Friday, April 30, 2010

'Splosion Man Review

So innocent. So Sploderrific.

I can remember a time when I thought of the Xbox Live Arcade as merely a portal for retro games. You could count on one hand the number of original games and better still you were lucky if you found one worth playing. This is not a review of a service but I feel, as do others, that this service provides me with more games - as of late - that I love than traditional retail.

That being said, Splosion Man is the stuff of legend. You and I both wish that there was this kind of passion for creating games everywhere in the industry. Twisted Pixel splodes their way into your heart and here is why:

Splosion Man is the two-hour old product of Big Science's ridiculous experiments - other experiments often come in the form baddies that you encounter throughout the game - and he is not happy. His is happy, however, to turn all of the scientists into big chunks of meat. It never gets old. The "story" is really that simple and technically there is no real ending (Splosion Man 2 please?).

The biggest achievement for this game is the level design. It is brilliant and naturally the best - and most prominent - part of the game. The levels are always at a level of impossible adding in just a glint of being able to beat them; it keeps you going and makes you feel like a king when you pass one of the levels.

What brings those levels to life? The fact that the game is rendered in the beautifully stylized Third Dimension; can you believe it? It looks similar if not identical to the graphical style of The Maw and it is just as charming - if not more so.

Though you cannot put a price on charm and the fact that price does not usually factor into a review (as well as it should not) let us just look at this game from a value standpoint: it is is 800 Points (ten bucks) and for that you not only get 50 levels of single player but 50 different levels just for co-op multiplayer (couch co-op or LIVE). Extra goodies also make their way in there in the way of gamerpics, a premium theme, and avatar clothing. If you end up liking the game, of course if you do not you should be sploded into steaks, this a splodin' sweet value.

I remember that when this game was announced on April Fool's Day of 2009 I rolled my eyes. On April second they confirmed that Splosion Man was a real game. I was still not impressed, excited, or at all interested. Then folks got their hands on it, started talking about it, and I had to have it. Splosion Man never disappoints and is always coming out with clever quips and hilarious random sayings that border on catch phrases. The three bosses in the single-player mode are equally as funny and the animations for all characters in the game are amazing. I cannot say enough good things about this game so please, if you haven't already, liberate your wallet of ten dollars that desperately wants to be spent on Splosion Man.

Editor's Note: Only this single player portion of this game was played for this review. The multiplayer was sampled but not completed. Not that it matters - obviously - but the game was paid for by the reviewer.

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