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Pac-Man Connect-and-Play from BANDAI (coming in 2012)


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#1 Zwackery OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:51 PM

http://toyfair.banda.../items/pac-man/

featured-pacman.jpg

MSRP $24.99

The PAC-MAN Connect-and-Play video game unit has 11 of the greatest retro arcade games we all know and love, but what makes this different from any version in the past is the ability to play the famous Level 256. List of games included in unit.
  • PAC-MAN
  • PAC & PAL
  • PAC-MAN PLUS
  • PAC-MAN 256
  • SUPER PACMAN
  • GALAGA
  • DIGDUG
  • BOSCONIAN
  • NEW RALLY X
  • GALAXIAN
  • XEVIOUS
  • MAPPY
  • Concealed storage space for cords


#2 FireStar OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:00 PM

Looks cool, almost like a dot in pac-man's stomach, but will it be comfortable to hold, being all blocky?
It better have an 8-way stick for bosconian, that game was brutal on early plug-n-plays with 4 way.

#3 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:29 AM

Great find! I found an article with more pictures of the unit and a video from Toy Fair. The claim that it's better than Jakks' Namco series because it runs the original code is interesting because: a) it implies the system runs on emulation, similar to Jakks' Taito TV Games system from late last year; b) emulation is not necessarily better than ported code, depending in either case on the programming and the hardware capabilities; and c) when I spoke to the programmer of one of the games on Jakks' second Namco TV Game, he said that they were not provided with the original source code by Namco. He ported his game by reverse-engineering it from the original assembly. It seems kind of a low blow to say, "Ours is better because we never gave anyone else the goodies we used to make ours."

Also, having remembered that Jakks once announced an extension of the Namco license many years ago, I dug up a Jakks Pacific press release from April 2007 saying just such a thing. It didn't "really" say how long the extension was for, but a quote in it said Jakks was looking forward to "at least another three-year-run." So, it appears the Jakks Namco license expired in 2010, hence Namco Bandai releasing their own plug-n-play system now. Too bad, though, that this system doesn't actually contain any games not already in a Jakks TV Game, unless you count the skip-to-board-255 version of Pac-Man. :( Its title listing is the same as the final Jakks Namco TV Game except without Pole Position--and Ms. Pac-Man is still AWOL in plug-n-play since ~2005. Could we not get anything else from the Namco Museum series?

onmode-ky

P.S. I'm curious, too, about whether it's a 4-way or 8-way stick. The latter would suck for the Pac-Man games; the former would suck for Xevious.

#4 akator OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:43 AM

Ugh... that looks uncomfortable. It's also missing Pole Position, which is one of the most played games on my Jakks (even though it's far from perfect). I would have thought Namco would at least have a longer list of games on their own product :(

Edited by akator, Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:43 AM.


#5 BioForceApe OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:57 PM

Emulates arcade code, heh? If one of you is going to the toy fair, show me a video of PAC MAN 256 on youtube while your there, plz?

#6 S1500 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:06 PM

It's the same damn games over again!

#7 toiletunes OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:10 AM

Sadly, these are the games that appeal (and therefore sell) to the lasses. Wish nintendo would do a Donkey Kong.

#8 TrekkiELO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:19 PM

Wish nintendo would do a Donkey Kong.


Indeed, this is what I've been saying for years now!

#9 TrekkiELO OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:24 PM

Thanks Zwackery and onmode-ky for those links, good news and awesome looking unit from Namco/Bandai, although I don't like the idea of repeats with only one new advanced Pac-Man level! 8)

Edited by TrekkiELO, Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:25 PM.


#10 thegamezmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:41 AM


Wish nintendo would do a Donkey Kong.


Indeed, this is what I've been saying for years now!


That would be sweet! Just wish the plug and play units had an ac adapter option, instead of having to jury rig something. :(

#11 fernando marrin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 14, 2012 5:26 PM

looks amazing as a collectible

not sure if i would ever play it though...

#12 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 14, 2012 8:17 PM

I would get more excited if the actually made small arcade game replicas, complete with screen. If designed right and priced right, I know I would collect them!

#13 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 5:09 AM

Great find! I found an article with more pictures of the unit and a video from Toy Fair. The claim that it's better than Jakks' Namco series because it runs the original code is interesting because: a) it implies the system runs on emulation, similar to Jakks' Taito TV Games system from late last year; b) emulation is not necessarily better than ported code, depending in either case on the programming and the hardware capabilities; and c) when I spoke to the programmer of one of the games on Jakks' second Namco TV Game, he said that they were not provided with the original source code by Namco. He ported his game by reverse-engineering it from the original assembly. It seems kind of a low blow to say, "Ours is better because we never gave anyone else the goodies we used to make ours."

Also, having remembered that Jakks once announced an extension of the Namco license many years ago, I dug up a Jakks Pacific press release from April 2007 saying just such a thing. It didn't "really" say how long the extension was for, but a quote in it said Jakks was looking forward to "at least another three-year-run." So, it appears the Jakks Namco license expired in 2010, hence Namco Bandai releasing their own plug-n-play system now. Too bad, though, that this system doesn't actually contain any games not already in a Jakks TV Game, unless you count the skip-to-board-255 version of Pac-Man. :( Its title listing is the same as the final Jakks Namco TV Game except without Pole Position--and Ms. Pac-Man is still AWOL in plug-n-play since ~2005. Could we not get anything else from the Namco Museum series?

onmode-ky

P.S. I'm curious, too, about whether it's a 4-way or 8-way stick. The latter would suck for the Pac-Man games; the former would suck for Xevious.


I *want* that kiosk that it's displayed on. :D

#14 BillyHW OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 5:39 AM

Looks cool, almost like a dot in pac-man's stomach, but will it be comfortable to hold, being all blocky?
It better have an 8-way stick for bosconian, that game was brutal on early plug-n-plays with 4 way.


How can you have just a 4-way joystick?

#15 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 6:15 AM

There are restrictors that force only the four directions (U, D, L, R) so you can't hit diagonals (i.e. Up-Left, Down-Right, etc.)
Think of the restirctor as a 'diamond-shape' cut-out fitting under the joystick inside the unit.

There is another alternative (which I hope they did). A *true* 8-way restrictor which would be good for both types of games. Instead of a diamond, it's an octagon shape (think of a stop-sign, slightly tilted). The *new* Space Invaders PNP has that. I've always wondered why they didn't do this from the beginning.

#16 BillyHW OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 6:26 AM

Why on earth would you want a 4-way restrictor for anything? And wouldn't an 8-way restrictor be redundant? Are there not only 4 sensor switches anyways, giving 8-directions?

#17 PacManPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 7:11 AM

Because for games that only feature 4 directions (i.e. Pac-Man) you don't want to hit any diagonals causing you to go in an unintended direction. (For instance - if you hit 'Up-Left' on your way to hit 'Up', the 'Left' direction could override the 'Up' and cause you to go in a direction you did not intend.

As far as 8-ways, it depends on how the joystick is made. Most have a 'Box-like' movement which favor the diagonals... making it difficult to move directly up, down, left, or right. Having the 8-way restrictor 'locks' you into one of those positions, and you know it by feel... Less mistakes. :)

#18 BillyHW OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 8:19 AM

1. Ms. Pac-Man on MAME seems to interpret the most recent pressed direction as the active direction, at least with the keyboard input. (On a diagonal at least, it ignores new input if you press the completely opposite direction on the keyboard.)

2. On my analog thumbstick it interprets a change of direction when you cross over the diagonal. There doesn't seem to be any dead zones, or if there is, it's very small. My thumbstick has a circular hole, and the control is silky smooth. Unless I have to pull a 180, I play by rotating the stick around the circle.

3. Unfortunately my d-pad doesn't work in MAME, but I tried it out on Ms. Pac-Man (Tengen) for NES, and it works the same as the MAME keyboard, it interprets the most recent pressed direction as the active direction.

It seems that the analog stick is being interpreted essentially as a 4-way. And I have to admit that the control is very good, but I don't see how there would be any significant loss in having an 8-way stick instead that is programmed like in 1. and 3. It would just mean that it's a bit more sensitive to a change in movement. Would control still be silky smooth? I think it would.

Do arcade 4-way joysticks have any dead zones in the diagonals? Wouldn't dead zones mean kludgy gameplay?

#19 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 9:24 AM

The site also announces that a new animated Pac-Man series is on the way for 2013. Hmm, looks like Pac-Man is making a comeback! Too bad the arcades are gone. Would be neat to have a full-size arcade game released again as well.

#20 Armonigann OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 9:44 AM

I like PacMan just as much as the next guy but....DAMMIT, Why are they making a plug-n-play with the same list of games!?!?!? :mad:

#21 PFL OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 4:56 PM

Why is Pac Man crying... ?

#22 BillyHW OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 5:04 PM

Why is Pac Man crying... ?


They didn't include Ms. Pac-Man.

#23 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 15, 2012 5:16 PM

Wish nintendo would do a Donkey Kong.


Assuming you mean coin-op DK, I wouldn't hold my breath.

From Gamasutra
a judge ruled Nintendo didn't own the rights to Donkey Kong's code

That would likely explain why coin-op DK never came to the Wii Virtual Console Arcade as well.
Pity.

#24 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:23 PM

Bandai America's Pac-Man Connect-and-Play plug-n-play system is now available, at least at Toys 'R Us stores and from Amazon.com. I picked one up, but I haven't removed it from the packaging. What I can see, though, is that the box is a lot bigger than it needs to be, and the controller base is so thick and blocky that I'm pretty sure it will hurt to actually play the system. Nowhere on the box does it refer to any company aside from Namco Bandai, so I still don't know who developed it.

Two other new plug-n-play systems were also on the shelf at Toys 'R Us: Jakks Pacific's Walking Dead Zombie Hunter light gun game (developed by Merge Interactive, formerly known as Super Happy Fun Fun, who developed the earlier Big Buck Hunter plug-n-play light gun games for Jakks) and Jakks' touchpad-based remake of one of their earlier Spider-Man plug-n-play systems (converted by Code Mystics, most recently known for Atari's Greatest Hits on DS/iOS/Android and Jakks' Taito Space Invaders plug-n-play system). The 2012 release slate is finally starting up.

onmode-ky

#25 simbalion OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012 9:24 PM

Hmm, sounds like it is time for me to go check out Toys R Us!




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