by Chris Priestman
reviewed on X360
Put A Ring On It
Time to hit up the selling point of Ms. Splosion Man, which is undoubtedly the gameplay. Platformer fans may well remember how much better Sonic 2 was over the original, because it took the original formula and basically added tons of new ideas. That is precisely what Ms. Splosion Man does. Trampolines, rocket cars, ziplines and much more are added to vary up the levels, and then some. Level design is of the utmost importance in platformers, and Twisted Pixel prove that they are among the best of the current cycle of developers. A platformer should be two things; difficult and fun. Some parts are hard enough to push you beyond the measurable states of sanity, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes a checkpoint feels a little too far off, but the constant replaying of sections means that each bit is nailed before progression. Once you have done your first round on the levels, your skills will be noticeably improved and then the game offers a lot more flow and it becomes a lot more enjoyable. It is a fairly steep learning curve, probably too steep between World 2 and World 3, but it actually proves worthwhile, even for veterans of the original as a lot of the harder parts incorporate the new elements and thus require new skills. For those who want to chicken out of levels, there is an option to ‘cheat on the game’ by skipping a level that you have died on many times. You may not want to task yourself with taking on the levels marked with a red skull and cross bones if you are one to give up so easily though – these levels are remarkably hard due to lack of checkpoints and a torrent of death-inducing scenarios.
Then of course there is Wilfred and Mandy. Who? Wilfred is a pensioner in a futuristic wheelchair which you can use to kill anyone in your path and activate certain triggers by sending him cascading in a blazing trail. Mandy is basically the female stand in for the Doughnut guy from the original, except she is not quite as amazing as our favourite baked goods-loving fat guy. Ms. Splosion Man wears her as a ‘fat suit’ and can absorb deadly laser fire and splode out of Mandy for an extra high jump. For the record, Wilfred is probably the best thing in the game; I just love causing terror to old age pensioners…I should probably be locked up by now. Moving swiftly on, the levels are also spiced up with a few old-school additions such as the secret exits in some of the levels which open up hidden levels. Old school boss fights return as well and are fairly entertaining as they are notably more cinematic in that they feel bigger and involve more cutscenes, but also pay homage to films like Predator, James Bond and of course, various rom-coms.
I Whip My Hair Back And Forth
In a post-brony world (the unaware should look up My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), Ms. Splosion Man is the kind of game that any gamer should be getting excited about. Apart from all of the aforementioned features, there is a ton of replayability and even more collectibles to buy and collect. Beating the par time on each level and racing against ghost replays of other players’ attempts are likely to become addictions. The co-op feature sees an excellent return that the game could sell on alone. The game supports 4-player local and online co-op and has 50 levels that are completely different to the single player. There are even new mechanics introduced, such as one element that has one player in the foreground and one in the background, trying to work with each other. It is a hilariously good time as was expected and should be played by anyone with the capabilities to do so. Now excuse me while I wipe this splode out of my pants.
Feels as good as the first but is made much better with tons of new ideas. Co-op is still fantastic.
Graphics are at times ugly and backgrounds empty.