If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The people working at Twisted Pixel are a certain type of crazy. Not the ‘charging for an online pass’ crazy. Good crazy. The type of crazy you want when you throw a party. In an industry where big corporations, quite frankly, take themselves far too seriously, it’s nice to see a small indie company crafting hilarious games with so much heart. Sure, they've royally screwed up, like in the case of Comic Jumper, but it’s obvious that the developers want to make a wholly unique and engaging games for players to enjoy.
Ms. ‘Splosion Man is Twisted Pixel’s first sequel as well as their first test to see if they can sustain a franchise. While there are some hiccups here and there, I’m happy to say that the company has most assuredly passed the test. The plot begins with ‘Splosion Man being captured by the enigmatic Big Science. After an accident, Ms. Splosion Man is created and bent on rescuing the aforementioned spontaneous-combusting individual. The best thing about Twisted Pixel is their attention to characters and this game is no exception. Where ‘Splosion Man was the hyperbolic representation of young men (childish behavior, endlessly quoting 80’s action flicks, obsession with unhealthy food, etc.), Ms. Splosion Man crafts an equally stereotypical view of women. Besides sharing the same chaotic energy as her male counterpart, the Misses differs by having a valley girl demeanor that’s focused on shoes, gossip, and sappy love songs. In other hands, her personality might seem offensive to some, but it’s taken so over the top that there’s not a nun’s chance in Hell that it would be thought of as serious.
Much like the fantastic character design and animations, the humor is spot-on as Twisted Pixel continues their tradition of crafting the most entertaining physical comedians since the early days of Warner Bros. animation, without the blatant racism. The lovely people at Twisted Pixel can certainly give the writers at Double Fine a run for their money. The game’s humor can even affect the gameplay as it gives you the curse of expanding her derriere to comical proportions should you ‘cheat on the game’ by automatically proceeding to the next checkpoint. The game even accompanies the newly assessed ass with an appropriate song.
In fact, the audio crew litters the game with terrific songs, with a special mention to Matt "Chainsaw" Chaney. Visually speaking, the game utilizes every asset it has to create much more beautiful and varied environments in comparison to the first game. You’ll go from sterile and clean science labs to fighting a giant squid near beautiful beaches. Beard is no Unreal engine (although the developers explicitly challenge it anyway), but the game makers focus on brilliant character design and animation crafting personality during a time when the industry is sorely lacking in that area.
If you’ve played the original, you pretty much know what you’re getting into, but for the uninitiated, it’s very simple. You can ‘splode helping you reach different locations while solving puzzles and utilizing your environment to aid you in crossing the finish line; there are several levels in a world and at the end of each world you’ll face off against a boss to change up the pace of the game. Along with the traditional gameplay, you’re now able to use zip lines and directional cannons to get you across the levels that actually add a certain level of challenge once their implemented more during the later stages of the game. In an effort to make their game as engaging as possible, Twisted Pixel has upped the difficulty considerably since ‘Splosion Man. You will frequently die, but it’s not from overpowered enemies. In other puzzle games such as Portal, the player is usually given an unlimited amount of time to solve a puzzle – not here. Ms. Splosion Man thrives on the concept of timing everything just right to complete the level. Miss one exploding barrel here or forget to kill this enemy there and you’re done. Sometimes the jump mechanics can be a bit too ‘floaty’ as you’ll miss an edge by an inch and curse the game for not being sensitive enough to what you wanted (if I had a nickel for every time my ex said that to me…). It’s infuriating to some reviewers, but for me, I found the desire to solve these well-crafted puzzles was far too great to ignore; to get to a bullshit philosophical thought, I thought I would be cheating on myself if I skipped past the challenges.
Ms. Splosion Man is a sequel done right. Terrific gameplay backed up by an even more magnificent sense of presentation. It’s not as polished as the original, but if you’ve got a hankering for some good platforming action, then dig in to this fine explosion filled buffet. Did you know that Larry Hyrb is in the game for no reason? Not in a digital form, a live action one. Yeah. It’s that weird and awesome, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You're the splode beneath my splosion.