Ms. 'Splosion Man is a sequel to the popular 2009 XBLA game 'Splosion Man. After succeeding in finally capturing the crazed 'Splosion Man using an electrified cake to lure him into an "unsplodeable" capsule, the Big Science staff engages in an afterparty whose booze-fuelled antics lead to the accidental creation of a new 'Splosion creature. This more effeminate abomination, appropriately dubbed Ms. 'Splosion Man, starts out on her own rampage through the Big Science laboratories. The game is priced at 800 Microsoft Points.
The title, and concept of a female protagonist identical to the previous male protagonist, pays homage to Ms. Pac-Man.
Ms. 'Splosion Man plays much like its predecessor, the only controls being movement and 'sploding. 'Sploding acts as a form of offence to damage enemies as well as defence, allowing the player to deflect projectiles, such as missiles, away and towards specific enemies or targets. 'Sploding is also the main form of mobility for Ms. 'Splosion Man, allowing her to jump off the floor or off walls, or to destroy barrels to provide extra momentum. The player only has a limited amount of 'splodes before they have to find a way to recharge their power, be it through waiting on the floor, wall-riding or running through flame-jets. Being hit by an enemy attack causes a full loss of all 'splosion power, and being hit while completely drained of 'splosion power results in death.
In addition to the Big Science employees trying to get Ms. 'Splosion Man under control, the player will also encounter a number of traps and hazards throughout their escape, such as spikes, crushing walls or pools of acid. Fortunately, in addition to the explosive, nitro and bomb barrels that fill Big Science Labs, there are also new contraptions to aid in the escape, such as hanging electrified rails that Ms. 'Splosion Man can ride, as well as trampolines, flying rocket cars, and see-saw spring-boards.
The single-player gameplay consists of 50 levels, spread through three individual worlds: Big Science City, Big Resort and Big Factory. Each level hides a collectible: a pair of shoes, often hidden in obscure corners or alternative paths. Once found, Ms. 'Splosion Man will wear them for the duration of the level. There are a total of 97 pairs to find, split between single (47) and multiplayer (50).
Players can download ghost replays and race against them through the levels to try and beat the time or score set by their friends or top players from the leaderboards.
If the player gets repeatedly stuck at any point, they will be offered the use of the "Forbidden Checkpoint" allowing them to skip forward to the next section of the level. Like 'Splosion Man's "Way of the Coward" this comes with severe penalties to your time and score for the level, as well as cursing Ms. 'Splosion Man, giving her fat thighs for the remainder of the level.
Hardcore mode is an optional difficulty setting for those who have beaten the game, and have self-esteem issues and masochistic tendencies. In Hardcore mode, the player is killed in one-hit by any form of enemy attack, and there are no checkpoints in the levels, meaning a perfect-run is required on each and every level to proceed. Every time you die in hardcore mode your time will reset for ghost setting purposes, making it the ideal mode to try and get ghost times on the leaderboard as you do not have to restart the level when/if you die. Hardcore mode is only available for the singleplayer portion of the game, though you can unlock it by seeing either the multiplayer or singleplayer ending.
Ms. 'Splosion Man features an additional co-operative multiplayer campaign for up to four players, consisting of fifty levels unique to the multiplayer. Players each take control of a different colored Ms. 'Splosion Man, either Pink, Yellow, Green or Blue; and have to work together using well-synchronized timing, to protect each other from traps, and special co-op-only "dual 'splodes" in order to get extra height or distance on jumps. The multiplayer game does not feature any boss fights and has it's own unique ending, boss levels are replaced with standard platforming stages and as a result there are a total of 50 shoes to unlock in the multiplayer portion of the game as opposed to the 47 in single player. Secret exits are still available on certain levels in the multiplayer campaign.
Between June 6th and June 26th 2011, Twisted Pixel ran a brief mutliplayer closed beta test, giving a select group of players brief access to eight of the levels - two per week.
2 Girls, 1 Controller
On May 13, 2011, Twisted Pixel released a video demonstrating a unique way for a single player to play co-op in the game called "2 Girls, 1 Controller." In this mode, the player controls two Ms. 'Splosion Mans simultaneously, one with the left analogue stick (movement) and left bumper ('sploding) and the other with the right analogue stick and right bumper. This mode must be purchased from the "exclusives" section of the mall, at 200 coins it is the most expensive unlockable in the game. It is possible to complete the entire multiplayer portion of this game in this mode, in the description Twisted Pixel describe it as the perfect mode for themselves as it is perfect for people mad for achievements and with no friends whatsoever.
'The Mall' and Unlockables
Ms. 'Splosion Man features an extensive set of unlockable extras that can be bought at the "CAO" (Consume, Accumulate, Obsess) Mall. These extras include behind-the-scenes photos and videos, music tracks and music videos -- including the two ending videos from the original 'Splosion Man (as well as an all new music video for the credits song), concept art, Xbox Live Avatar Awards, Gamerpics and a premium dashboard theme.
Each unlockable is purchased through an in-game currency system. Players gain 20 tokenss each time they beat a level, and are given an extra 5 for beating the par time or finding the hidden shoes.
The second half of Big Science City, the first world, also features an "Arcade" which consists entirely of stand-up cabinets that allow the player to download the demos for and/or buy the full versions of several XBLA games, if you already own the game in question you will be able to boot it up directly from the arcade. This feature was also found in the previous Twisted Pixel game, Comic Jumper. Included in the arcade are other Twisted Pixel releases like The Maw, Comic Jumper and the original 'Splosion Man, as well as Zen Studio's Pinball FX 2, which is set to release a Ms. Splosion Man themed pinball machine. Also, inexplicably included is Retro City Rampage, which is seemingly entirely unrelated to Twisted Pixel.