|By Chris Derosa||Thursday, 27 Aug 2009|
Remember when Summers used to be about having free time to play catch up with friends and family, maybe taking a vacation for a while and just enjoying the nice weather in general? Well Microsoft has been making it their duty to help you forget to do those things so you can stay in your room and play the 360 instead. When the new releases at retail are slowing to a crawl in wait for the big Fall releases, XBox Live Arcade fills in the gaps with their biggest and most anticipated titles of the year. With the 2008 campaign being such a huge success that featured hits such as Bionic Commando ReArmed, Braid and Castle Crashers, Microsoft planned an even bigger Summer of Arcade for 2009 to follow up with. Did the lineup match the greatness of last year’s? Read on for part one, ‘Splosion Man.
From Twisted Pixel Games (developers of The Maw) comes an interesting new take on the traditional 2D sidescroller. ‘Splosion Man was created in an underground lab with the power to…well, explode and destroy anything and everything. The controls are as simple as run and jump up to three times. It boasts 100 levels (50 single player and 50 multiplayer) along with up to 4 player online co-op.
The game also features a great sense of humor, with the psychotic hero of the game yelling out movie quotes and references while killing scientists and bosses along with other humorous cues (like the scientists turning into various types of packaged meat, or a song that’s all about donuts). The difficulty is a bit punishing in the later levels (even with unlimited lives) the main level design stays within the same science lab type of backgrounds which may disappoint some, and the bosses aren’t too special either. But the quirky and well done soundtrack along with the responsive controls and classic styled 2d gameplay will have you hooked until the end and then some. I heartily recommend this one, and hopefully Twisted Pixel will work on a sequel.
‘Splosion Man was played to completion in single player and halfway through the campaign on multiplayer co-op.