The Fancy Pants Adventure

FancyPantsAdventureThis console version of the enjoyable side-scrolling, adventure platform game series, originally made in Flash by Brad Borne, is available on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. This version expands the original PC game with a two to four player mode and new levels. An iOS version is also available.

The smooth, parkour style moves entertain and challenge on a very high level as Over The Top Games in partner with Borne Games and EA 2D for The Fancy Pants Adventures now available on PlayStation Network. This version is not necessarily the third installment in this game series (first released in March 2006 then the second in January 2008). The Fancy Pants Adventures contains elements from the previous installments with new storyline and gameplay.

This side-scrolling platformer begins with proud Squiggleville resident, Fancy Pants Man, sleeping in his cozy hand drawn house. Players can direct this playable and customizable character throughout the house to change his wardrobe, select levels, play bonus games, or continue saved adventures. The game features 141 character wardrobe items and weapons.

After venturing into the open with a wide camera shot for orientation, players can find appealing environments with great spacing, contrast, color, and varying line weight for sharp visuals that ease navigation and provide even more appeal. This game has no dialogue audio, so dialogue text bubbles serve the story well as players concentrate on the strong visuals and character actions.

The beginning tutorial-type levels orient players then the story kicks off with a conflict – Fancy Pants Man’s sister Cutie Pants gets kidnapped by pirates, the main antagonists along with other figures and basic creatures like spiders. Standard platform gaming elements like boss fights still apply

Enemies also shoot guns, but players also can gain their own weapons and other special attacks. The ingenious layouts let players can take the cautious approach or go full speed, but they encounter the same learning curve for movements and controls. Control movement and responses are excellent, so layers must learn the controls and determine their speed. The biggest learning curves occur on wall jumps and back flips. The catchy musical score adds a spring in every step.

Squiggleville contains many beneficial “squiggle” objects that players can obtain for health recovery and extra lives (for every 100). Movements occur mainly on foot, but springs, underwater swims, and mid-air adjustments add nice variety. For example, horizontal movement options while falling straight down put players beyond gravity’s mercy. As the screen scrolls through the big drops and jumps, players really get a fast-moving, almost weightless sensation thanks to the smooth animation and navigation. The tight maneuvering makes perfect drops almost impossible, so that ultimate challenge is always present. A special large joystick peripheral would be perfect for this game.

The biggest advantage of horizontal movements after the main action (usually jumps) is that players can easily adjust if they know they will miss the mark. Jumps are the biggest enemy beater and they require precise placement on the target’s head. Jump on a friend’s head for a teammate jump boosts. Players can also kick off underwater surfaces. All these movements would benefit from a deeper sound effect cache including footsteps when running and sweeping slides.

No trophies, but immense extra content, bonus rooms, and special challenge levels boost the replay value. The most notable addition from previous installments is the local and online multiplayer modes (up to four players). Races and classic King of the Hill tournaments are very entertaining. The local multiplayer levels lose other players if one gets ahead, but players can hit x to rejoin at any time.

Copyright © Michael Siebenaler

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