Playstation 2 controller, GameCube controller, PC controller
Playstation 2, GameCube, PlayStation Portable, Xbox (canceled), Personal Computer
Pac-Man World Rally is a racing game released on the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, PC, and PlayStation Portable. It was released by Namco starring Pac-Man and other characters from the series. An Xbox version of the game was planned but canceled.
You can choose a character from the Pac-Man series or from other Namco games. Each character has a different race car with different stats: speed, acceleration, and steering.
The objective of the game is to race against 7 opponents (5 in 2P mode or PSP version) in tracks that are mostly based from Pac-Man franchise as well as other Namco franchises. Much like many other racing games, players can pick up power up items from blue or green Pac-Boxes and use them for their own advantage. The power up depends on their position (i.e. 1st place racer mostly obtain basic, trap-based items, while last place racer mostly obtain deadly items that can even affect all racers).
What makes this game unique is the Pac-Man mechanics that are applied in the game. The player can collect Pac-Dots (the yellow button needs to be triggered first) to fill up the Pac-Meter, which if it's full the player can use it to enter Pac-Mobile mode and eat their opponents for a limited amount of time (much like the Power Pellet's effect in the original Pac-Man). The player can also collect fruits (the corresponding fruit button needs to be triggered first) in order to access shortcuts, making the race easier.
In Battle Mode, instead of using ordinary power up items, the player use weapons that many of them are based on Pac-Man items (i.e. a strawberry rocket, a cherry bomb, etc.), which have limited amount of ammo and various damaging powers. Also, the objective in the Battle Mode varies depending on the game mode the player chooses: there are 5 battle modes:
Deathmatch: The first to reach the number of kills set wins.
Free-For-Fall: The player with the most kills within the time limit wins.
Binge: The player with the most fruit within the time limit wins.
Classic: The player with the most Pac-Dots within 1-3 rounds wins.
In GP mode, you race in a Cup which consists of 3-4 tracks each. Depending on the position you gained after each race, you'll get points. The racer with the highest points wins the gold Cup.
Racers' Default Position
In Pac-Man World Rally, the order of racers are fixed, depending on the platform played on. The characters' order can be changed if the player plays as a character not in the default list, plays as a character that is not originally on the last place, or if they unlock a new character.
When this game's trailer is shown, it had a lot of differences from the real game:
Pac-Man and Toc-Man appear in the default racers' position in the beta, along with other Pac-Man franchise characters plus Pooka. This doesn't happen in the real game.
Several parts of the HUD is a lot different than the real version. For example, there's a Pac-Dot counter, speedometer in numbers instead of gauge, etc. that aren't present in the real game. Some HUD colors are different from the real game as well.
A racer keeps his/her items behind him/her like a line (2-3 items lined up together behind). The real version only shows one item following the racer.
A blue Pac-Box allows a racer to obtain another item after collecting 2 of them. This doesn't happen in the real game, except if the racer picked up a green Pac-Box (which contains 3 identical items inside).
Various track designs are different from the original game.
Some tracks' names are different from the original game.
The Arctic Iceberg has 3 laps instead of 4.
There's a character animation not shown in the original game, which is Pooka's back flip animation.
Various characters' vehicles (even the characters themselves) have different colors. For example, Pooka's drill cart had a black drill instead of silver-white drill (Pooka's tail was also black-tipped as well), Clyde's toy car was green instead of purple, etc.
The guardian power up also follows the racer like ordinary power-up items. This doesn't happen in the real game.
This is the first Pac-Man racing game.
Despite named Pac-Man World Rally, there are some characters that are from other Namco franchises appear as playable characters, like Pooka, The Prince, Fygar, Mr. Driller, and Mappy. There are even some tracks that are based on non-Pac-Man franchises.
Many of the game's mechanics are very similar to Mario Kart's mechanics:
The bombs (except the black one) are similar to the turtle shells (the Green is similar to Green Shell, the red is similar to the Red Shell, and the blue is similar to the Spiny Shell).
The Pac-Dora Box is similar to the Fake Item Box.
The Atomic Pellet is similar to the Mushroom.
The Pac-Mobile might be similar the Star item in Mario Kart, though it's presented in a unique Pac-Man way.
Another uniqueness of this game is that the characters are dynamically active. They all perform animations depending on the situation.
When launched through the air, the characters might perform extreme stunts. The Prince is the only character not to do this.
According to another beta screenshot of the game, there were supposed to be 12 characters instead of 14 (16 in PSP). The list includes Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Blinky, Jr. Pac-Man, Pooka, Pinky, Toc-Man, Inky, and Clyde. There were also 3 locked characters as well, which are never known behind those locks. The selection menu is also different from the real game.
The character selection menu in the PSP version used the one in the 2P mode in PS2/NGC.
The track Subterranean Speedway is exclusive to PSP version only. Oddly, the track is shown in the intro for the PS2, PC, and NGC versions.
The King's Kourse is the shortest track, while Subterranean Speedway being the longest.
Most items are referenced from various Pac-Man games and some others.
Mr. Driller is the only character to have another character in his cart (his dog being included in it).
Erwin is the only Pac-Man World villain to be light-weight. Toc-Man and Spooky are both heavy-weight.
All Dig Dug characters are heavy-weight, which is strange for Pooka because he is a small character.
Jr. Pac-Man is the only character in the Pac-family to be light-weight. Both of his parents are medium-weight.
Most of the unlockable characters are heavy-weight. (The Prince being the only light-weight character, while Mappy is the the only medium-weight character).
The Nightmare difficulty mode doesn't unlock anything, unlike other modes.
Mr. Driller is the only character not to replace any other characters in the default racer positions despite being unlocked in any order.
Pooka's and Toc-Man's design differs from their original appearances. Pooka has a red tail with silver-white tip, black legs, and seems to wear red shoes/boots. Toc-Man has pipes protruding from the upper parts of his head.
Every character (except for Pooka, Spooky and Toc-Man) starts crying whenever they don't get 1st place.
Every character from Pac-Man World series except Orson is in Pac-Man World Rally.
Differences in the PSP Version
Only 6 players can race at one time, as opposed to 8 (during multiplayer in console versions though, the number of racers at one time allowed is 6).
Pooka and Fygar are available from the start as opposed to being unlockables in the console versions (The Prince however still needs to be unlocked).
The Time Trials tab in the Mode Select screen is replaced with "Challenges". There, the player can select from one of three modes:
Time Trials: Exactly the same thing in the console versions.
Letter Hunt: The player must collect the 6 letters that spell Pac-Man. The mode in itself is very similar to collecting the P-A-C-M-A-N letters in Pac-Man World.
Clockbuster: The player must collect as many Pac-Dots as they can while collecting clocks to increase time.
Pac-Man World Rally received mixed reviews. Metacritic gave a 57 out of 100 for the Nintendo GameCube version, and a 54 out of 100 for the PS2 version. GamesRadar gave the game a 2.5 out of 5 stars. Eurogamer, however, was slightly positive, giving the game a 6 out of 10.