Monday, March 5, 2012

'Fancy Pants' Review

Ported from its famous flash game, enter Fancy Pants! Fancy Pants tells a quirky story of Fancy Pants Man and his little sister who gets kidnapped by pirates, and it’s your job to parkour across several levels to get her back, where along the way, you’ll be collecting little squiggles, bottles, stars, and more.

Fancy Pants is a platforming title that also encourages exploration, as each level is riddled with secrets and content. The biggest draw for Fancy Pants is the content in each level: as you go around exploring the each huge level, you’ll find short time trials, “arcade” games, etc. In each level, there are three stars, a bottle and a number of “squiggles” to collect to try and get a 100% rating, as well as NPCs and reward rooms. Fancy Pants gets most of its appeal from the sheer amount of things you can do in a level.

Conceptually, Fancy Pants is great. However, when I began playing, I felt very little incentive to actually play. One issue I had was that it was a platforming title that failed to execute the platforming part well. Fancy Pants is too floaty, too slow, and too difficult to fine-tune control; he needs to first accelerate to begin moving, and there is a significant “slide-time” where he slides after you stop moving. Frankly, for platforming titles, you need to feel in control of your character, and more than once, I felt as if the game had more control than me. Second, the buttons to control Fancy Pants are either too small or unresponsive at times. In addition, when swimming, your left-right arrows turn into a four-directional d-pad, which is crammed into the bottom left corner. For someone whose thumb is slightly larger-than-average, I found this extremely annoying, as I’d go directions were I intended not. Finally, I have a large problem as to how killing enemies are handled. A standard “jump-on-the-head” does not kill unless you are holding up. I have no idea why they decided to force this upon the player. When you unlock the pencil weapon, standard combat also includes using the pencil to strike enemies. However, one strike never kills – you need to charge up your attack. It’s not a bad idea, but when executed, I can say that waiting for your attack to charge up is just a little more interesting than listening to my physics teacher drone on about who-knows-what.

Basically, Fancy Pants fails as a platformer, but manages to deliver with its exploring. The game did have its shining moments, but those are overlooked by the lack of excitement during the majority of its platforming.

Fancy Pants does a great job with it’s presentation, with it’s fun and quirky themes to it’s way of handling the “menu”, which is actually a home where you open doors to access where you want to go. In addition, you’ve got over 120 different customizable outfits for Fancy Pants, so be sure to enjoy that!

No slow downs, short loading screens for the amount of content in a level, and crystal clear graphics. The graphics don’t push the system at all, but sometimes, less is more.

The music is extremely pleasant, and I found myself enjoying the tunes a whole lot. Also, the sound effects are done really well; it’s a very simple, clean game.

Like I mentioned earlier, the game is jam-packed with content for each level. With a myriad of levels to 100%, which will be no easy task to find everything, there’s nothing that will keep you more occupied for a longer period of time, should you play it.

Fancy Pants presents itself nice and clean, with its simple yet charming style. However, the game hits quite a few snags when it attempts to deliver gameplay, as the fact that it has poor platforming as a platformer is extremely dishearten. But, if you can overlook those flaws and enjoy the sheer content of the game, Fancy Pants is something that you can have fun with.

Gameplay: 3/5
Presentation: 4/5
Graphics: 4.5/5
Sound: 4/5
Replay: 5/5

Overall: 3.5/5


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