Game Rant’s Riley Little reviews ‘Ms. ‘Splosion Man’
The follow up to the popular Xbox Live Arcade title ‘Splosion Man was finally made available this past week, and it’s so much more than just a cash-in on the fan-favorite franchise. Twisted Pixel easily could have just created a few new levels, added a ‘Ms.’ in the title, and watched the revenue roll in, but instead they poured their hearts and souls into Ms. ‘Splosion Man – and it’s blatantly obvious after playing the game for more than 15 minutes.
Ms. Splosion Man takes everything that made the original game great, and adds new ways to solve puzzles – elevating the title far above it’s predecessor (which was a great game as well).
Ms. ‘Splosion Man starts off with the original game’s protagonist ‘Splosion Man getting captured. As the scientists celebrate, they accidentally knock a bottle of wine over which causes a bunch of machines to go haywire – and Ms. Splosion Man is born as a result. The character is just as wacky (if not more so) than her male counterpart – and she will attempt to splode everything and anyone that tries to stop her from leaving the scientist-filled facility. Ms. Splosion Man enjoys referencing pop culture whenever given the chance, and her jokes range from a Gone with the Wind reference to a line from Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies.”
The story isn’t revolutionary, but the game’s main character is funny to listen to – and even more enjoyable to control.
The gameplay has largely remained intact for the sequel. Players still maneuver around levels with the analog stick, while ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘X’, and ‘Y’ all make Ms. ‘Splosion Man jump in the air via an explosion. Players are limited to three ‘splosions before MSM runs out of energy – so timing button presses becomes absolutely crucial to completing levels. Death is such a common occurrence in Ms. Splosion Man, and even though it can be a pain in the butt it’s very much like a science experiment – failure of a certain segment will often reveal how to approach the puzzle in the next run.
While the base gameplay has remained almost exactly the same, it’s the new obstacles and level designs that are a breath of fresh air. One very cool new addition is the zip-line, which the protagonist can use to ride over, under, and straight into different obstacles, such as lasers. There are also splosion panels, which allow players to continuously explode without fear of running out of energy. Some pristine skills are required to splode around obstacles and enemies that obstruct your path, but that just makes completing them that much more satisfying.
Collectible cakes have also been replaced by shoes, which Ms. Splosion Man will wear through the entire level after they’ve been obtained. Is this relevant to the game’s overall appeal? Heck no, but it was a nice touch.
If there was one problem that really plagued the original it was the serious lack of change in scenery, but Twisted Pixel has addressed this problem in Ms. ‘Splosion Man. Yes, the game starts off in a lab, but Ms. ‘Splosion Man will frequently jump outside of the laboratory windows and hop onto unsuspecting vehicles. Some of the game’s later levels take place in locales such as a beach, so the game doesn’t become monotonous.
Multiplayer in Ms. Splosion Man features a completely different set of levels than the single-player campaign, and the ending is even different from the single-player side of things. Add in the fact that it features a few ungodly challenges with ample amounts of fun, and you’ve plenty of reasons to give the co-op mode a try. Players can hook up with friends online or plug-in another controller locally to tackle the treacherous co-op levels. If you’re a loner who despises social gaming, then you’re also in luck – because there is a mode called “2 Girls, 1 Controller” that allows gamers to play as two ‘Splosion Women (Ms. ‘Splosion Men?).
Ms. Splosion Man has a lot going for it, but after the single-player and multiplayer campaigns have been completed there isn’t much reason to revisit the title. Granted there are leaderboards, ghost times, and shoes to collect for completionists out there. Not to mention, the game is also only $10, so it’s hard to even complain about the lack of replayability – when there’s plenty of bang (or ‘Splosions) for your buck.
Overall, Ms. Splosion Man is a great game that fans of the original and newcomers alike will really enjoy. The new characters, levels, sheer amount of unlockable content, and over-the-top hilarity make this game arguably the best title that Twisted Pixel has released thus far
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Ms. Splosion Man is available now, exclusively on Xbox 360