VC Weekly 333

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe’s guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo’s download service. Written by Sam C Gittins

If you like Pac-Man puzzle games or Run 'n Gun games then these titles could be for you. Anyway enough from me and on with the games!
Available for download this week we have...     



Price: GB £5.49, EU €7.99
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Namco
Released: 1993
System: SNES
Puzzle cash-ins, they happen and it was in the late eighties to early nineties that they seemed to be more of a regular occurrence with each of the main “big” companies at the time producing at least one spin-off. Nintendo had Dr Mario, Sega made Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine, Capcom crafted the excellent Super Puzzle Fighter and Namco did what they've always done best and shoehorned Pac-man into his very own puzzle game.

I say his very own when in actual fact this title is nothing more than an already existing puzzle spin off (namely Cosmo Gang the Puzzle) with an elaborate palette change. That said, kudos to Namco for making it instantly more salable for merely changing the theme and though cynicism calls for criticism of this copying; it's a case of seeing reason rather than shouting treason as a lot of effort has been put into this reworking.

Your objective is simple as all you need to do is clear your screen of blocks and ghosts by lining them up horizontally; blocks disappear on their own but wiping your screen clean of spectres takes the ghost gobbling expertise of none other than Pac-man. After every two sets of blocks he will appear, eating all ghosts he comes across in his set path, for each ghost he eats a “wand” meter is filled and when full a fairy item drops that gets rid of any remaining ghouls; this basically then continues and every twenty levels after increasing steadily the speed returns to normal but the frequency of Pac-man is reduced to one and you basically just play for as long as you can.


Accompanying the standard block dropping affair you have Puzzle mode which has an already allocated amount of blocks and ghosts from the start, you then throw down some more before Pac-man appears, the goal is to make him eat them all and would be easy enough if it wasn't for the fact that your supply of Pac-men in this mode is limited. Overall it's challenging and different enough from the main experience but it won't add as much longevity as the two player standard mode which is what will keep you coming back.

Classic backdrops add a nice retro feel to the proceedings and the audio accompaniments are an aural achievement ranging from variations on the “intermission” screen theme for the main game to more original compositions which further enhance the experience. While many puzzle games aside from the obvious may be largely the same, Pac-Attack brings something thats similar yet refreshingly fresh and should be placed alongside the likes of Tetris, Dr Mario and the legendary Puyo Pop for the amount of simple enjoyment it offers alone.

Verdict : A proper Pac-man puzzler.


Price: GB £5.49, EU €7.99
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Masaya
Released: 1993
System: SNES

Set in a not so distant future where resources are scarce and governmental powers are permanently engaged in disputes over who owns what bit of land. You assume the role of commanding soldier Jake and must lead your platoon on a merciless mission to destroy the enemy's weapon of war.

Suited up in your Cybernator G5-E (a great big mech-suit comparable to a tall building in size) through seven satisfying stages, amassing an astounding arsenal of weapons which you then upgrade along the way to a maximum of three levels. You decide whether to power them up in either standalone or simultaneous formation; a feature which ultimately sets this game apart from many others in this superb side-scrolling shooter.

Everything in this game is well realised from the vivid and varied locations each which have a great deal of atmosphere to them backed up with some genuinely decent dialog which helps to keep things moving along nicely. Controlling the mech feels wonderfully natural and adds so much to the game which is as much a joy to play as it is to look at and listen to.


Featuring some quite simply sumptuous sprite animation and a fine selection of realistic sound effects that accompany an already amazing soundtrack; this is a SNES shooter which easily stands out from the crowd. Shooter fans have another title to be proud of here as this is a rare example in it's genre that manages to deliver a complete experience from start to finish.

Thankfully this is also the 60Hz version so for those of you who own the game originally on the Wii in Europe and are looking for reasons to upgrade then look no further as this is one of those types of games which clearly benefits from having a superior refresh rate. It's a snip at this attractive digital price-point too as if you're just wanting to experience the game then you'll surely save a lot by buying this excellent Virtual Console version of one of the finest third-party examples of a SNES game ever made.

Verdict : An amazingly well-crafted and elaborately layered experience which will leave you elated.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

© Copyright 2024 - Independent Nintendo Coverage Back to the Top