VMU Mini Pac-Man - VMU Review

August 26, 2003

First off big phat props too Alessandro Sanasi for creating the best VMU game ever. You see, Sanasi has done something with the VMU that we never thought was possible, make one hell of a kick ass game. Most people have asumed Sega's tiny portable unit was only capable of simplistic memory games. That all changed when this baby was released.

VMU Mini Pac-Man is a full blown out adventure featuring our little circled hero. Like the original arcade classic, you control Pac-Man as he avoids the pursuit of 4 Ghosts who just wanna bust a cap in his ass. Around the maze you go eating pellets, fruit and power pellets which in turn allow you too take a bite out of them ghost asses. Pac-Man is an arcade classic, an icon who is pretty much synominus as the unofficial mascot for the videogame industry. VMU Pac-Man isn't just a port of the arcade game, it also features a host of new goodies.

- 12 different mazes

- secret passeges

- a speed meter

- "whisky" (aka Booze) allowing the Pac to move whacky ;)

- invisible levels and total darkness madness

The design of the game is fantastic. Since the VMU ain't a high-res powerhouse, the huge game mazes scroll with Pac centered in the screen. Around the maze you go, slowly mind you. Now you'll fire this game up and you'll say, "this Pac moves slow". Then you'll shrug your shoulders and grunt "ARGH?". Then you discover that this is a good idea. Your view is limited due too the screen size. If a ghost is on your ass, you have the opportunity to escape. You and your antagonists move at the same pace which is welcome since there is only one of you and four of them. A great addition is the Turbo-Meter. Here you have a limited number of turbo at your disposal by hittin' the A button. You're able to rip around mazes much faster but you don't want to waste it. Later levels do feature little pellets that increase the meter but they are sparce.

The mazes are huge and creative. What I like about them is that there is always a way to get out of a sticky situation since there are so many different twist and turns. The ghosts are always on your case, trying to trap you in a corner when you least expect it. Thankfully Power-Up pellets are on your side as well as the above mentioned Turbo-Meter pellets. There are also Whisky pellets on some levels which make the Pac drunk. This makes the controls for him go reverse - down means up, up means down, ect. only for a short time. Also there are pellets that make the maze go dark so you can't see if your headed towards a wall or not (it is time based, don't worry). Finaly there are Extra Life and Ghost Freezer ones as well.

It's fun and that's all you need. There is no glorious 3-D. There is no head bangin' Dolby Surround Sound. There are no whacky cinematics. Just you and a great playin' game. Too top it all off there is even a Hi-Score Table which saves your score and name to the VMU's memory.

Now you're not going to sit in your living room and pass your Dreamcast or Gamecube too play some VMU Mini Pac-Man, but it makes a hell of a great game while your killin' time in your car waiting for your girlfriend or you're in line at the local Wallmart or in the shitter. Kiss your VMU batteries good-bye baby!

Here's a link to Sanasi's site (Click Me!) the game is located in the VMU Downloads page along with instructions. There is version for your DC to download into your VMU and a version to play on an emulator for your PC. The site also has some kick ass Sonic X stuff, you'll like it and you'll love VMU Pac-Man.

- Kelley