It's like Mario Kart without the Mario!
Unlike Nintendo themselves, Namco Bandai actually put some GameCubes in their booth. Pac-Man World Rally is a definite Mario Kart clone, and they don’t even try and hide that fact.
Mario Kart fans will feel right at home. There are item boxes, item dragging, drift boosts, and over the top tracks. The R button even initiates the slide turns. Boosting around corners is as easy as holding the drift long enough. There is no need to move the stick back and forth as in Mario Kart. Item use is done with the L button. They are pretty wild and most of them have little legs so they run to their targets. It’s entertaining but I didn’t know what I was shooting most of the time.
Cars handled significantly looser than Mario Kart. It actually felt a lot like the Namco version of Mario Kart but they weren’t created by the same team. Your car will not make it around most of the turns without drifting. The representative was laughing at me as I played because I constantly slammed into the outside walls.
Each car is themed after their driver. One of the most entertaining was the one driven by the Prince (of Katamari fame). The chassis floats above four katamaries that roll around the course. Every car has the ability to transform into a giant mechanical Pac car that can eat other cars. To do this you must collect enough Pac Pellets to fill up a meter. Once filled, push the Y button and you transform. All other cars turn into blue ghosts and you can eat them right up.
If the GameCube was bustling with activity this game wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Given the fact that releases are sparse I can actually see it being quite successful. It’s very entertaining and I bet the multiplayer is a blast.