'Cause you're the 'Splode beneath my 'Splosion
'Splosion man is one of the games that makes me love the Xbox Live Marketplace. There's just something magical that happens when I enjoy a $10 game as much as some $60 games, and 'Splosion man is one of those games. It is an extremely simple, witty platformer that never takes itself seriously, all the while taking you as a gamer as seriously as possible. I'm not kidding - this game is brutal, although not really in a way that is overly frustrating. The design of the levels and strategic, well placed checkpoints make the whole game feel like you are just on the cusp of completing something ridiculous, and you always do just before the rage sets in. Games like this make me wonder how they possibly scored such a perfect balance between difficulty and non-rage enducing fun.
Of course some of 'Splosion Man's appeal comes from the design of the world. The graphics are simple, but still interesting and technically solid, and the characters are always entertaining. Other than 'Splosion Man himself, who is a crazed, psychopathic fireball with legs, you don't see many characters for long before they are reduced to piles of meat, but even short glimpses of the scientists running screaming for their lives is wonderful - especially when they throw themselves into a pit of acid to get away from you.
There are 3 bosses in the game, each preceeded by 15+ levels, as well as cooperative levels that are just as fun and demanding as the single player. Combine this with a Hardcore mode that unlocks after beating single player and your talking about at least 15 hours of possible play time, without going back and finding all the collectible cakes (which exist in every level except bosses). Wondering why a well made 15 hour game is only 10 bucks? Don't - just go buy it and enjoy.