Splosion Man Video Review
Add two parts trial and error, two parts frustration and two parts fun and what you get is 'Splosion Man, a 3D side scrolling platforming game from Twisted Pixel. At the heart of this game is a true pick up and play arcade title as the controls and concept are simple. What is so deceptive of this game is the fact that the first world is charming and creative making you feel like you have accomplished something, until you reach world two. This is where it starts to feel like you don't have control any more and it is a necessity to die four or five times in a row to get to know the obstacles in your way to progress.
As I said the concept is simple, you are an experiment gone wrong and now you are a walking explosion. This ties into the simple controls as nearly every button you need is just 'splode, which is basically a jump or if you are close to enemies an attack. You are allowed to 'splode three times in a row before you have to land to the ground to recharge, this means that timing your jumps is crucial. There are also a number of different barrels you can splode on to help you to get to high places, or fling you across the level, or even to throw at enemies as grenades. So you will battle though the 50 levels it has to offer, which is split up into three worlds each lasting about 16 or 17 levels and ending in a boss battle. They all have a familiar feel to them as they are all set in a gigantic super laboratory in space but as I say, why I have to die four or five times just to progress seems just down right ridiculous to me. There is a skip feature which unlocks for you after you die enough times for the game to take sympathy on you, but if you are looking for the achievements at the end of the game you will not receive them if you choose the Way of the Coward.
The multiplayer offers 50 different levels from the 50 levels on offer in the single player but you can play with up to three of your friends. What is fun about this is that it uses the fact that there are multiple 'Splosion Men and creates puzzles based around this. For example you can time your jumps and meet in mid-air only to explode together to fling yourself higher up.
Graphically the game looks like what you would expect to and switches to a more 3D view only when introducing new enemies or ideas into the game, like when you first meet the donut man. Praise has to be given to the animations that 'Splosion Man has when getting flying through the air or just standing still. He will kung-fu kick, karate chop, jog and it all adds a sense of quirkiness to the game. Its sound is actually one of the best parts as it has a great soundtrack to each level and again 'Splosion Man himself has some great sounds effects. Plus the donut song has to be up there with the Portal song.
Twisted Pixel was criticized when the Maw came out because of how short it was and 'Splosion Man does not disappoint on length, but it's the fact that most of the time you put into this game comes from the trial and error side which is not the best way to spend playing any game. But when you start stringing together explosions it's great and doesn't take itself too seriously as it has one of the craziest endings I have seen in any game, including the end game credits. So if you are looking for a challenging game this is for you, if you are looking for a fun co-op game this is for you, if however you have a short fuse stay away or you may just Splode (see what I did there, that's word play folks).