Review: Ms. Splosion Man

With Ms. Splosion Man finally here on the Xbox LIVE Arcade you might be wondering how well Twisted Pixel did on the game before shelling out the ten bucks for it, well wait no longer.

Ms. Splosion Man may not be the most creative character, with her being brought into existence through some rowdy scientists celebrating the victory of finally catching Splosion Man and accidentally spilling some champagne on a few electrical wires. Regardless of the cliché ‘Ms.’ being added to the title of this downloadable sequel might be lacking some character originality but it is not in the varied levels spanning from a few different worlds. 45 levels through the three worlds (Big Science City, Big Resort, and Big Factory) might seem a little short for a $10 game, but let me reassure you the levels themselves can span anywhere from 4-10+ minutes each and that’s only if you know the puzzles before-hand, some of which can get very difficult on the co-operative game-mode.

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If you think you can blow past the single-player campaign in no-time there’s always the incentive to run back through the levels racing your ghost to clock in some scores on the online leader-boards. Or work with your friends to conquer the tough-as-nails multiplayer mode. There is always those shoes you missed on one level or another so why not go back for an achievement or two? One thing that should be noted when playing the game is the difficulty you’ll encounter when trying to control Ms. Splosion Man. Moving her around is a slippery slope, with your character likely to slide into an oncoming hazard which can be frustrating, but for the most part the controls handle well enough to make it through the game.

In-between the game itself is the humor of Ms. Splosion Man, which all Twisted Pixel games plays a big part in the overall experience. Amidst ‘sploding your way through factories, airways and what-not you’ll always hear Ms. Splosion Man muttering a Spice Girls lyric, or other famous songs or movie quotes such as “Nobody puts baby in the corner” from Dirty Dancing, Cyndi Laupers “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, Phil Collins “Sussudio” or just about anything related to shoes. Along with the quotes, other odd bits of humor can be found from the two tutorial videos, or some of the extra content you can buy with tokens from beating levels such as shirtless pictures of some of the guys from Twisted Pixel (really!).

Graphically this game is a masterpiece, that dare I say it might be on-par with some of the stuff coming from large studios that produce massive retail games. From the stunning backdrops, to the modeled characters and platforming scenery; every bit and piece of this game is visually pleasing with a range of colors to bring the arcade-like, or even cartoony style of Ms. Splosion Man all together. While at times it might seem a bit dull with the same lab scenery placed in-between some of the beautiful landscapes, it does get more interesting once you get into some of the later levels. It is by no means perfect but I’ll cut Twisted Pixel some slack because when you see them you can see the massive amount of work put into some of the environments.

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Onto the sound, which surprisingly enough is something that barely caught my attention with it all seeming to just blend in the background as I was hacking away at some of the tough levels, and in-between the easier ones too. That said there’s nothing bad about the soundtrack as it’s fitting for the game with its upbeat and girly nature to fit Ms. Splosion Man fairly well. The issue is that like most game soundtracks as of late it can be forgettable and I know I (sadly) say that a lot with these games but when you play the trial or full game you’ll see what I’m talking about. Sure there are a few interesting tracks here and there, but nothing spectacular that would warrant me to want to listen to the tracks personally on my computer or MP3 player.

All in all, Ms. ‘Splosion man is a great addition to any lovers of old-school platformers  library with a good bit of challenge to boot, but I feel the odd taste of humor might tear some people away from playing the game. However, if the humor is not your cup of tea and are willing to look past it you’ll find a solid enjoyable platformer for just about anyone who’s willing to sing their time into it. 

Creative and interesting level designs, but the slippery controls make it harder than it should be.
Beautiful landscapes, scenery and platforming elements. Better than the first by a longshot.
Interesting songs and melodies, but none of them are too interesting to want to listen to again.
8Final Score

 You can purchase Ms. Splosion Man from the Xbox Marketplace for 800 :MSPoints:.


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