Twisted Pixel has returned to Xbox Live with Ms. Splosion Man. Splosion Man has been captured and during the celebration some wine spilled and caused a power surge, thus creating Ms. Splosion Man. It has been approximately two years since the original title and if you thought the original Splosion Man was hard, you haven’t seen anything yet. For those who might not be familiar with this franchise, Ms. Splosion Man is a platformer where you only have control of your movement and when you “splode”. You can chain your explosions or “splosions” up to three times before you have to recharge either by standing on the ground or sliding down a wall. There is no jump button per se as you get up to where you need to go by “sploding” and bouncing off the walls. In addition to what you know and love from the original, the development team over at Twisted Pixel have also added some new features to this title. Some of the new gameplay elements include launching into the air via rotating canons, soaring across powered ziplines, blasting across the screen on rocket cars and much more.
One of the new features introduced in this sequel is the new ghost replay function. Now you can race against yourself to try and get a better time on any given level or you can download a friend’s ghost to see who can complete the level the quickest. As you beat levels in the game you will also earn some coins that you can spend at the mall. This is where you can unlock the long list of extra content that Twisted Pixel has included. You can unlock concept art, movies, audio, photos and “exclusives”. The “exclusives” category has gamer pictures, themes, avatar awards and even a brand new mode titled, “2 Girls, 1 Controller”. There is also quite a bit of content that you won’t have access to until you beat either the single player or multiplayer campaign. Each campaign has completely different levels as well as different endings. The single player campaign features 50 levels while the multiplayer campaign also features 50 different levels. Additionally, there is an arcade that you can visit in the game that will have all of Twisted Pixel’s titles such as The Maw, Splosion Man, Comic Jumper, the upcoming Retro City Rampage and a peek at the upcoming Ms.Splosion Man Pinball FX 2 table. This title also features the same type of humor that Twisted Pixel has in all of their games, so if you are a fan of that humor you are in for a treat.
As I briefly mentioned above, Ms. Splosion Man is a difficult game. You will still need the precision timing and the quick thinking that you utilized in the original game. It’s made even more difficult by the new features that have been added and there will probably be some thrown controllers after one too many deaths. Fear not though as Twisted Pixel has taken mercy on you in those situations, allowing you to take the coward’s way out and simply skip to the next checkpoint. Utilizing this feature comes at a cost though as you get severe penalties to your time and score for the level as well as a “curse”. If you actually think that Ms. Splosion Man is too easy for you then you will also have the opportunity to play “Hardcore” mode once you have beaten the game. In this mode you will be killed in one hit by any attack and there are no checkpoints in the levels. Essentially you need to have a perfect run if you want to pass a level.
With Ms. Splosion Man Twisted Pixel took a formula that already worked and simply added more craziness. If you are a fan of the original Splosion Man title than you should definitely enjoy the sequel. The new features and gameplay elements that have been added give a fresh spin on the Splosion Man formula and the addition of the ghost replay system adds another layer of replayability to the game. Having what amounts to two separate campaigns in one game should keep gamers busy for a while and the development team over at Twisted Pixel should be commended for this accomplishment. Twisted Pixel continues to have a great sense of humor in their titles and the soundtrack for the game had me chuckling on occasion. Wreaking havoc throughout the Big Science laboratories has never been so much fun and fans of the series should definitely be pleased.