Ms. ‘Splosion Man Review for Xbox 360

Ms. ‘Splosion Man Review for Xbox 360

She Blinded Me with Science!

It’s easy to feel cynical about the future of video games. As game developers churn out the same old minigame compilations over and over and actively cater to the lowest common denominator, it can be hard to see where the next wave of innovation will come from. However, after playing Ms. ‘Splosion Man, you’ll probably feel a little better about the industry.

Ms. Splosion Man, like its predecessor, has a simple premise but excels because it creates immense challenge. It proves that you can have a singular game mechanic—’splode to win!—but make it interesting enough to fill 50 incredible levels. Its innovation comes from the back-to-basics gameplay that doesn’t need to rely on flashy visuals or an incredible storyline. The design theory here is simple: Just make amazing levels, give gamers a challenge, and then sit back and watch the ‘splosions.

Ms. 'Splosion Man Screenshot

If you played ‘Splosion Man last year, you know exactly what to expect from this follow-up. You play as an artificially-created being with the unique ability to make itself explode. Exploding is your basic means of both combat and locomotion. You’ll need to use the environment to make each explosion count so you can make it to the end of each level. You can only explode three times before needing to “recharge” by touching the ground or an item that will reset the counter. This means you’ll have to be strategic with your ‘splodes and not just blast all over the place willy-nilly.

There isn’t really much plot to the game, but you’ll have so much fun with the level design and gameplay that you’re not likely to mind the story’s absence.

Levels take you to some interesting places in Ms. ‘Splosion Man. You’ll be exploding off the walls of science labs, a busy highway, and even a tropical resort. The world of Ms. ‘Splosion Man is quite large despite being absolutely linear by design. Though the gameplay will keep you quite focused on your objectives, the change in scenery is always appreciated, and you can look forward to plenty of visual gags along the way. Ms. ‘Splosion Man has an incredible sense of humor, and its unique brand of irreverence is definitely apparent in the level design.

Ms. 'Splosion Man Screenshot

Adding further to the game’s charm is the character of Ms. ‘Splosion Man herself. She’s chock full of pop culture references that gamers of all ages will get, even though she’s just been created when the game begins. I don’t know how she had time to process all of this pop culture knowledge, but apparently she was “Born This Way.” Whether she’s dancing the Macarena, singing along to “Single Ladies,” or quoting Jerry Maguire, Ms. ‘Splosion Man seems to have the cultural lexicon down pat, and the results are hilarious. Oh, and did I mention she also ballet-dances her way through levels? Yeah, Ms. ‘Splosion Man is one crazy lady, but that’s just the way we love her.

But let me be clear on one thing: Though Ms. ‘Splosion Man is bursting at the seams with humor and charm, you will throw your controller across the room at some point during this game. The platforming in Ms. ‘Splosion Man is intense, and you’ll have to use plenty of strategies to get through each level. There are environmental puzzles, timing-based challenges, and enemies just waiting for you to mess up just once so you’ll have to restart at your last checkpoint. The game also grades you on how fast you can make it through each level, and your first time through, you’ll be lucky to make it out in twice the “goal” time. However, Ms. ‘Splosion Man is a game that was meant to be replayed, and if you are the type of person that likes speed runs and leaderboard competitions, you’ll have a blast playing and replaying each crazy level.

Ms. 'Splosion Man Screenshot

The single-player mode is expansive, and will certainly eat up an afternoon or two for the first playthrough. If you are looking for even more madness, Ms. ‘Splosion Man also has an equally expansive multiplayer mode. You can play with up to four people locally or online, which certainly adds to the onscreen mayhem. There’s also an unlockable single-player/multiplayer mode that challenges you to control multiple Ms. ‘Splosion Men with one controller. I wouldn’t advise this for the faint of heart, though, as the challenge is incredible. Even experienced platformers will have difficulty managing all the ‘Splosion mayhem.

Ms. 'Splosion Man Screenshot

In addition to the game’s regular content, Ms. ‘Splosion Man has a huge cache of unlockables and extras. The in-game “mall” lets you unlock concept art, videos, avatar awards, and music. And like the rest of the game, the unlockables are often quite offbeat. During my time with the game, I was able to unlock a music video for a song called “You Are the ‘Splode Beneath my ‘Splosion.” (It’s just as ridiculous as it sounds.) The game’s irreverent approach helps lend it some of its charm, and the silly unlockable content just adds to the whole experience.

On the technical side of things, Ms. ‘Splosion Man meets expectations. The visuals are highly detailed with lots of moving parts, and the game’s high-octane pace can be felt just by looking at its busy levels. Music in the game is extremely well done, and each level features a host of new tunes and sound effects. The only thing that can become a little repetitive is the voiceover. Though Ms. ‘Splosion Man is a funny girl and her witty banter is certainly endearing, hearing her sing “If You Wannabe My Lover-er” for the hundredth time can be grating if you play for long stretches of time. And given the addictive format of the game, long stretches are likely.

Ms. ‘Splosion Man is a great game, and is certainly one of the best downloadable games to come down the pipe this year. Though the format is identical to the original ‘Splosion Man, the new protagonist’s sassy attitude goes a long way in making the experience feel fresh again. Plus, with 50 new levels that will challenge even the most experienced platformer and plenty of unlockable content, you’ll have lots of fun with Ms. ‘Splosion Man. In fact, you just might ‘splode yourself from laughter.

Ms. ‘Splosion Man has a killer visual style. 4.5 Control
Controls are simple and easy to use. 4.1 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Voiceover is hilarious, but can be repetitive after long stretches of play. Music sounds great. 4.7 Play Value
Playing each level once is just the beginning. Multiplayer and leaderboards challenge you to replay and memorize levels to an obsessive degree. 4.4 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • You got a problem? Yo, she’ll ‘splode it. At the Big Science after-party celebrating the capture of ‘Splosion Man, a spill of champagne shorts out the safety protocols on the splosionatrix. From it emerges Ms. ‘Splosion Man.
  • The latest creation from Twisted Pixel Games, the creators of ‘Splosion Man, The Maw, and Comic Jumper, Ms. ‘Splosion man comes packed with fifty levels of single-player mayhem and a separate fifty-level co-op multiplayer campaign.
  • Included with the game are gamerpics, a premium theme, and some sweet avatar accessories! Expanded map features, tons of unlockables, ghost replays, and countless other improvements make this the definitive edition for any ‘splosion connoisseur.

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