The difference between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man is basically a bow. While Ms. ‘Splosion Man does in fact have a bow, she has a lot more to offer without changing the great platformer gameplay of the original.
Like the original ‘Splosion Man, you are attempting to escape a large science lab complex, while “sploding” off everything and everyone. While the gameplay is the same, they have given the player many, many new toys and obstacles to use and manoeuvre around. From zip-lines, to rocket cars on rails, reminiscent of Donkey Kong. They have also added new enemies. Like futuristic scientists with lasers, to giant spinning blade wheels of death. (I don’t know the actual name of them, but that pretty much sums them up).
Unlike in the original ‘Splosion Man, you don’t spend all your time inside a laboratory. You go from the lab, to tropical islands, to a large mega city. The gameplay stays the same throughout the entire game, but that’s to be expected, especially with it being so addictive. If you enjoyed the first game, then you will no doubt enjoy this one.
Twisted Pixel is known for having a lot of character in their games, and it shows even more in this latest release. You’ll hear Ms. ‘Splosion singing tidbits from the girliest of songs. Some very old and very cheesy, but as kids, we all sang them at some point. She often makes chatter about make-up, doing her hair, nails, shoes, etc. Female stereotypes, they’re fun! And speaking of shoes, you can collect a hidden one in almost every level. Similar to the cakes you collected in the first game, but this time around, instead of eating your prize, you wear them. So not only do you get more points, and work towards an achievement, but you also get to finish the level wearing your stylish new kicks.
Co-op is back and better than ever. You can play up to four-player online, local or mix and match co-op. More games need to do this; couch co-op isn't dead, but most developers seem to think it is. The co-op campaign is different than single player in almost every aspect. The levels are all re-done to accommodate two, three or four people, and are much more challenging. The endings are even different, and let me assure you, both endings are quite out there. I myself found the single player ending to be the best. With fifty levels for each mode, you're looking at quite a lot of playtime.
You’ll also hear and see characters from other Twisted Pixel games. One even bashes a certain company that starts with Cap and ends with com, about being sort of a rip-off as of lately; but I won’t get into that. Just know there are loads of movie and pop culture references in this one. And I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that the developers must LOVE the movie “Total Recall”, because I’ve not played a game from them that did not have a reference to it.
One cool feature that I wish other games would pick up on is what they call the “Mall”. Each time you beat a level you are awarded gold coins. The better you do the more coins you’ll receive. These can be used to purchase items from the mall. You can get concept art, audio tracks, development photos, movies, and special exclusive unlocks. These include a premium theme, two gamerpics, two avatar awards, and more. I really feel like Twisted Pixel wants to give gamers a value for their money, unlike a number of studios whose games release with launch day DLC. They have even confirmed that they will be releasing free DLC levels on what they hope to be a regular basis, and giving away real physical prizes to people on the leaderboards.
Overall, Ms. ‘Splosion Man is a great old school styled platformer that takes what the first game did great, and makes it even better. With single player being around the twelve to fifteen hour range, and multiplayer weighing in at around the same, it’s a great value. And for only 800 MS Points, you can’t beat it.