Ms. Splosion Man Preview - The Next Level

Game Profile

Xbox Live Arcade
Release date:
Summer 2011
Microsoft Game Studios
Twisted Pixel
1 - 2 local and online

Ms. Splosion Man

Splode again!

Preview by James Cunningham (Email)
June 16th 2011

Why don't more games tack a bow and lipstick on their characters for the sequel? On the one game that's tried it so far, it's worked great, and, while Ms. Splosion Man may not pull in quite so many quarters as her inspiration, the jump in quality between sequels seems to be roughly the same. Maybe adding a 2 to the end of a title isn't the way to go. Maybe Ms. Gears of War or Ms. Call of Duty is what the world really needs.

Ms. Splosion Man is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a good sequel: more, bigger, better.

Ms. Splosion Man is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from a good sequel: more, bigger, better. More levels and environments, bigger setpieces, and new gameplay modes to round out the experience. Just like her male counterpart, Ms. Splosion Man has the ability to explode, which catapults her through the air while damaging anything around her. Once aloft, she can explode two more times in succession for a bit more air time, with each explosion giving a bit less height than the last. She can wall jump, use explosive barrels for a bigger burst, and cause a ridiculous amount of havoc simply for the fun of destroying everything in sight. The levels are more diverse in both scenery and layouts, but the unforgiving difficulty of Splosion Man remains intact.

For such a goofily funny game, Ms. Splosion Man has a homicidal streak a mile wide. Death is frequent and fast, sending you back to the nearest checkpoint to try again, over and over until you've drilled the section into memory. The frustration is mitigated nicely by a couple of factors. Most importantly, Ms. Splosion Man just feels good to control, but the humor helps immensely as well. The lovely Ms. has what seems like dozens of walking animations, little pink hearts bubbling inside her nuclear inferno, an affectionate nature, and a thing for shoes. She's just as chaotically insane as Splosion Man, but somehow it's funnier dressed up in super-girly form.

Splosion Man was a fun little surprise two years ago, popping up out of nowhere to present a wonderfully crazed take on pure platforming action. Ms. Splosion Man builds on that foundation, even introducing brain-breaking modes like Two Girls, One Controller. This involves one person controlling two characters independently by the twin sticks and shoulder buttons, just like the PS2 oddball The Adventure of Cookie & Cream. While the release date is still a month or two off, the E3 build was highly polished and tuned, loaded with features, challenges, hidden goodies, oddball gags, and all the other bits and pieces that combine into a wonderful gaming whole. Ms. Splosion Man had pure platforming goodness on display, and that's always worth anticipating.

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