Well, since recently re-acquiring Xbox Live a couple of weeks ago, I decided to trawl through the countless demo’s on there. One which stood out to me was a quirky little game called “Splosion Man”. And I may as well say this now. That game is fun.
Having only played the demo version, I personally cannot tell you a great deal about the story line, though fear not, a game like this really doesn’t need one, and infact, having a full story line would only ruin this game instead of bettering it.
The gameplay is simple, fun, but oddly challenging at times, and I sometimes found my self grinning at the pure genius behind it all. Of the current new generation, some may say that Valve’s Portal was the first game to really break the ice at being purely fun and simple. Well if that’s the case, then you can also safely say that Splosion Man is the second game to “break the ice”.
The full game will consist of 50 games of “sploding fun”, which really will be genuine fun (to splode is to jump, then explode to either propel yourself or destroy people/object in generally a hilarious manner).
There is also an multiplayer aspect to the game, of up to 4 players. I have never played it, but from what I saw of videos from the developers, it seems to be who can get to the finish point the quickest.
Basic information about the game:
Price: 800 MS points (this needs to be verified)
Developer: Twisted Pixel Games
Overall rating: 9.2/10
My life as a gamer has had its ups and downs. I have played games ranging from old text command games, to modern first person shooters filled with sweet graphical goodness. My favorite genre as a child was platformers. These were the games that molded my childhood gaming expirience. The problem with this, is that there have been very few good platformers to come out in the past several years in my opinion. Several of the platformers that seem to deserve praise, I have never played, and the ones that I have played were horrible, horrible, pixilated tragedies.
For the longest time, I felt as though I would never play a truly great platformer ever again. I have not been able to experience Little Big Planet, or any other Playstation 3 titles, as I do not have the money to afford a Playstation 3. However, just the other day, I did happen to have a measly 800 Microsoft Points, and the desire to have a platforming good time!
Enter, ‘Splosion Man.
I had my doubts when this game came out for download for Xbox Live Arcade last month, but I gave the demo a try. I fell in love instantly. I was introduced to the lovable main character; A ‘sploding ball of fire that loves his scientist friends so much, that he has to hug them and ‘splode them to death.
After the short demo, the full game was unlocked immediately, as I had to play the game ASAP. I hoped that the game would not let up, and keep me wanting more until it was over. I was not dissappointed.
‘Splosion Man as a character is about what you would expect from a ‘sploding body of fire. He is very hyperactive, and loves using one-liners from Arnold Schwartzeneger movies. Everytime I heard the phrase “Get to da choppa’!” I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. ‘Splosion Man also seems to have a strange relationship with his enemies.
I would like to bring up the point that I have played the game completely, and I still have no idea exactly what was happening with the plot. To be honest, I don’t really care. The plot does not matter to me too much in this game because the gameplay and the comedy are so entertaining.
The scientists, and their inventions, are attepmting to prevent ‘Splosion Man from doing whatever it is that he is trying to do. While the scientists cannot hurt you, you can give them a big ‘sploding hug, and turn them into several cuts of meat. The obsticals come in the form of robots, and mounted guns, and while the challenges of the stages are sometimes quite difficult, the challenge is never overbearing. Also, if you find that the difficulty is too great, and you have died more than a few times, the game gives you an option of advancing to the next level without completing the current.
The controls in this game are superb. This element is key, as completing the game with shoddy controls would be impossible. The character controls fluidly, and the reaction time is very sharp. The manuvering of ‘Splosion Man through the levels is tricky at times, and the great control allow for the player to easily complete these manuvers as he/she feels fit.
On top of the fantastic level design, and superior controls, the graphical content of this game is pretty good. The animation is smooth, and there are no bugs from what I could tell. The game occasionally cuts to quirky camera angles to allow the player the full view of what must be accomplished next. However, no matter the angle, or how far away the camera is, the clarity of the animations is not lost.
The music in this game must also be discussed. It is decent enough for it not to break the overall expirience of the game, but it is rather generic in spots. The redeeming factor is the doughnut song. That’s right, the doughnut song. A rather fat scientist can be picked up and used as cover, and as long as you have him in your grasp “Everybody Loves Doughnuts” can be heard in the background. This one song was a strong point of hilarity, and quite an endearing factor for the game.
Overall, when I set out to spend 800 MS points on a platformer, I was skeptical. I thought I would get some mediocre game, that, while worth ten bucks, would be a general dissapointment. What I got instead was one of the best platformers I have ever played. A funny game with a lovable character, great comedy, and superb control. I highly recommend this game to anyone who wants to have a good time playing a great game.
‘Splosion Man – 9 ‘splosions out of 10