From the guys who gave us The Maw comes a new breed of hero. A man with no Health and Safety policy, a man who desperately wants to fly like a plane, a man hotter than a topless Brad Pitt, a man called, ‘Splosion Man! With a healthy dose of humor and a short fuse ‘Splosion Man hits our screens via the Xbox Live Arcade. Is it a blast to play or is it destine to bomb?

Escaping from the lab where he was created seems to be ‘Splosion Mans primary objective in life. This is done by, well, ‘sploding. Being a bundle of explodable energy has it’s advantages but with only enough pent up energy to ‘splode three times before needing to rest and recharge you have to rely on some nicely timed ‘sploding. And with all manner of deadly devices out to cause you harm this escape isn’t made easy.

Through out the levels are the nasty scientists who are responsible for your current state. Now while these guys are typically out to get you by activating force fields and guns, some, like the chubby donut guy, are useful as human shields (after which you can feel free to turn him into prime cuts of meat). The donut guys theme song is already becoming a cult hit so here it is…

Everybody Loves Donuts

As a jumping platformer puzzle game ‘Splosion Man is perfectly executed. A testament to perseverance paying off. You can always see where you have to go but getting the timing right can take many frustrating goes. Luckily this is where ‘The Way Of The Coward’ comes in. After dying 10 times on one level you get an option to skip to the next level. Handy, but it will affect your ability to get a certain Achievement.

The humor in ‘Splosion Man is great, with a great blend of visual and aural cues that will bring forward a chuckle or two. The graphics and sound are great and look nice and colourful in HD. Although at one point the camera did take up a wide shot which left ‘Splosion Man looking very small in the distance. Lucky the controls only consist of one requirement, ‘Splode!

One thing I love and what I believe lifts ‘Splosion Man above many other XBLA titles is the inclusion of Gamer Pics and a Premium Theme for your Xbox 360 Dashboard. These are unlocked and awarded the same way normal Achievements are. Nice touch. Even the Achievements are well thought out and included a couple that have simple but funny requirements.

Closing Comments.
A good price and plenty of content (great potential for DLC too) makes ‘Splosion Man a winner in my books. Anyone who loves speed runs or getting better times and scores than their friends will get a lot of play out of this as scraping seconds off your best time in a level can be infuriatingly addictive. Throw in a few Boss Battles and its all good. 800 MS points well spent in my opinion.

Released 22/7/2009 for 800 MS Points.

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