The original Splosion Man, released during the Summer of Live Arcade in 2009 was, by all accounts, a surprise hit. Its premise was simple – blow up everything and everyone in your path. It was such a good game that when it was over, I couldn’t help but wish there was more of it. Developer Twisted Pixel must have heard my prayers, because Ms Splosion Man is everything that was good about the original and nothing that wasn’t. Twisted Pixel is fast becoming the best developer on Xbox Live Arcade and Ms. Splosion Man looks to continue their winning streak.
The story takes place after the events of the original Splosion Man. Scientists have captured Splosion Man and in the midst of their hasty celebration, manage to spill red wine into the machine that created Splosion Man in the first place. Chain reactions ensue and Ms. Splosion Man is born. The story isn’t really the important thing here, though. Splosion Man and Ms. Splosion Man are all about tight, responsive gameplay and over the top levels. Ms. Splosion Man takes those things to new heights.
One thing that quickly becomes apparent about Ms. Splosion Man is how much variety its got. There’s more of it packed into a single level than anything from the first game, incorporating new mechanics like rail sliding with existing ones like explosive barrels that launch you high into the air. The controls are also noticeably more responsive, so it’s much less likely that you’ll miss the perfectly timed jumps the game sometimes requires of you.
If you find yourself having trouble in a particular spot, you can employ the game’s new Ghost Mode to help you succeed. Ghost mode allows you to see replays of entire levels or specific areas. You can also download the ghosts of other people to see the quickest and most efficient ways to progress. It’s a really handy feature and it’s bound to ensure that more people actually finish the game rather than giving up if they become stuck somewhere.
Ms. Splosion Man also appears to retain Twisted Pixel’s signature sense of humor. Upon defeating the boss at the end of the demo, it opened up a wrist panel and activated a self-destruct sequence, letting out a low, bellowing laugh in an amusing nod to the first Predator movie. Ms. Splosion Man herself also moves in a very comical manner, with walking animations ranging from talking on the telephone to ballet dancing. They really managed to play into the girlier aspects of the character without it being obnoxious.
I left the Ms. Splosion Man kiosk knowing that Twisted Pixel had another hit on their hands. It’s a highly polished, highly replayable game with a good sense of humor and 4-player co-op gameplay in addition to a lengthy single player campaign. Look for Ms. Splosion Man exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade when the Summer of Live Arcade promotion begins in the next few weeks.