Denny Markovic
09 Aug, 2009

Splosion Man Review

360 Review | OMGSPLOSION!
Gameplay and gaming in general has become increasingly more complicated over the years as technology has advanced. You’ve got your in-depth gameplay systems and hugely diverse combat engines, but what some of them seem to lack is that essence that makes us play games in the first place: fun.

And this is where Splosion Man comes in. Blowing out all that complex, stat driven and in-depth gameplay stuff out the window, Splosion Man goes simple with 2.5D platforming and succeeds on a number of levels that a lot of big budget titles tend to fail at. The setting for Splosion Man is incredibly basic, where you’re a scientific experiment gone madly wrong, infused with the power to explode continuously. With this power your objective is to find your way out of the scientific complex and be free in the world. That’s it, pretty much the story in surmised in a small paragraph.


But who needs a complicated and in-depth story when the game is so much fun? The entire point of the game is to run around and ‘explode’, which is essentially your attack and your jump. You can chain a total of 3 explosions before waiting a few seconds to recharge, and the game puts you into some challenging and fast paced scenarios. Bouncing off walls with explosions and blowing barrels up to get speed boosts through areas is ridiculously fun and doesn’t seem to get old.

It’s a simple gameplay style and mechanic, but its simplicity works extremely well with the very intelligent level design and set ups. Sometimes you’ll have to time your explosions correctly to get out of a room that is closing in on you, other times you have to time your jumps at breakneck speed before water floods the entire room. Every level has a very clever design to it, forcing you to think quick and pray you pulled the timing off. In fact Splosion Man reminds us much of the old days of 2D Sonic, where the game has a very quick pace to it but some crazy timing in jumps and such are required to pass some difficult tasks. The only downside were some of the boss battles, as we felt they were a little tedious and repetitive and broke the superb pacing throughout the other levels. They’re still decent, but as opposed to the rest of the game they’re hardly highlights.

Everybody loves doooonnutttss...

Everybody loves doooonnutttss...
Apart from Splosion Man’s awesome gameplay, the visuals are quite a sight to behold too. Though it doesn’t hold triple-A levels of visual clarity, the game has a lot of personality with some neat use of effects. Splosion Man in particular is an awesome character with an insane but charming look and feel, and his animations are fantastic, showing that hand animated characters and believability is sometimes a far better alternative in a video game than going for realism and mo-cap. The audio side also adds a lot of character to the already charming world, with humorous and often crazy phrases being blurted out by Splosion Man as he explodes. Music also captures the frenetic and comical world too, with quirky and upbeat tunes being played as you dash through the levels exploding about.

Splosion Man is a wonderful testament to old school games, with its simplistic but fun gameplay and huge sense of character. Featuring over 50 single player levels, players are in for a hefty challenge which will last them a few hours. Once this is done as well, you have the time trials too which are essentially speed runs of all the levels, and then there’s multiplayer which adds an interesting twist to the core gameplay. For 800 points, Splosion Man is a steal, and it’d be a shame if you didn’t pick it up.
The Score
Splosion Man is a wonderful breath of fresh air that's enjoyable, well priced and full of personality.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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4 years ago
This would have to be my favourite XBLA game so far.
4 years ago
Great review! I don't have a 360, but I played the trial version at Waka's house and he intends to buy it soon. It's so much fun, especially in co-op, and as the review states, 800 points is a steal for this game.
4 years ago
I might have to check this one out, it looks like a lot of fun.
4 years ago
I also played the trial at my house with Macka, and agreed the co op is very fun, but single player is also fun. it's all fun!!!... the only annoying thing is.. i only need 100 more points to buy it.. and where the hell can you buy 100 points? NO you have to buy 1500... anyway Splosion Man has been one of the most fun XBLA games i've played, equal with Castle Crashers in it's fun.. maybe a little better icon_razz.gif
4 years ago
Sonic team, take note. This is what Sonic needs to be, simple, back to basics.

We all know that won't happen, though.
4 years ago
Despite some of the leap of faith moments I've had with this, this is definately one of the best; if not the best games I'v eplayed on XBLA.
4 years ago
I really want to buy this. It is such great value, 100 levels, gamer pics, premium themes and avatar awards soon. Definitely going to buy it eventually.
4 years ago
This wasn't even on my radar until I saw the review on Good Game. Now it's all over the radar like stink on a monkey.
4 years ago
The Doughnuts song is the greatest song from a video game since portal.
4 years ago
I hope this gets ported to some other systems at some point. Looks like fun, but not enough to buy an X360 for it =)
4 years ago
@grim-one, i think its going to Wii and PS3. Looks good, its about time 360 owners had a proper platformer.
After reading the A.V. Club review and now this, it looks like I'll be buying this as soon as I've got some spare cash.
3 years ago
sobriquet835 wrote
Sonic team, take note. This is what Sonic needs to be, simple, back to basics.

We all know that won't happen, though.
just played through this over the wknd, picked it up for 160 pts from the 1 day sale from memory?? classic ending, lots of laughs

great game, i was thinking the same thing re: sonic, this is what a next gen sonic title should have aimed for from the outset.

ive just read that the multiplayer levels are differnt to single?? just when i thought id seen it all, will have to check it out!
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