Album: "The Pac-Man Christmas Album"
Genre: Children's Music
Label: Kid Stuff Records
Review: Just in time for the Holidays. Made by the same company as the first Pac-Man Album, the Pac-Man Christmas Album is a bit more tolerable. It's mostly notable for having roughly a third of the tracks having little, if anything to do with Pac-Man. And I admit that it's a lot less fail-tastic (and thus somewhat less-funny). Nonetheless, mocker's honor compels me to review it:
1. The Magic of Christmas
Opening with a laughing infant declaring "Merry Christmas," this track is pretty much almost-entirely talking, as a British narrator tells us all about how children are especially good this year due to threat of Santa Claus, and goes on about how amazing and happy and colorful Christmas in Pacville is. Finally after a minute and a half, we get the same discordant synths we've come to know from these albums before it launches into a fairly stereotypical and forgettable Christmas song about how the "Magic of Christmas is you and me." What does this have to do with Pac-Man? Absolutely nothing. We're off to a great start!
2. Snowflakes and Frozen Lakes
This one begins where track 1 ends; Children are greeting Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, before once again, we have the same dude doing the (disturbingly creepy) Pac-Man voice. He waxes poetic as he discusses the change in season, once again showing no skill whatsoever with lyrics or timing. At this point the song kicks in proper, again bringing us synth and singing from big bird-esque Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, before we have the same hideous singing stylings as the song continues. Pac-Man shows appreciation for the holiday scenery, and for Ms. Pac-Man, when bout 2 minutes in - and I am not making this up - Ms. Pac-Man titter-giggles and says "Take me." The mind reels in horror. That's it right there; there's nothing else I can say or do about this song to make it any more hilariously awful than it already is.
3. Under the Tree
Another one that leads off on the previous track, with Ms. Pac-Man pointing out that Baby Pac (who for some reason she calls "Pac-Baby," and claims that he's looking forward to Christmas morning. We then hear especially-obnoxious singing that is the sort of ridiculousness we are now used to thanks to the previous album. We hear what is supposed to be Pac-Baby singing, but he uses big words and his voice is clearly Pac-Man's with a falsetto as he says he wants to see what's under his tree, when Ms. Pac-Man said not 40 seconds ago that he was at the tree looking at it. He then goes on about how last year he asked for toys, but this year he asked Santa to fill the world with love and kisses... I'm serious. The obnoxious chorus then resumes.
4. Deck the Halls
Hooray inconsistency! Pac-Baby doesn't sing in this one, but he reminds his dad that there's more that they can do to get ready for Christmas. The problem here is that Pac-Baby in this one is voiced by someone on helium, and, as is the case with Gang of Ghosts Quarte(r)t from the previous album, utterly incomprehensible. Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man agree, and Pac-Baby suggests that they invite the Ghosts over for Christmas. Pac-Man, obviously, is against the idea, but Ms. Pac-Man chimes in and points out that maybe if they did something nice for the Ghosts, they'd change their ways. "Oh god," I can hear you say mentally. "It's one of these episodes." And you're absolutely right. After this insane subplot is laid down, a bunch of people sing Deck the Halls.
5. Old-Fashioned Christmas
A song about an Old-Fashioned Christmas. It has nothing to do with Pac-Man. At all. PADDING!
6. Somedays are More Important
British Narrator-dude returns, telling us of Pac-Family's plan to have the ghosts over for a meal and pleasant conversation. However, he tells us that the ghosts, in their HORRIBLE HIDEOUT (huge emphasis on the Hs here) don't care for Christmas at all! Before any can make a Hanukah or Kwanzaa joke, however, the scene cuts to the aforementioned hideout, where Bashful announces that he really hates Christmastime because the Pac-People are all at home with their families, ergo leaving nobody around for the ghosts to chase. Speedy agrees, and their conversation is interrupted by a singing telegram. Speedy tries to tell them to get lost, but to no avail; the singing telegram man is not to be denied, and announces that Pac-Man will have them over for Christmas. Bashful immediately chimes in that this is awesome that Pac-Man is this stupid, since it'll mean they have someone to chase (and murder) the second they get into the Pac-Family's home. Bashful announces he doesn't get the big deal about Christmas, and it chimes into a song about how Christmas is the time of giving.
7. Friends Again
The track opens up with the ghosts ringing the doorbell and being greeted cordially by the Pac-Family. Who are then brutally slaughtered by the ghosts in a fashion that makes Santa's Slay seem like a warm-up. But with cannibalism. Just kidding, that would be the cool ending. The ghosts fiendish plan to chase and eat the Pac-Family hit a snag when they see the Christmas dinner set out by Ms. Pac-Man, and is further hamstrung by the Pac-Family giving them gifts; Ms. Pac-Man gives Bashful a pair of Peek-a-Boo Pajamas (I neither know, nor wish to know, what these are), Speedy a pair of Sneakers, A scooter for Pokey so he can keep up with the other ghosts (Yay for making fun of people with disabilities!), and for Shadow, a collection of "Alfred Hitchcat's Favorite Ghost Stories." Suffice to say, as is always the case in these holiday specials, the joy of giving is the H-Bomb, and the Ghosts are so moved that they put off their plans to chase the Pac-Family indefinitely, and agree to be friends with Pac-Man and company. It then cuts into a hilariously repetitive song before Bashful and Speedy feel "funny," due to that equally-destructive staple of Christmas specials: Joy. Or the eggnog going straight to their heads. Pac-Baby tells us it's the former.
8. We Wish You A Merry Christmas
It's a Christmas song that we would all be richer for having lost, sung by the entire cast of the album and a few extras. At least it's over quick.
This albums is bad. Very bad. The album is just lacking and sad; another tragic attempt to milk Pac-Man for a bit more money around the holidays, in the very same year that Pac-Man for the 2600 would hit and signal the start of the gaming apocalypse that nearly was, the Crash of 1983. Still, even some of the tracks on the Christmas album are good for a laugh, and if nothing else, you got some chuckles out of how hilariously awful some of these were. And in the long run, isn't that what the season is about?
This could be the end, but sadly, it isn't. There are, in fact, at least three more Pac-Man Albums from the same company, including another Christmas Album. Unfortunately for you (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint), I've been unable to flag these down, so for now you're just going to have to go and look for them on your own if you want to torture your ears any further. It's kinda horrifying when you think about it; at least five of these albums exist, and whilst I haven't heard three of them, reviews have led me to believe that all were resoundingly horrible.
As an added bonus, I've uploaded the entire Pac-Man Christmas Album for you to download. Why give out coal to the bad kids when you can play this album instead?
Click here to download the Pac-Man Christmas Album!
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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