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Not So Thorough Review: ‘Splosion Man (XBLA)


SplosionLogo‘Splosion Man was one of those upcoming games on Xbox Live Arcade I was keeping an eye on, simply because it’s part of a handful of relevant titles coming out this summer.  This one caught my eye primarily because it was a brand new title getting a lot of pub before even being released.  All that talk actually ended up being valid for once.  Turns out ‘Splosion Man is a pretty good game after all.

One of the biggest draws of the game in my opinion is the simple controls.  You play as a goofy cartoon version of the Human Torch that can explode on command and instantly reform, which really boils down to just having to do two things:  Running and exploding.  The game is in side-scroller format so what it really amounts to is moving with the left joystick and exploding with any face button.  

When you explode it allows you to get rid of nearby enemies or reach new heights.  The latter is what you’ll be occupying yourself with for the most part, since the game is more of a puzzler than most side scrollers.  Sure, you confront the occasional enemy and there are bosses as well but to progress through each level you’ll have to take a second, or a minute, or even a few, to figure out how to overcome some nice level design.  The catch is you can only explode 3 times in a row.  As soon as you’re touching a wall, ceiling or floor you’ll begin to “recharge” however this is where parts of each level become tricky.  You’ll need timing and a plan to get through these parts and they’re really the crux of the game.  

The tone of the game is comical and cartoony but in my opinion it’s a little childish.  I’m sure the developers aimed for the “for all ages” bullseye and they’ve certainly succeeded, it’s just a tad skewed towards gamers ages 6-12.  This isn’t a big deal but worth mentioning.

So at this point you’re probably wondering what’s so great.  Actually, you’re probably just like I was after I played the trial version of this game.  “Sure it’s solid fun and the puzzle aspect is sound but it’s not something I “need” to have,” I said to myself.  Then I perused the content of the full game:

-FIFTY level single player campaign

-Online co-op campaign with fifty additional levels.  That’s right, FIFTY ADDITIONAL LEVELS!!!!!

Seriously, how many games have this kind of value?  Most of the ones that cost $60 won’t give you all this.  If you don’t think any of your friends will pick up this game, think about it.  It’s still worth the $10.  If you have a friend that you can get to play the demo and they like it, why not go for it?  100 levels of anything that’s not atrocious is certainly worth $10 and this game is pretty good.  On a final side note, this game just made it occur to me that XBLA has some great replay value to be had in it games marketplace:  ‘Splosion Man, Magic:  The Gathering, Worms, the unforeseen popularity of Uno, etc.

Baseless Final Score From Only Playing the Trial Version:  9.0 out of 10

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