E3 2011: Ms. Splosion Man hands-on preview – This lady is the bomb

At first glance, Ms. Splosion Man looks like Splosion Man. And that’s fine, because there wasn’t much wrong with the first foray into the Splosion family. But a retread through the same game with a palette swapped character wouldn’t be nearly as exciting as what developer Twisted Pixel’s cooked up for the sequel to one of our favorite downloadable games ever. First impressions are wrong – upon closer inspection, this girl has a lot more to offer than her man did.

For starters, now there’s an over-world map that’s reminiscent of Super Mario World, and you can travel to any level you’ve opened up previously. Additionally, when you finish one level you’ll unlock three more this time around. This rocks because if you’re stuck in one area you can always leave and jump into another new level. Another way to move past an area you’re having trouble with is the ability to download a ghost of another player from the leaderboards and see just how they got past that tricky barrel/laser/zipper-line puzzle.

Our demo took us through an early section of the game where we escaped a lab and had to fight a giant mech at the end. Twisted Pixel is known for riffing on other games, and this quick-time-event filled fight was a salute to God of War’s epic-scale boss battles. But, of course, there was a twist. Instead of pressing tons of buttons in sequence, we only had to jab one repeatedly, with often-hilarious results like destroying one of the robot’s eyes with a kiss. We even saw a few tropically-themed levels replete with Tiki god statues and palm trees.

With more liberal level unlocks and downloadable ghosts to keep you from dead-ending, Twisted Pixel seems to have addressed the few issues we had with the last game and then added on more of the style and personality we love. Sorry, ‘Splosion Man: We can’t wait for the chance to spend some quality, if combustible, time with your girl.

Jun 15, 2011

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