Published on May 7th, 2011 | by Gabriel


Review: The Fancy Pants Adventures (XBLA)

Review: The Fancy Pants Adventures (XBLA) Gabriel

Summary: Gabriel takes a look at The Fancy Pants Adventures, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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What once started out as a fun flash game, has grown and become a full-fledged console release. Lately we’ve seen a couple of flash games make the jump to consoles, titles such as N+ and Super Meat Boy. Fancy Pants Adventures is the latest one to join in. I mention those other two games because they have a fundamental similarity with Fancy Pants: they’re all platformers. But the way they handle platforming is what sets them apart. Super Meat Boy is all about precision to try and avoid a gruesome death at the hands of the environment. N+ was all about time-based jumps and momentum to keep your ninja moving towards his goal before he died. Fancy Pants is very much like N+ in that is relies heavily on momentum, although this is a much faster game. Momentum is the crux of the experience in this game, everything revolves around it’s this feature that will determine your level of enjoyment with the game.

Fancy Pants started life as a simple flash game designed by Brad Borne. After creating World 1 and 2, EA wanted to bring the game over to consoles and The Fancy Pants Adventures was born. The story is a very simple one: You play a stick figure by the name of Fancy Pants. Pirates have come to Squiggleville and have kidnapped your sister and it’s your job to save her. Easy enough. This simple tale sets up the ground for an adventure through many varied locales, such as forests, caves, beaches etc.

As I stated before, the game is based around momentum. As Fancy Pants runs he starts to gains speed. The environments in the game are designed around this idea and try to help you maintain that speed but it’s up to you to keep the momentum going. This is the contending point between people who will love this game and people who will hate it. Because it relies so much on momentum, the movement of the character isn’t very precise. Fancy Pants feels floaty when he jumps and is a bit hard to control when he gains speed. Now, you might be like me and love this level of control. While it might prove unwieldy at first, the more you play, the easier it is to control him until you fully master his movements. And when this happens, you’ll have even more fun with the game, seeing as you’ll be flipping and doing tricks all around the stages, maybe even discovering some hidden areas thanks to your newfound skills.

The art style in the game complements the sense of speed. You might think that since the game revolves around a stick figure, it’s visual presentation may be lacking, but believe me, it’s not. The animations throughout the game are astounding. It’s awesome how something so simple as a stick figure can animate so smoothly. His body moves in accordance with all his movements, his hair flows back when on the run, the way he swims. And since the game is called Fancy Pants, you can expect an immense variety of pants that he can wear. There are also hats and weapons that you unlock as you play. Everything has an incredible level of detail even with its simple art style.

The game also sports a multiplayer component. You can tackle the story with up to three other friends and there are also some arcade challenges which let you go up against them, rack up a high score and see who comes out on top. Another extra that was added in the game is the ability to unlock both flash games, giving you the chance to try those out if you never had before.

If there is one fault Fancy Pants has, it’s the combat. At first, you kill enemies similar to how Mario does it: you stomp them. But halfway through the game, you’ll unlock the pencil (or whatever you choose to have Fancy Pants carry around). There aren’t many moments that require the use of a weapon and those that are there feel clunky and like they don’t belong in the game, something that was added at the last minute.

Other than that, this is a great game to add to your collection. Even though the main story isn’t very long, there are plenty of unlockables to get and multiplayer modes to try out with friends. For 800msp, it’s worth it. So, are you fancy enough to get this game?

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