Week in Arcade: Fancy Pants, Section 8

It’s a $25 week again, with two games that couldn’t be more different.

The Fancy Pants Adventures

EA tries to establish a little of bit of indie cred here, and they’ve picked a good one. This beautifully animated stick figure, physics-based platformer is a load of fun, bouncing and sliding with the best of them. The moves are tremendously satisfying and pure, although there is an adjustment period to get used to the movement. It can make combat tricky, although you’ll be engrossed by the clever writing and non-sensical narrative that involves kidnapping. What else? It’s gorgeous, the music is catchy, and once you’ve mastered it, there is little more that is as joyful to watch in motion, far better than in its Flash-based origins.

Section 8: Prejudice

A surprise little gem after a somewhat clunky original. The single player campaign is now a real campaign, not just a mindless bot brawl. Jetpacking and diving into the battlefield gives Section 8 added life in multiplayer too, the mechanics different enough that it’s not too familiar for say, Halo Reach fanatics. Guns have pop, the visuals are impressive, and the voice acting is better than expected. The now standard survival mode (here called Swarm) gives it some oomph in the value department too as four friends fight to survive, and with 32-player battlefields, this one is all about chaos. This is easily solid enough for a retail release, and it’s almost a shame it’s not. It deserves it.