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Ms. Splosion Man packs a tremendous amount of fun into a downloadable
ten-dollar game. Perhaps that high-pressure fun is what makes her so
explosive? Actually, she’s splodey because she was developed by Twisted
Pixel, the madmen behind the 2009 XBLA hit Splosion Man. The
Girl Power sequel is not only better than the original game, but it will also
teach you everything you need to know about women.
The first thing you'll learn is that women are dangerous. Although the game is a platformer, Ms. Splosion Man doesn't jump, she explodes, hurling herself into the air! She can splode three times before she needs to recharge, allowing for double and triple jumps. Anything near her when she blows also explodes, and this includes men who get close to her. Like I said, women are dangerous; stay away from them. The explosions also detonate parts of the environment, and push some items around. Gameplay boils down to players figuring out how to use the environment and jumps to reach the endpoints of the levels. It's classic platforming at it's best.
Women are pretty. Despite the old fashioned gameplay, it's running on a gorgeous 3-D engine. Your character can only move in two dimensions, but Twisted Pixel’s “Beard” engine looks fabulous, and the art design is a cartoony version of a futuristic world with flying cars, giant robots, and pink, exploding women. Our heroine is also well-animated. She bursts into recognizable dance routines when idle, and instead of running around the levels, she prances, skates, and walks en pointe.
Women are concerned about their weight. The levels quickly grow challenging, and there's a feature that lets players skip to the next savepoint after dying too often on a level. In the first Splosion Man game this was called “The way of the coward”, and if you chose to skip a tough section, you were punished by your character wearing a pink tutu for the rest of the level. In Ms. Splosion Man it works a little differently; when she skips a section of a level, she gains weight, and a bodonkadonk rap song plays through the rest of the level.
Women won’t shut up. Much like every other dame, Ms. Splosion Man is always making with the yakkity-yak. The voice actress does an over-the-top parody of a giggly, boy-crazy, girly girl, with just a pinch of Valley Girl. There’s always a one-liner to be fired off during a lull in the action, whether it’s a line from a popular song, or just a comment about how cute something is.
Women like to shop. As you progress through the game, you’ll eventually make it to a Mall where you can buy unlockables with points you earn from completing levels quickly, and finding collectible shoes. OMG SHOES!! These unlockables include the usual concept art and such, but also new gameplay modes like Two Girls, One Controller which lets one player control two Splosion people at once!
Women are fickle. Much like a woman who trades up her man as soon as a better one comes along, Ms. Splosion Man constantly finds new gameplay mechanics. While the basic idea of “triple jump your way to the end” is always there, the game adds in new features and puzzle items as you go along. There are sliding rails, trampolines, and cannons that will launch you like a human cannonball around the levels. One of my favorites is a Human Suit that you can dress up in to disguise yourself as a normal woman. It’s functions as a form of comical armor as you make your way through certain sections as well. There is always something new and interesting to do, which is impressive considering that it’s quite long.
Women travel in Packs. Aside from the fifty levels in the single-player game, there are another (Entirely different) fifty levels that you can play through with up to four friends online or through local multiplayer. The multi-player game is co-op, and you’ll need to work together with the other splosion people, more or less. You won’t necessarily need all four friends to get through the levels, but more exploding people is always fun.
Ms. Splosion Man is howlingly funny too. You’ll most likely laugh out loud before you’ve even finished the tutorial. With so much entertainment packed into such a small price, Ms. Splosion Man is one of the bext XBLA games of the year, if not the best so far. You don’t need to have played the first game in the series to enjoy it either. She’s well worth the ten-dollar price, and is available now only for Xbox.