The sequel to one of the best XBLA games that I have ever played has turned to the fairer sex, and you know what? It’s fantastic. Twisted Pixel has done for their original what “Ms. Pac Man” did for “Pac-Man.” In “Ms. Splosion Man,” the graphics are bigger, the puzzles are more challenging and the fun factor is through the roof.
The first thing I noticed was that the download was much bigger than the original. My daughter and I spent tremendous amounts of time being challenged by many a level in the first title so we were itching to get our hands on this one. It was especially exciting to learn that the new title featured a female character. Now gentlemen, do not let this detour you from what fun you are about to encounter. “Ms. Splosion Man” is everything that made the previous title great and then some.
The story of “Ms. Splosion Man” takes place immediately following the events of the first title. The evil scientists devise a plan to trap Splosion Man using his one weakness: Cake. The trap works, and they successfully capture our hero. During their celebration, one of the scientists accidentally drops a bottle of champagne on one of their computers, resulting somehow in the creation of Ms. Splosion Man. From that point, Ms. Splosion Man sets off on a quest across three worlds and over 47 levels to set her man free.
For those of you who are not familiar with the title, “Ms. Splosion Man” is a puzzle platformer in which you have to complete levels through trial and error. The amount of traps thrown at you are bound to challenge the most talented players. As you race through the levels, mad scientists will do their best to stop you from escaping the lab in which you and your predecessor were created. The beauty of it all is that the game basically plays with one button. One button to explode! Your character can explode up to three times in a row without having to take a breathier to recharge her powers. With each explosion you are propelled into the air in order to bounce off walls or some type of wacky gadget that might be trying to stop you.
While you venture through each level you’ll run into the occasional scientist who’s out to stop you by any means necessary but nothing that can’t be handled with an appropriate “Splode!” – watching the helpless victims turn into comical slabs of meat.
“Ms. Splosion Man” really packs a punch with multiple levels of sploding goodness, including single and multiplayer mode. Each level has the ability to ensure joy and pain. Our new heroine is filled with humorous lines as she soars through this platformer with lines like “ain’t no holler back girl” or “no one puts baby in a corner.” I can’t help to smile as I played through multiple levels with the quick and witty banter “Ms. Splosion Man” delivers for your enjoyment.
Being a young lady who apparently watches her figure, she does not enjoy collecting hidden cakes as our first hero, but instead has a weakness for shoes. Yes, I said shoes. She’s a lady. Each level has a stylish pair of heels that you can grab for an extra 2000 bonus points for the level and an extra 25 percent added to your fashion sense.
Each level now has a new feature called ghost mode. If you are one of those people who loves to try and beat their best time – and friends – then this is the mode for you. Each level will track your fastest time with a ghost impression of yourself as you replay each level. This mode gives you the ability to challenge others on the online leaderboard to see if you have what it takes to explode to the top. I’m not much a competitor when it comes to the leaderboards but you can easily lose yourself in this simplistic mode for hours on end if you’re not careful.
Multiplayer mode also returns with everything that you loved from the first game but also with something a little different. First off, single player and mulitplayer both have different endings which is incredibly unique. I love the fact that you have a reason to play mulitplayer mode, not only for the fun of it, but also to see another alternate ending and definitely gives you a stronger desire to complete the incredibly difficult multiplayer levels. However, not all of us have friends who play games like “Ms. Splosion Man,” or have the enjoyment of playing with their child as I do. I consider myself lucky because my daughter is skillful enough to play the game on a competitive level although some of the levels becoming too challenging for her. This time around Twisted Pixel has also introduced the unique 2 Girls 1 Controller game mode.
In this mode, one player is in control of two Ms. Splosion Men, with the left stick and LB button controlling the first one, and the right stick and RB button controlling the second. It is as challenging as it sounds but a nice addition for anyone who likes to try something different.
Hands down, the best aspect of “Ms. Splosion Man” is the fact that it never really gets tiring. Each level seems to be fresh and new and I never quite felt like putting down my controller and moving on. The graphics and sound really add the perfect spice to the simplistic gameplay which just keeps drawing you pack for more. The end bosses are definitely something that needs to be seen for yourself with a few surprises from the first game making another appearance. This is a brilliant move on Twisted Pixels part for fans of the series to continue the story with familiar faces making the player feel more at home.
Ms. Splosion Man is a steal for anyone with access to Xbox Live. For a price of 800 Microsoft points this is a no brainer in my book to pick up one of the best games that you can get on the arcade to date. If you enjoyed the first game then you will love the sequel. With the new leading lady in the spotlight, Twisted Pixel pays homage to the classic video games as “Ms. Pac-Man” did for many of us years ago. Twisted Pixel has once again raised the bar in gaming and shows that a independent company can indeed compete with the big boy developers in the gaming industry.
Thank you, Twisted Pixel. You’ve blown my socks off.