Everyone’s favorite mohawk-sporting, orange pants-wearing, gravity-defying acrobat, and all-around speed demon is back in the second installment of Brad Borne’s Fancy Pants Adventures series. This time, Fancy Pants Man has brought his unique brand of parkour-styled heroic antics to all major platforms, both console and mobile. Embark on a side-scrolling, 2D platforming quest to save your sister, Cutie Pants, while collecting squiggles, stomping baddies, wielding weapons, swimming, and, if you are playing on a console or mobile device, a multitude of customization options.
Gameplay is perhaps best described as that which would result from taking elements of old-school (read: NES) Mario games and the best elements from Sonic the Hedgehodge with parkour and stick people. Fancy Pants 2 utilizes the same basic formula as its predecessor: a highly mobile character, a permissive physics engine, and unique level design with a variety of elements to keep players on their toes. The game remains easy to learn, but difficult to master, especially on the ported versions, where touch sensitivity can be an issue. Fancy Pants 2 includes 11 levels, making it a short game, but still extremely enjoyable.
Fancy Pants Man’s extreme speed, acrobatic ability make him an extremely fun character to operate; indeed, in this reviewers opinion, he is probably the best character to come of the world of Flash gaming in years. Fancy Pants 2 follows the example of Fancy Pants 1 by designing levels that offer diverse challenges that make the game fun to explore. It almost feels like playing on a giant, virtual jungle gym because so many different elements are included and linked together, meaning that the ability to adapt quickly and change strategies fluidly is a must, especially in later levels. Fancy Pants 1’s smooth platforming has, thankfully, been duplicated here
Fancy Pants 2 improves up on the first game in several ways. First, the levels are extremely visually pleasing, much more so than Fancy Pants 1, because there is greater use of color, more detail on level objects and backgrounds, and a general improvement on all of the game’s artistic and design elements. Succinctly stated, Fancy Pants 2 has had a facelift and it as very competently done. Additionally, in the first game, when Fancy Pants Man had reached a certain momentum, there was a tendency for him to go completely out of control and start taking suicide dives off ravines and into baddies—it was almost as if Fancy Pants Man was too strong to be totally controlled by the user. In Fancy Pants 2, Fancy Pants Man has seemed to have either slowed just a little, or his controls had a tune-up to make him respond quickly when a user attempts to jerk him back from death. Perhaps it’s both, but what really matters is the Fancy Pants Man is easier to control in the second game
However, just as Fancy Pants 2 has improved upon aspects of its predecessor, it has also introduced new negative elements. Mobile users have reported that the controls are over-the-top touch sensitive to the point that a slight movement of the finger can send Fancy Pants Man flying in unintended directions, which, obviously, is extremely irritating.
Fancy Pants 2 includes two new gameplay elements that are both unnecessary and frustrating: swimming and weaponry.
Growing up playing Mario and Sonic, I would have sold one of my tiny extra organs if doing so would eradicate all of the horrible water levels that would ever be created. They are the worst, and from my internet browsing (always a reliable source of information), it seems that I am not alone in feeling this way. The touch sensitivity issue is somehow worse when in the water than when on land.
That the second addition is more of a negative than a positive is quite surprising, after all, weapons usually make most games better. Such is not the case here, as it is quite useless against most enemies (and stomping on them and rolling on them is more fun anyway), yet the game still heavily relies on it.