Ms. Splosion Man Beta

Ms. Splosion Man (Beta)
Format: Microsoft Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Players: 1-4
Online: 2-4
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 6th June 2011 (Beta)
Twisted Pixel

Boom! Bang! Bam! Bang! Splode! Splosion Man was a chaotic platformer which had your orange zany friend running around exploding on people. Every button is explode and you used it to kill, jump, smash and suicide. Ms. Splosion Man adds pink and a bow, the Pac-Man homage sequel. Going by how Ms. Pac-Man turned out, bigger, tougher and brighter should be what the game delivers, and the beta gives an exciting glimpse on the opposite gender of splosions. 

More of the same is what the game is with a few little additions to bring it up a level. You run right and left across stages to the goal, blowing yourself up to trigger switches, propel yourself with barrels and destroy enemies, but this time the addition of zip lines is present. Jumping on one allows you to glide along and fly high into the sky, or flat ones have you exploding at the right moment to land onto something or hit a switch. It brings some speed to the levels and when you’re hurtling through the city it becomes exhilarating. A city you say? Yes, Ms. Splosion Man jumps out of the labs and has you travelling different themed worlds, they even have a Mario style overworld map. I got to play the standard lab with city areas and a tropical sea level which blends water with the mechanics of a factory. The inclusion of trampolines, Donkey Kong Country style human barrels and QTE’s or epic moments bring variety and fun in huge explosions. They’ve taken the core gameplay and really had fun with it, delivering something which promises to ape the original in every way other than the freshness Splosion Man contained within its booming body. New additions stop it from being more of the same, though this does follow the sequel format of being more, more, more. A bad thing? No.

Multiplayer, like the last game, is a separate set of levels too, focused on team work and blowing more stuff up. It has up to four Ms. Splosion Men running around hitting pumps to propel another player or having to take different routes and activate switches. It sounds simple enough, but when your playing with someone not so great at the game that goal will seem quite far off. My experience with the Beta had me set with idiots who just ran ahead into pits of acid or bounced around like a goon. The concept is good and lag seems to be at a minimum so I can see this fifty plus level campaign being great fun with a friend or a like-minded online stranger. But for now I’m playing with people who don’t know how to play nice.

The four levels I tried out, two single player and two multiplayer, have me itching for the new game. It seems complete as I could check out the unlockable store (crammed full of concept art, videos, music and other secrets) so I guess they are just going to do some multiplayer tweaking before they push it out. Local multiplayer is in with online guests plus lag is rare so I’m satisfied. Get it out so everyone can splode once more. And Ms. Splosion Man herself? I like her more than the last guy, full of inane nonsense, sing songs and love hearts, she can blow me up anytime. Right?

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