It's hard to get excited about yet another re-re-re-release of Pac-Man. Even retro gamers don't flinch when they hear about the pill-popper's return, since he's never really been away from the gaming scene for more than a couple of months in his three decades.
But it's because of his prolific career that we're essentially obliged to report on his every move (kind of like The Daily Star does with the Beckhams), so now we're required to test out yet another mobile maze of power pills and deadly ghosts. But for the first time in a very long time, we're actually seeing an evolution of the famous puck man.
Lots of methods of updating the concept of Pac-Man have been tested out over the years, from platform games to 3D adventures - mainly because the simplicity of the original suggests there's no real variation possible when it comes to 2D maze crunching.
Pac-Man Championship Edition takes this inherent limitation as a challenge, it seems, and goes for a complete return to form while giving the game a contemporary gloss to bring the yellow hungry-one back to life.
The first thing you'll notice is this is very much classic Pac-Man. From the very first moment it's clear this was the designer's intention, and it's just as clear that keeping to the classic formula hasn't stifled their creativity one bit. It's still focused entirely around the maze, the dots, the ghosts and your ability to navigate through them all.
Visually Pac-Man Championship Edition takes a strikingly simple approach toward contemporising the look of the game, with deliberately recognisable sprites and the typical maze layout. The walls of the maze, however, fluctuate with neon luminescence, while Pac-Man gives off sparks as he powers his way around the many corners.
The real update comes in the form of how each level is tackled. It's no longer a case of clearing the maze of dots, but of shoring up points within a predefined time limit.
To begin with, only a few dots will be placed around the labyrinth, with more added after these have been cleared. Fruit will appear on one side of the maze when you clear the opposite side of dots, which also gives the walls a chance to reconfigure and for the pills to be replenished.
Within this new gameplay standard are subtle variations on the theme. One particularly intriguing twist is playing in the dark, where only the dots and the immediate area around Pac-Man are illuminated.
Extra wide mazes, varying gameplay speeds and unusual configurations of dots and power pills all conspire to give Pac-Man Championship Edition a remarkably new flavour despite adhering strictly to the classic formula.
Having played through this preview version, it's certainly easy to see why Namco Bandai chose to promote the mobile version by offering a direct comparison to the Xbox 360 game. Both systems appear to be on completely equal footing when it comes to visuals, controls and gameplay, and that's something the mobile developer should be particularly proud of.
Pac-Man Championship Edition evidently understands the primary directive of a good retro remake: showing a profound respect for the original, while using the modern platform to its fullest. If our mobile phones took coins, I suspect there'd be a shortage of them quite soon.
Look out for our review, which should be along very soon.