|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Twisted Pixel||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Twisted Pixel||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 22, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
If I keep playing the game right now, I'm going to explode. That's why I decided to finally give it a break and start writing about it. 'Splosion Man is surely one of the most addictive games I've played lately, and that's even considering some of the older titles that I just love. It's not like this game is simply outstanding, but it definitely has what it takes to get your attention and get you going. Twisted Pixel Games, creators of The Maw, have done it right this time around, so "yeah" for that!
When I started playing I couldn't help but compare it to N+. It really has a few similarities with the streamlined 2D platformer. In 'Splosion Man you control the explosive guy as he races through numerous platforms. The setting is some underground laboratory full of mad scientists testing out lasers, bombs, and other hazardous materials. The presentation in N+ was simple and sleek, but the look of 'Splosion Man wins because it's more original and just plain hilarious. I love the style of the little explosive dude with his grin, funny chants, and quick moves. He doesn't seem too concerned about his spontaneous combustion issue, as it seems to help him move on. Heck, I'd even say he really enjoys it! Well I guess if he does, I do too. I can't hide my guilty pleasure of making the guy explode any longer. It's what makes the gameplay so darn fun.
In this game, it's all about exploding. You don't jump; you explode. Explode to bounce off the wall, explode next to this guy until his guts fall out, explode when you pass by the explosive barrel to get an impulse, and definitely explode to break through the glass and destroy everything on the way. It's easy, old-school platforming, but with a very "'splosive" vibe. Sometimes you have to plan your moves and think of chain reactions, but most of the time the game is purely fast-paced and unpredictable.
As you advance, it gets a lot more challenging, and soon enough, everyone will hear you yell. You might start to despise that level, but you'll still owe it to yourself to get through it. My feelings while playing the game where similar to when I play N+, which is both a good and bad thing, as you might start to accumulate too much energy and end up exploding with anger. But I have good news too: the game lets you go "the way of the coward" and pass the level after a few frustrated attempts. This should help alleviate the rage built up in your system. Perhaps it'll even save your controller from a very unhappy ending!
'Splosion Man can be played in both single-player and co-op multiplayer modes. Not much changes when playing with other people, except the music in the background, which by the way, is pretty good stuff. I wish there was a bit more variation as far as soundtrack, because it can get a bit repetitive. Luckily, the tunes are perfectly suited for the game and help to add another layer of chaos to the gameplay without getting annoying, which is commendable.