Pac-Man has made more than a few video game appearances since the early '80s. Even though he’s appeared in what seems like hundreds of derivations of the original he’s never really stepped too far out of his rotund role as a pellet-chomping ghost hunter. Unlike other video game mascots (who've played so many sports they're going to the Olympics this year), the Pac's hefty weight hasn't really let him step up his game. However, this could all change with the release of Smash Court Tennis 3 for the PSP in early July. It looks like Pac-Man might be able to shed some pounds on the courts as the star of one of the training mini-games.
In 'Pac-Man Tennis,' Pac uses his his round shape to his advantage and becomes the ball. You serve him, volley him, and do your best to get him to eat as many pellets as possible as he goes back and forth over the net. The more pellets he eats, the more points you get as long as you win the point. It’s pretty fun. I spent a little hands on time with an early build of the game, and despite my partial soft spot in my heart for the yellow guy, the game really is pretty fun, and a great new direction for him.
While we're at it, here are some more potential Pac-Man sports ideas I've thought of:
Pac-Man Baseball... where he's the ball.
Pac-Man Basketball... where he's the ball.
Pac-Man Hockey... where he's the puck.
Pac-Man Cricket... where he's the ball.
Pac-Man Soccer... where he is... the goal! (And you thought I was going to say "ball" again. Of course, the pellets would be the ball in Pac-Man Soccer.)
Also included in Smash Court Tennis 3 is a version of 'Galaga Tennis' which I didn’t get to play, but I assume it may have something to do with killing flying 8-bit bugs with your tennis ball. Yeah, awesome.