Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, the title update to the 2010 arcade game, chomps onto various platforms on September 25. CE DX+ commemorates Pac's neon antics coming to Steam as a standalone, but it'll also be available for on PS3, 360, and Windows 8 as a free update to CE DX.
Going by last month's leak, CE DX+ itself provides light enhancments, adding leaderboard tweaks, challenge-based medals, and friend comparisons. As producer Kunito Komori explained to me, comparisons are tied to a specific friend's scores that are displayed on the CE DX+ dashboard, giving players another mark to top in addition to their own.
The more exciting newness is the 'All You Can Eat' DLC that CE DX+ grants access to, comprising four maps, three reskins, and two pieces of background music. The reskins include Rally-X, Dig Dug, and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures; they're cute enough, but the real meat is the four maps. First off, there are redesigns of Championship II and Highway from CE DX, tweaked to be trickier. Trying the game yesterday, I floundered with the new Championship, which caught me off guard. The old one was a score-mine that I could gobble up power pellets in, one after another, but the new Championship makes that a struggle. I got trapped by ghosts often, forced to use bombs and sacrifice that all-important speed as a result.
The new maps look strong, too. Big Eater, as the name suggests, seems more geared towards the regular style of chewing up as many ghosts as possible. Mountain was my favorite, though, placing ghosts in staircase patterns that led me up and down the map, forcing me into sequences of sharp zigzag turns - doing that for five minutes straight can only lead to chaos. It's these extras, adding some variety to the play, that make me want to return to CE DX next week.