Judging by our fairly glowing reviews of Twisted Pixel’s Splosion Man, Comic Jumper and our interview with Twisted Pixel designer, Alex Jones, it’s safe to say the developer has a few fans in the newbreview.com office.
Imagine our delight then, when it was announced that said developer was releasing not one, but two games this year. Cue excitement!
Whilst their brand new, Kinect enabled game, The Gunstringer, has turned many-a-head (looking set to deliver a unique gameplay experience with its distinct, western graphical style and its unique, marionette hand gesturing control scheme) the reveal of Ms Splosion Man struck a particlar chord.As much as the original Splosion Man was a HUGE hit, in hindsight it was also quite basic and a little rough around the edges. Whilst overall it felt very primitive, especially with its controls which were very limited, with players running around levels, pressing a button to jump being the only key gameplay mechanics, The potential and the ideas were there, and the game seemed to fulfill the majority of its potential, but the scope for something bigger, and far more polished was there for all to see.
Enter Ms Splosion Man, Splosion Man’s successor.
Ms Splosion Man looks set to take the brilliant formula established by the first game, and improve on it in every way possible. From the hands on time I have had with the game before its release, every aspect and facet has been refined and advanced to make Ms Splosion Man the most polished Twisted Pixel effort to date.
Throughout the developer’s portfolio of work thus far, a huge amount of progression is noticeable within their own ‘Beard’ game engine and thankfully Ms Splosion Man will continue this tradition. Gone are the ‘copy and paste’ style enemies which you encountered time and time again; Ms Splosion Man will boast a vast array of different characters and enemies, even eclipsing that of previous Twisted Pixel game, Comic Jumper, which was a big step up for the studio in itself.
Old favourites such as the scientists return, ready to be turned into meat with the slightest splode, but brand new robots and even PROPER game bosses are being added into the mix. And I do really mean PROPER game bosses, because just like the constantly repeating enemies, the ‘cookie cutter’ bosses in Splosion Man are being replaced with fully fledged, totally unique bosses in which wage epic battles with.
The game’s addition of unique boss battles is the first of a few, gameplay changes which add some variety into a game with seemingly one gameplay mechanic, SPLODE! As strange as it sounds, the boss I fought during my preview of the game, was quite reminiscent of games like God of War, big in scale, plenty of QTE (Quick Time Event) moments but also sporting some interesting gameplay ideas. To avoid any spoilers I won’t say much more, but hopefully what I saw was just a taste of what’s to come.
Improvements to the ‘Beard’ engine has allowed for more items to be placed in the game, mixing up the gameplay even more. Ziplines, rocket ships and UFOs are just a sample of what’s in store. Along with the new gameplay affecting items comes one of biggest improvements to the ‘Beard’ engine, the in-game physics.
Ms Splosion Man will display more complicated game physics than any Twisted Pixel game before, allowing for more complex, physics based challenges which players will have to use the game’s environment to overcome. Bouncing items off multiple platforms, hopping across streams of UFOs, Ms Splosion Man is a far more complex beast, and its physics based areas add not only some much needed variety, but also showcase growing intelligence in Twisted Pixel’s level design.
With a singleplayer experience comprising of 50 unique levels, and multiplayer sporting another 50, totally different to the singleplayer, each with their own seperate endings, Ms Splosion Man will not only offer a lot of game for its price (especially when you factor in the game’s improved unlock system, which will allow users to constant be rewarded with coins to unlock a TONNE of unlockable content), but it also means plenty of hilarious moments that have come to define Twisted Pixels entire output.
From the outset, the game’s brilliantly funny promo for the ‘Beard’ engine, you are assured that Ms Splosion Man will come stamped with the studio’s trademark humour. Combine all the humour, advances in gameplay, memorable and unique characters, and 100 unique levels to play through together and you start to get the feeling that Twisted Pixel haven’t just got another hit on their hands, perhaps they’ve created something special.
We’ll see, but colour me excited!
- Kieran Roycroft