Ms. ‘Splosion Man: Twisted Pixel releases accurate woman simulator
Released in 2009 as part of Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade promotion, Twisted Pixel’s original ‘Splosion Man title met with generally favorable reviews from critics and fans alike. Anyone claiming to not enjoy the game likely decided this about 2/3 of the way through when the difficulty curve reached 90 degrees, and other Arcade titles enticed them away from ‘sploding themselves into the same unavoidable meat grinder for the 500th time.
Two years later, in a release arguably more anticipated than any of this years “proper” Summer of Arcade titles, Twisted Pixel has finally given us a sequel in Ms. ‘Splosion Man, available exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 MSP.
From what I can tell so far, Ms. ‘Splosion Man definitely achieves the quality ratio one looks for in a desirable sequel: about 75% more of the same and 25% improvements, missing nothing that made the original fun. There’s still only one button command, aptly labeled “Splode”. You’re still using this ability to bounce off walls and turn people into piles of deliciously prepared meat. The variety of midair exploding barrels still exists as a means of conveyance, and this time around they’ve added ziplines and Donkey Kong Country-style launchers.
It’s still ridiculously difficult in spots, but now instead of dying a thousand times and choosing “The Way of the Coward” to shamefully skip a level, you can just choose a new one in the Super Mario World inspired level map. Another improvement is that while the game does have an entirely separate 50-level co-op adventure mode (online and local), Twisted Pixel no longer punishes you for not having friends and has thoughtfully included the dubiously titled “2 Girls 1 Controller” mode, allowing you to accurately simulate friendship on a single controller.
And speaking of accurate simulations, Twisted Pixel has gone to great lengths to offer an in-depth look into the everyday trials and joys of womanhood. When you’re not making kissyfaces at an unwitting scientist moments before transforming him into steaks, you will be endlessly rattling off lines from the choruses of songs by Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Madonna and more. Also, in place of the cakes from the original ‘Splosion Man, every level has a hidden shoe to find and collect. Fifty in the main game and 50 in the co-op levels leaves you with every woman’s minimum of 100 shoes in all. I fully expect this game to quickly become an integral part of gender studies courses at universities around the country.
So bottom line, is this game worth your hard-earned Spacebucks? Absolutely. If you like games and things that are funny, this has you covered. Ditto if you just enjoy references to things. On top of the song lyrics there were about four movie references in the prologue stage alone. Probably the best selling point beyond the game itself though is free stuff. If you’re the kind of person that normally pays for premium themes and avatar gear, this title packs enough extra content to make the game itself practically free.