Flash title enters the big leagues as Fancy Pants comes to XBLA
Best of all, Adventures adds new multiplayer treats to the world
EA 2D is a new wing of the massive publishing house dedicated to bringing back a little old school charm to your console – and The Fancy Pants Adventures is taking pride of place in that initiative.
Based on the massively successful Flash games by Brad Borne and first released in 2006, the latest iteration of The Fancy Pants Adventures sees our hero, Fancy Pants Man, on the trail of his missing sister – Cutie Pants. She has apparently been kidnapped by pirates but doesn’t seem overly concerned.
It’s all just a pretext for the platforming, where you fling your pants wearing hero from one end of colourful worlds to the next, careening off walls, swashbuckling with foes and picking up squiggles along the way. The controls are simplicity itself (jump and attack) with combos leading to mid air twirls and a charged attack that knocks back anything in its way. FPM is a nimble wee thing; wall jumping is vital to progression and it doesn’t take long before you’re back flipping onto previously impossible platforms as you get closer to your goal.
The Fancy Pants Adventures keeps things simple on the graphics front, with massive worlds drawn in simple lines and a basic main character. But earn enough squiggles and you can use them to unlock new costumes and weapons – we were soon sporting rabbit ears and flailing around madly with a chicken drumstick.
Best of all, Adventures adds new multiplayer treats to the world. You’ll be able to jump into each others co-op games and take part in all manner of competitive events, including races, king of the hill and mini games. It’s the very definition of pick up and play, with the added bonus that you always have the option of smacking your friend across the head with an inventive weapon – whether you’re on the same team or not!
We checked out a few competitive game modes and it’s safe to say there are elements of Super Smash Brothers here, particularly in King of the Hill, as you each vie for the best position and the most squiggles. The pace is absolutely frenetic – levels are large and full of massive hills to slide down and convenient walls to bounce from and while it’s not always clear where you are supposed to go, the sense of constant momentum is thrilling.
While the developers wouldn’t comment on the number of possible levels, we saw at least half a dozen in our brief play through so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a large number ship with the game. Add in character customisation and secret challenges and there promises to be serious value, and serious fun, in The Fancy Pants Adventures.
UPDATE - We've just got word that The Fancy Pants Adventures will be landing on PSN on the 19th of April and XBLA on the 20th. Pricing should be around €10.