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Ms Splosion Man review

AT A GLANCE
  • Fun spin on classic gameplay
  • Huge amount of content for its price
  • Great use of FMV
  • Some women might find character pandering
  • Annoying difficulty spikes
  • A little too clever for its own good

Back in 2009, Splosion Man was a surprisingly fresh downloadable that harkened back to a simpler time of 2D platforming. It mixed retro style with an irreverent, meat-based sense of humor to make it one of the year's best on XBLA. Now the sequel, the cleverly titled Ms Splosion Man, is here, and while it improves and expands on the original in many ways, at times it grows a little too big and leaves behind some of the simple joy of the first game.


Born from a similar accident that created her masculine counterpart, Ms Splosion Man is a pink ball of explosive, scientist-fragging fury. Like Sonic and Mario before her, she goes through increasingly difficult platforming stages, only her jumps come in the form of a series of explosions propelling her to her ultimate goal: the end of the stage. The core gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged from the first game, which is great, as the original understood what made classic 2D run-and-jumps fun, a tradition the sequel continues.

Ms Splosion Man doesn't take it easy on you, with the devs seeming to think all players are very familiar with the original’s controls and ramping up the difficulty early. Admittedly we hadn't played the first game since we beat it two years ago, but we shouldn't be dying 13 times in a row during one of the early levels. Partially it's because some concepts, like navigating the zip lines or areas that enhance/weaken your explosive powers aren't introduced particularly well. You eventually understand through trial and error, but that's a lot of trial and tons of error to get frustrated by.

Despite some annoyances at the learning curve, things stay pretty varied throughout, with interesting twists and turns in both play styles and story. We liked the over-the-top pinkness and girly quality to the art design too, mainly because it stands out from the brown manliness of other "serious" games. Though some girl gamers might be put off by the ditsy quality of Ms, as she spouts off non-sequiturs about shoes and lyrics to girly pop songs from the 90s, but we felt it was in keeping with the manic energy of Mr Splosion Man and was ultimately harmless fun.

Harmless fun is something the game is full of, as developer Twisted Pixel really played up their reputation as one of the most comical game makers around. It’s funny most of the time, though on occasion it gets to be too much of a good thing. Splosion Man had a decent mix of occasional gags improving the flow, while Ms, like Twisted’s Comic Jumper before it, goes a little too hard on the jokes, sometimes throwing a full motion video gag at you when you’d rather be finishing the level. We’re not saying it isn’t amusing, but sometimes we’d rather be playing the game we bought.

Despite those complaints, Ms Splosion Man does offer a huge amount of content for its modest price tag, with tons to unlock and explore, with an entirely separate, unique multiplayer mode, and an in-game economy that keeps you coming back to purchase another trinket or bauble. Even if it can intermittently be too clever for its own good, it’s still a great throwback to the old-school platforming, and expertly builds on the original. You can’t ask for much more from a sequel.

Jul 12, 2011

More Info

Release date: Jul 13 2011 - Xbox 360
Apr 03 2013 - PC (US)
Jul 13 2011 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC
Genre: Action
Published by: Twisted Pixel Games
Developed by: Twisted Pixel Games
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Cartoon Violence, Drug Reference, Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
12+

19 comments

  • Spybreak8 - July 15, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    I'd just like to take the Tyler Wilde stance here and complain about all the gruffly voiced male characters in games, how sexist! On topic, I'll prob grab this when it goes on sale as I kinda got frustrated with the original.
  • ranzatsu - July 14, 2011 2:12 a.m.

    @Ultima Really, then you are just a sexist douche. I can kick your ass in Modern Warfare all the time. Oh and for the record, I think you mean girls enjoy those shit titles like Bratz or Party Babies? Sorry, I'd rather play Dissidia or F.E.A.R. ya bastard.
  • godisanarc - July 13, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Yea, I gotta take back my 9.5 or 10, your review is spot on gamesradar, it's definitely a good game, just not perfect .
  • Axcleblade - July 13, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    ARE YOU SAYING THAT THIS IS... Never mind. That's not even funny anymore.
  • tabuju - July 13, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    When MsSplosionman kisses splosionman, a nuclear bomb sets off
  • Ultima - July 13, 2011 3:28 p.m.

    Women are too silly to play video games
  • ranzatsu - July 13, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    And what is exactly wrong with girls playing video games?
  • godisanarc - July 13, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    Not only is this as good as halo reach, it's 10X better. Then again, I despise this generation of halo games. I'd personally give it a 9.5 or a 10, but that's why I have my own review site.
  • Aletheon - July 13, 2011 1:27 p.m.

    -Some women mind consider the character pandering. OH GOD! THE HORROR!!!!!!
  • Tomsta666 - July 13, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    Im ready to splode again!!
  • Robx - July 13, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    THIS IS AS GOOD AS HALO REACH?
  • robertsontson - July 13, 2011 4:42 a.m.

    'Splosion Man is probably my favorite Xbox Live Arcade game.
  • FauxFurry - July 13, 2011 3:04 a.m.

    A shoe-addicted, pink pop singing pirouetting sentient fireworks display hardly sounds any worse than a frazzled,sugar-addled,gibberish spouting, twitchy, grunting, psychopathic pyrotechnic person. Now, excessive use of Fourth-Wall breaking Full Motion Video gags could be what ends up being offensive to most people regardless of gender. The most important things are left out of every major review out there right now: 1.Do scientists still explode into meat or have they taken to being filled with candy like a pinata or maybe flowers and rainbows? 2.Does Ms. 'Splosion Man occasionally not quite stick her landings just like 'Splosion Man did not, leading to her not having recharged even after hitting a solid surface in scenes where precision is everything?
  • EnigmaSpirit - July 13, 2011 2:31 a.m.

    This review sounded like it had it's downsides, but it still got an 8. The Kirby review that was just posted made it sound like the game was Ecstasy, but it got a 7. From the way both of these look did the numbers get mixed up?
  • UsernameLoser - July 13, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    NO GURLS PLAY VIDEO GAMZ, ONLY MANLY MEN. (NOT INCLUDING: n00bs, racists, werewolves, etc.)
  • D0CCON - July 13, 2011 2:11 a.m.

    I did like the first game (but screw that awful first boss. He took so long to kill that I checked a guide to make sure there wasn't something else I should be doing to kill him), but I'm wondering how I'll like the extra difficulty here. The first could be brutal at times.
  • funster - July 13, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    blah blah blah... WTF!AREYOUTRYINGTOSAYTHISISASGOODASHALOREACH? blah blah blah
  • p0wnd - July 13, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    Women playing video games? Please.
  • oufour - July 13, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    THIS OBVIOUS PARODY OF GIRLY STEREOTYPES IS OFFENSIVE AND HARMFUL TO YOUNG FEMALES!!!!

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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