Pac-Man World 3 doesn't reinvent the platformer; in fact, in its adoption of so many previously established platformer features, it manages to include some of the genre's most inherent flaws. It does, however, provide an entertaining, fully E-rated experience that's been conspicuously missing as of late. Though it's most notably easy and family-friendly, Pac-Man World 3 has just enough depth to make it more than just a kid's game. But, if the rating or the difficulty level isn't a selling point for you, then there are probably other games that will be more worthwhile.
This isn't your Billy Mitchell's Pac-Man.
In the 25 years since Pac-Man hit the scene, he's gone from a slightly pixilated, 2D-puzzle star to a fully 3D action-platformer. Though the majority of the gameplay consists of the latter, you'll be able to experience 2D and 3D versions of classic Pac-Man gameplay in each of Pac-Man World 3's levels. The balance of these three types of gameplay is one of the game's strongest aspects, providing just enough variety that, when combined with an interesting arsenal of pickups, it manages to keep the gameplay fresh, despite how easily you can breeze through it.
When the story begins, Pac-Man is about to celebrate his 25th birthday, but then is suddenly teleported out of Pac-village into a mysterious and sinister world. With the aid of reformed-ghost and technical-mastermind Orson, Pac-Man learns that he must stop the doings of the evil Erwin and save the world, again. The story isn't terribly enthralling, although Pac-enthusiasts might be happy to see that Orson has worked out the kinks in his Toc-Man design, enabling more functional (but still not quite fun) mech mechanics. You'll also band together with former nemeses Clyde and Pinky to help rescue Inky and Blinky from Erwin's stranglehold--so as to, of course, restore the proper order of Pac-Man/ghost interactions. The game, although very light on the cutscenes, does include a fair amount of dialogue to propel the story along, but like the story of the Pac-Man animated series, it will appeal primarily to a younger crowd.
In the distorted world that Pac-Man is forced to explore, he'll encounter a number of Erwin's grunts, though they can usually be defeated by Pac-Man's two default attacks. He can either punch at his enemies or butt-bounce on them, and it's usually clear by the location of the enemy's armor which method is required. If the two basic attacks aren't enough, there are special power pills located throughout the game, and they'll do things such as infuse Pac-Man with special butt-bounce oomph, replace his punch with an electrical shock (which is particularly effective against mechanical enemies), or trail a deadly ribbon behind him. Since these generic fights aren't overused, and since the new pellets are kind of interesting, the basic level of combat makes for a nice diversion between the platforming aspects of the gameplay.