Game: Ms. Splosion Man
System: Xbox 360
Review by: MrB4
There are still some of us out there who appreciate a good amount of challenge in the games we play. I don’t know why, but there is something about accomplishing a goal,after several hours worth of trying, that gives me a sense of overall satisfaction and excitement. Before the glory sets in though, controllers are thrown, obscenities spew off by the dozens, and wanting to quit becomes more and more tempting every second. This is the case with Ms. Splosion Man, which is the sequel to the 2009 smash hit Splosion Man on XBLA, a game where having just enough patience, along with good reflexes, is the key to success.
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Story:The setup here is simple, Splosion Man has been captured by his creators, Big Science, which, as you may have already guessed, is a group of scientists. During their celebration, one of them accidently spills some liquid onto a wire, a little bonnet falls onto a platform, and Ms. Splosion Man is born. Now the race is on to save Splosion Man from this evil corporation, all while trying to survive the grueling world that the scientists have created. Cutscenes are few and far between, and don’t really provide much in the way of being informative, but they are amusing and fun to watch. It’s all just a basic premise to give you a reason to keep playing, and that’s all it should be anyway.
Graphics: Leaving the lab, and exploring the outside world gives way to some fantastic level designs. Each area is unique in its setup, and always keeps the player on their toes as to figuring out how to get through each particular stage. Character models are the same as the first entry in the series, and that’s ok, because they are still just as lively and impressively detailed as they’ve ever been. Exploding in particular is done with an incredible amount of visual flair, just wish that I could see myself sometimes with all of the flashing lights that were surrounding me.
Gameplay: Simple to understand, yet hard to master, is the best way to describe this particular category. All you have to do is make your way to the end of the level as fast as possible. Sounds easy enough right?, well, here is where things get tricky.Each new area has a specific way in which the player has to navigate through it, but that’s up to you to figure out. Sometimes it could involve something as easy as flipping a switch to drop an object onto an enemy, inhabiting the body of one of the scientists in order to pass through a laser beam without taking damage, kicking a barrel up to an enemy to turn off a switch, and so on. Later on, these objectives start to combine themselves together to put up even more of a challenge, and while they can be frustrating at times, there is a solution to every single one of them.
This is especially true during each of the boss fights, but like I stated before, there is a solution to every problem. Just watch the pattern, respond when necessary, and everything should be just fine. Thank god that the controls are responsive and easy to understand, because if they weren’t, I would lose my freaking mind. Once the single player experience is over, there are plenty of things to do. There are shoes to collect in each stage, secret areas to unlock, a multiplayer campaign to play, tons of concept art, videos, and exclusives to acquire, and much more.
Sound: Eccentric, goofy, over the top, and hits all of the right notes in all of the right places. The background music is patricularly great, and provides the player with a feeling of relaxtion in admist of all of the chaos. Sound effects themselves pack quite a punch as well. I also loved the outdated 80’s and 90’s pop culture references that Ms. Splosion Man says from time to time, they are just downright hilarious.
Wishes or changes: To be perfectly honest, I can’t really think of anything that needs to be changed or included to make this game any better than it already is. Twisted Pixel has given about as much as they possibly could in order to justify the $10 dollar price tag and then some. My only real gripe here is that there is really is no leadway at all with the difficulty level, and what I mean by that is that there is margin for error, everything has to be executed to perfection.
TQ Bottom Line: Ms. Splosion Man is not for the faint of heart, and can be frustrating at times, but there is enough lying underneath the surface to make it stand out as one of the premier downloadable titles on XBLA. Fans of the series, and newcomers who are looking for a challenge will without a doubt be satisified with this one.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 Michelas!
Ms. Splosion Man
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99)
P.S.: Due to some site difficulties, two different articles had to be re-written, and we here at TQCast apologize for any confusion that this might cause our readers. Desz has offered to do a giveaway for a full retail game at the end of the month. All you have to do is comment in this article and in the new releases article. We apologize for the inconvenience. So if you are up for a free game, post away, winners will be chosen soon.