Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pink is manly, right?

There is something wonderfully primal about Ms. 'Splosion Man. Your goal? To get from one end of the level to the other without dying and possibly grab a new pair of shoes on the way. Your enemies? Helpless scientists who you can reduce to low quality cutlets with little effort. The controls? There are only two things that you can do: move and 'splode. And all of your buttons make you 'splode. I suppose a fair comparison can be made to the old Sonic games in that everything is timed and there is a definite right and wrong way to do each level, but Sonic couldn't 'splode. And his music wasn't as good. And there was never a Ms. Sonic (thank god).

Ms. 'Splosion Man is everything that a sequel to a good game should be. It takes all of the good ideas from the first game, retains them, then adds new mechanics on a consistent basis. Almost every level has brought a new toy or obstacle or enemy. First there were deceptively simple zip lines: nice and easy until you have to jump between three of them while avoiding electric barriers. Then there were large panels that allow you to continuously 'splode and hover: also easy until exploding barrels are added that you have to avoid. Then there were geriatric scientists in mechanical wheel chairs that you light on fire and send careening into their peers. Then there is the giant fat lady that Ms. 'Splosion Man jumps inside and uses for cover. Oh, and don't forget launchers right out of Donkey Kong Country. This was all in the first of three Super Mario World style areas, and the game shows no sign of slowing down.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Ms. 'Splosion man, the character herself, is actually a let down when compared to her volatile precursor. 'Splosion Man was manic and funny. Ms. 'Splosion Man is shrill and annoying, but at least you can turn her voice off in the menu. I will not let this deter me, though, because everything else about this game, from hidden levels to the homo-erotically charged unlock-able videos, is absolute gold.

Calling it right now: Ms. 'Splosion Man is a transvestite. Where is Rue Paul when you need him/her.

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