. The ghosts are always the same.

Meanwhile, Pac-Man's Up-B is a trampoline. ...You know, Sonic and Mega Man also already use trampolines (Mega Man's is the "Rush Coil" though). All three third-party characters in Smash 4 have trampoline recoveries! Mega Man's custom moves allow him to use a tornado or Beat, however. (Beat almost got in our videogame birds showcase. Just some behind-the-scenes information.)

Pac-Man's entire moveset wreaks of mediocrity and desperation. You can argue that one of my favourite characters, Jigglypuff, also has the same kicks and such that Pac-Man has to employ. Jigglypuff's kicks are done deliberately to work in conjunction with her other moves and with all of her jumps. Pac-Man's are there because he can't do anything else. He's a hodgepodge of random shit thrown together (and thrown out). And we really should not be comparing the basic movesets from Super Smash Bros. 64 to Super Smash Bros. 4: The characters' moves have been getting more diverse and more creative as the series goes on, but Pac-Man is stuck in the past: The 1980s. The other new characters in Smash 4 have a creative gameplay gimmick to them, except Pac-Man.

Is Pac-Man a gluten free pizza? Super Smash Bros. For Wii U
Gobble him up and crap him out.

Pac-Man's Stages

Pac-Man's two stages are his classic maze in the 3DS version, and the disgusting, revolting Pac-Land stage in the Wii U version. The Wii U version's stage is one of the very few bad stages in the game, and the first thing I did when I got Random Stage Select was to turn it off. It's almost not worth ever trying Smash Tour.

The music is awful, and the visuals are from Microsoft Paint. It's a disgusting side-scrolling nightmare that is not fun at all, and only detracts from the game.

The maze stage in the 3DS version makes it feel like my 3DS is experiencing slow-down whenever a character is activating a Power Pellet. That is not a good feeling, and I am shamed that it shares the same colour scheme as Donkey Kong Jr. Math.

Pac-Man's Items

There is the Special Flag and Boss Galaga. Both of these are bad.

Boss Galaga is one of the worst new items in the games (along with Gust Bellows), and this is right after they removed the game-breaking Fan. Boss Galaga flies, swoops in, and abducts you. You can't do much about it if you're at a high %. Boss Galaga features prominently as a Smash Tour battle (where it's the only item on High) and in a Super Smash Bros. For Wii U event match featuring Peach getting kidnapped. Bad, bad item, and it's sort of redundant with the Beetle, too. As usual, Pac-Man's series fails to do anything original in Super Smash Bros 4. ...And it's not even from Pac-Man's series.

Then there is the Special Flag, which actually is interesting but I still have it turned off for when I do have items on. If you hold it for long enough, you get +1 stock or +1 KO if you're in Time for some reason. (What happens in Coin matches? Who knows!) This does allow for some made-up game modes such as "Capture the Flag", but does it really have to be from Pac-Man? There are all sorts of franchises with flags, notably Super Mario Bros.. The item is pretty much overpowered, which is not how I like my items.

Of course, can we really credit this as a Pac-Man item (it's not from Pac-Man but Namco)? The flag is also in Star Fox Assault!

Pac-Man's Popularity

Pac-Man is still unpopular among the Nintendo fanbase (the logic behind Smash being a game for Nintendo fans and Pac-Man not being liked among that fanbase is in previous articles). How can I come to that conclusion? I point to the Super Smash Bros. For 3DS Conquest from October 20 to October 24, 2014, as the only real point of data we have. It was "Spherical Skirmish" and between Kirby (very beloved among Nintendo fans) and Pac-Man. You can see it as a versus match between Sakurai and Namco, if you wish.

Actually, you can see Pac-Man as a representation of Shigeru Miyamoto. It turns out that Pac-Man being in the game at all is entirely Miyamoto's idea. Just another bad idea from Miyamoto to join the laundry list already here. Pac-Man apparently represents all of what Miyamoto wants: A poorly designed mess that has no real characterization of his own, just like what Miyamoto did to Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Pac-Man, after all, is Miyamoto's favourite videogame character.

So, Miyamoto vs. Sakurai, a theme we have wrote about on KoopaTV before. Here are the results:
  • Worldwide: Kirby 72%; Pac-Man 28%
  • Americas: Kirby 67%; Pac-Man 33%
  • Europe and Oceania: Kirby 72%; Pac-Man 28%
  • Japan: Kirby 77%; Pac-Man 23%
These results are roughly consistent with the latest GameFAQs character contest battle x-stats (extrapolated stats to simulate polls) for Kirby and Pac-Man: 68.85% to 31.15%. GameFAQs contest battles are not just among Nintendo fans, but among videogame fans in general. In other words, the general gaming population does not care about Pac-Man either. Who is Super Smash Bros. supposed to be directed to? Nintendo fans and gamers. And this isn't a case of Kirby being an overwhelmingly popular Smash Bros. character like Little Mac. Kirby has been a pretty neglected and terrible character since Super Smash Bros. Melee. Every suck-up has been claiming that Super Smash Bros. 4 is the game where you can have "videogame all-stars" like Pac-Man vs. Mega Man vs. Sonic vs. Evil Plumber, but would Pac-Man have come to your mind as a desirable all-star before you heard Namco was developing the game?

No.

And it turns out that everything Namco or Pac-Man-related in this game does not add to the game experience, but only detracts. The series would have been much better if Namco wasn't entitled to anything. Oh, and if Shigeru Miyamoto stayed the hell out of Sakurai's way!


Bad ideas tend to go together, which is why it's not surprising to Ludwig that Pac-Man is Miyamoto's idea. However, KoopaTV is a spectacular idea, which is why you should continue to read KoopaTV's articles! If spectacular things go together as well, then perhaps you shall also be spectacular! That Super Smash Bros. 4 picture also came from Ludwig's Miiverse account, which you can Follow at NNID PrinceOfKoopas for even more Super Smash Bros. For Wii U screenshots! 


For more results for Conquests Pac-Man is involved in, click here!
Ludwig actually embedded the Seinfeld World Collides video here.

16 comments :

  1. So were you like Wreck-it Ralph who said "Pac-Man, they invited Pac-Man? That cherry, chasing dot muncher isn't even part of this game!" Here's a nice Miiverse post I Yeah'd that you may like: https://miiverse.nintendo.net/posts/AYMHAAACAAADVHkWX1GleQ

    Also I was surprised there was no reference to any Pac-Man World games. Far better music and there were tons of move set ideas they could have pulled off from there. Never played the third game but first two were decent as 3D platformers.

    At least Duck Hunt was clever in using from other Nintendo Zapper games as a way to celebrate those types of games as dog and duck really do not have much to contribute on their own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...Something like that!
      (Hm, how'd you find that post?)

      I like that they didn't even try to put Pac-Man music in the game and instead put ear-wrecking Namco 8-bit music medleys instead. It goes back to my point that Pac-Man himself has nothing to offer.

      I'd make a distinction between Duck Hunt utilising other Zapper games and Pac-Man utilising Namco stuff. Duck Hunt represents the Zapper games, and his trophy collection pretty much says that.
      Pac-Man is supposed to represent... himself.

      Delete
    2. A Tumblr blog I look at put an image of that Miiverse post but no direct link to it. I then searched for it myself in the Support Pac-Man Miiverse community and found it there.

      Delete
    3. When did ya find it? 'cause it was posted August 10 and stuff.

      Though I bet you didn't have to look that long. Who would support Pac-Man?!

      Delete
    4. I found it very quickly. Took very little time to search through.

      Delete
    5. Even the people behind Super [Evil Plumber] Maker do not care about Pac-Man. You know how the Amiibos allow you to make use of other characters? Most of the sprites are redone and even Mega Man who already has an 8-bit sprite is made to match with the others. Pac-Man looks like he has been ripped out of Pac-Man 2 and then made 8-bit. Even the size does not match.

      See 0:32 of this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdoLUkZXGjA

      Delete
    6. Yeah, Pac-Man looks like a total disgrace.

      However, that may be a Namco problem. Notice how Sonic is... literally not an 8-bit sprite.
      So third parties can be very particular in how they're represented. Capcom was apparently very friendly with Nintendo, so that's why Capcom has the most stuff in Smash out of the third parties.

      Meanwhile, Namco apparently wouldn't let Pac-Man frown in any circumstance to maintain whatever his brand image is. So he's smiling even while drowning.
      You can assume that extends to SMM.

      Delete
    7. I guess Namco forgot about this gem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ22NFedRPI

      Pac-Man shows every expression in this strange game.

      Good point about Sonic.

      Delete
    8. Pac-Man doesn't look very happy there.

      I'm assuming that monstrosity is retconned from Pac-Man's history by Namco.

      Delete
    9. While I know you hate Pac-Man and all, there is some music from Pac-Man World 2 and Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness that would have been great to use because sooner or later you will be forced on a Pac-Man stage on With Anyone mode so might as well hear more pleasant sounding music.

      Pac-Man World 2 Music:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOvXq3tJcV4

      (This melody is so good it has been remixed 2 more times into two other levels
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-ouT-PbwN0
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fzh-bX45VY
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUeoKzsRlEQ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YdJMNSQY-I

      From Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJpcgRI9KZQ
      (I had that song stuck in my head for such a long time)

      Too bad Namco does not seem to acknowledge the Pac-Man World games or Ms. Pac-Man because apparantly they are resentful that another studio made an unauthorized version/sequel of Pac-Man (and most people seem to prefer the arcade game Ms. Pac-Man over their own creation).

      Delete
    10. I'm almost disincentivised to select Random character because I might get plumber or Pac-Man or Sonic. <_<
      (At least Charizard is passably bearable.)

      I guess it's more pleasant sounding compared to what they actually used, but still not anything I'd listen to in my free-time.

      For music of a similar style, kinda, they could've put more Wario Land: Shake It songs. Y'know, 'cause of the scarcity of Wario Land representation in the game.

      Wreck Train
      Neon City
      Eye of the Ti-... Soggybog River.

      Delete
    11. I mean With Anyone (For Fun and For Glory) randomly picks a stage so you will be forced to endure the Pac-Man stage so might as well have music that isn't arcade sounds. At least Duck Hunt made a great song out of its limited tunes. Nothing to do with using the Random Character button.

      Delete
    12. Does With Anyone take into account people's My Music slider picks?

      Delete
    13. I do not know. Funny thing is I forgot about that. I put the slider all the way down for Brawl's main theme(s) for the menu music because of how sick I got of it because of the many disconnections back when its online mode was still on and I heard it all the time and not being able to get matches. It's a nice theme but the disconnections gave it a bad association for me.

      Delete
    14. Brawl's Waiting Room theme got a very bad association for obvious reasons.

      Delete

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