Review Review - It's Mr Pants (GBA)

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Nov 22, 2003
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It’s Mr Pants

Mr Pants, essentially an Easter Egg of a character for Rare, is the main mascot of the 2004 under the radar puzzle game, It’s Mr Pants. Almost everybody has heard of Rare, with their success with Donkey Kong, Banjo Kazooie, and Perfect Dark, but their secret character, Mr. Pants, in his own game, is virtually unheard of. Even the name Mr. Pants seem kind of childish or mockingly funny. The game was originally to be called “Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers” and star the popular primates, Donkey and Diddy Kong, but it wasn’t meant to be, and Rare created a whole new puzzle game.

The puzzle game is played in a top down view, where you have different colored tiles, and place them on a board. To clear the tiles, you must create rectangle shapes of the same color. However, you cannot place tiles on the same color on the board, for example, green tile on green tile. There are several tile shapes to be placed, including a J, L, an I of 2, 3 or 4, and a single block. Of course, just like any puzzle game, there are puzzle levels, a marathon mode, and a Time Attack (Wipe-Out). Puzzle mode shows you boards with tiles on it, and with a limited amount of tiles, you are required to clear the board of all tiles to move on. After completing several puzzle boards, you unlock a picture for your gallery. Wipe-out is a time attack, seeing how fast you can clear the puzzle on the screen with an unlimited number of blocks. Marathon mode is yet another empty board, where you try and rack up points. The catch is that there is a line, spiraling around your board, which will fill up your empty board, giving you a smaller space to work with. Once the board is full up, you’re marathon run is over.

The main attraction or hook of this game is definitely the graphics. The gameplay is secondary, almost second rate, taking a backseat to the graphical style of Mr Pants. The whole game is a huge risk, having the main character made out of a bunch of scribbles and crayons, looking as if he were ripped out of a child’s coloring book. Everything is brightly colored, with crayon scribbles, everything outside of the lines. Rare took a risk, and it’s somewhat falling short. The graphics are definitely different than most, but the approach is, well, kiddy.

The music in this game is just as out there as the graphics. Rare just went the whole nine yards in trying to create a game that would not conform to the public eye. The game is a mash of sounds, and drums, and synthesizers, it’s almost impossible to tell whether the developers just rushed the job or actually intended the music to be this way. The sound effects are just as thrown off, with Mr Pants as a British man, ranting about pants and how clean they are, while telling you to be happy. He is meant to be a comical figure, since his name is Mr Pants.

Lasting Replay
The lasting replay of this game is quite high, if the puzzle mode can keep you interested. There are plenty of puzzles in the puzzle mode, and if the concept can keep you entertained, there are also plenty of random boards to be completed in Wipe-Out mode. There is no multiplayer against another friend, but there is the Marathon mode, which you can compare your scores to those of a friend. Though, the sound can get to your nerves, and Mr Pants squeaky voice might unnerve you after those long gaming sessions.

Overall, this game is not too great. The puzzle concept is average, it takes bits here and there from other puzzle games. The graphics are definitely kiddy, and the visual style really turned this game away for a lot of gamers. The sound is very modern, though not very good. There are plenty of better puzzle games for the GBA, so, unless you really like puzzle games, this game is just an odd spectacle.



Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Lasting Replay - 7/10
Overall - 6/10 (Not an average)
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