Pac-Man World Rally hands-on

As we sat down to play Mario Ka- oh, excuse us, Pac-Man World Rally, our first thoughts were primarily ones unfit to print. Does the world need yet another item-launching, power-sliding kart racer that exists solely to get its licensed mascot more air time? The answer is no, but there are enough ideas taken from the source games to make each lap in the Pac-world marginally different from every other game like this.

There are several types of buttons scattered throughout each heavily themed race track, each altering the course in some way. First are the fruit buttons (Pac-Man eats fruit, remember?), which eject watermelons, grapes, cherries and all that good stuff all over the course. If you pick up at least one wayward fruit piece, you'll have exclusive access to a fruit-guarded shortcut that'll let you cut through the track and leave Ms Pac, robot Pac, devil Pac and all other manifestations of Pac-ness in the dust. See, kind of like the two-way tubes from the original game... right?

The other button pops up streaming lines of the iconic power pellets - munch enough and you can transform your kart into a mechanical Pac-creation, hungry for opposing racers. To make things a little juicier, all the other racers turn into blue ghosts, lose speed and become easy targets to consume... just like the classic game. If you eat a certain amount of enemies during a complete racing circuit (usually four tracks back to back), you'll unlock new weapons to hurl around.