I'd love to say that my first experience with Pac-Man was the stand up arcade cabinet, but alas, I cut my teeth on the infamous Pac-Man cartridge for the Atari 2600. Not only did this game look like butt, it played like it, too. Horrible flicker, the ghosts not looking much different from when you consumed a Power Pellet and don't even get me started on the audio, which even for Atari 2600 standards was pretty awful. I probably put more time into this version of Pac-Man than I should have. At the time, it was my only option for munching ghosts at home. It was interesting to find out years later that the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man was a contributing factor to the Video Game Crash of 1983.
|If it looks like crap, sounds like crap, plays|
like crap, it's Pac-Man on the Atari 2600.
|The DOS version of Pac-Man, may have lacked|
the colors of the arcade game, but was vastly
superior to the 2600 version.
|It is now easier than ever to get the arcade version of|
Pac-Man on home console, complete with snazzy side art.
More than a decade would pass before I would get reintroduced to Pac-Man. With the passing of several console generations and superior technology, having arcade perfect ports of early 1980s games was (mostly) no longer an issue. In 2001, I picked up Namco Museum 64 because it was cheap and I was itching for some retro arcade action. Having enjoyed the arcade version of Pac-Man years ago, I was thrilled to be able to boot up and play the co-op version of Pac-Man whenever I pleased. Namco Museum 64 also where I played Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga for the first time, two games that would go to become some of my all-time favorites.
I recently bought Namco Museum Vol. 1 off the PlayStation Network for my PS3. I'm as terrible at the game as ever, but the simplicity of the game and the desire to achieve a high score keeps me coming back. Like a lot of fans, I do believe Ms. Pac-Man is the superior game, but Pac-Man is still a blast to play and without it, there wouldn't even be a Ms. Pac-Man to gush over.