The old-school arcade icon is back for a pretty unique adventure
While the glory days of the mascot platformer are pretty far in the rearview mirror at this point it’s nice to get periodic reminders of what made them so formidable at one time. Continuing to tap into the nostalgia centers of old-school gamers like me, Re-PAC may have a more “classic” look but it’s hard not to get sucked in by its somewhat unusual very exploration-based style of play. At first fighting to work with a 3D camera for full-fledged adventure, it took a little bit of time to get used to the quasi-2D/3D look and feel the game adopts, with its weakest feature being periodic moments where you need to rely on depth perception to avoid harm… and it can be quite tricky unfortunately. That said, the issues with it only pop up every once in a while and for the most part you should be able to adapt and have a fair idea of where you are in space relative to your enemies. What surprises me is that while there’s definitely a collect-a-thon vibe to how many hidden goodies and secrets are peppered into your average level it never felt forced or particularly annoying, you just need to learn to be thorough, keep track of fruit gates that require something you’ll get a little later, and then be willing to backtrack a bit. The thing is, the payoff for your persistence is sometimes quite satisfying, whether it’s hitting retro-style arcade levels or finding a number of classic characters and icons from other Namco franchises. All in all it may have some quirk keeping it away from the likes of Mario and other genre icons but it’s quite a far distance from a mere cash-in and feels like it was made with a fair amount of love and reverence for this old-school arcade icon.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.5]