Ms. Splosion Man is one of my favorite platformers to date. Like the original, it's charming, engaging challenging, and really put Twisted Pixel on the map for me.
The mobile version translates most of the magic of the original to iOS in favor of serviceable touch controls, and a smoother graphical output. But it also shows the darker side of mobile gaming quite well.
Ms. Splosion Man (iPhone [reviewed with iPhone 5], iPad) Developer: Twisted Pixel Games Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Released: March 28, 2013 MSRP: $2.99 (with microtransactions)
Since we already did a great job explaining the basic overview of the game in our original review, I'm basically going to go over what's new in the mobile version. As you can imagine for a somewhat precision platformer, the controls would probably be your first holdup.
But surprisingly, I actually had little to no issue getting Ms. Splosion Man to do what I wanted her to do on a touch screen. There's virtual buttons for left, right, and 'splode (jump), and that's all you really need, honestly. Other than getting lost on occasion on the smaller iPhone screen when larger, zoomed-out jumps are happening, I never really felt overwhelmed.
Considering a large portion of the game is actually rhythm-based, with a lot of your playtime spent in the air timing jumps without the need for directional input, the move to iOS actually makes perfect sense. There were only a few instances in which I was frustrated with the touch controls -- namely long sections where you're jumping between moving platforms -- but I got used to them fairly quickly, and had little to no issue for the most part.
Ms. Splosion Man looks about the same if not better than the XBLA version on iOS (as confirmed by the developer). The silky smooth action has little to no slowdown. The iPad version runs at a full 60 frames per second, with the iPhone build performing slightly below that. Although this review is for the build running on an iPhone 5, I was able to test out the iPad version as well, and both do not disappoint on a performance level.
So what's new or changed in this version content-wise? Well, there are microtransactions. The good news is the power-ups you can buy are negligible. Level skips, extra 'sploding power and distance -- things like that are purchasable through coins earned in each level.
The best part is you don't even need them to complete the game; they're just there to assist players who may need the help. As is the case with any microtransaction store, you can buy coins for real-life cash, starting at $0.99. The mobile version also contains challenges in the same vein as most mobile games these days that task you with things like "beat the ghost time in this level" or "blow up [x] amount of objects."
So far so good, right? The way Twisted Pixel handles these power-ups is fairly admirable, and doesn't ever encroach on paywall territory since they're basically just an optional, extra layer added on top of the full original XBLA version of the game.
Then we get to my major problem with the mobile build: you have to buy new levels to progress through the game. Now, you can buy them with in-game currency -- the problem is, you need to beat each level two to three times on average to buy each set. (You can buy levels individually, or purchase half of each world in bulk.)
This is incredibly jarring, as one would expect that after paying $2.99 for a mobile game, the full experience would be unlocked -- especially if you're completing each level in order. Sadly, you'll quickly find out that even after beating a level multiple times, you may not be able to progress to the next set until you power through yet again to earn enough scratch.
When you add it all up, buying all three worlds solely through in-app-purchasing amounts to less than the asking price of the original XBLA game (less than $10). But there's something really wrong with the way the system is presented here. Simply put, if it's a paid app, the game should be fully unlocked -- especially if there are microtransactions already in place -- and especially since there is no warning of this withholding of content before you purchase the game.
It's a shame that there's such a weird barrier between the player and actually playing the levels they want. With a bit more tweaking of how many coins it takes to unlock each stage, or the elimination of the system entirely, Ms. Splosion Man would be one of the finest games on the entire App Store.
As it stands, just know that you'll have to field a bit of patience (or the fortitude to pay past the initial asking price) if you feel like 'sploiding on the go.
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.
Gamemaniac3434 Tonight, I learned what Flanx and MrNovember sound like in discord, listened to the best idea for a movie ever, and learned a little more about the depths of human depravity.
A night well spent.
Fuck us all. Ckarasu So, the artist that they used for Street Fighter 5's story mode(the arcade one) is kinda...not good. Go look up Laura's CGs. Colors are pale, and proportions sometimes end up kinda bonkers. Like, "extreme hourglass figure" level of bonkers.FlanxLycanth Justin Timberlake blasts Kuma in the ass and dies.ooktar I'm loving these fighting game elitists trying to give me shit because I criticized Street Fighters Fight Money business model.Nathan D Thanks to Dtoid I now have this gif in my life, and I can't stop laughing. I seriously can't get over it.
Jiraya Finished SOMA today , was able to do a second run without enemies with the "Wuss" mod, found it actually more frightening has you get more time to think about what is really going instead of doing hide-and-seek with the AI (Alien Isolation I miss you) Mike Wallace I stayed up late last Saturday writing a Dead Space 4 proposal outline. Solved every plot hole, had plenty of badass moments. This is the state I live in, people. Torchman WHY DO THEY GET SOUNDS BUT PIKACHU AND CHARIZARD CAN'T. WTFPixie The Fairy Finished my Storge set and 4/5ths of that was on the clock today o_O I also got a dragonlord eyepatch, which is totally practical covering the right eye when Cyndel's hair covers up the left eye.Lawman So Zack Furniss told me I should play Dying Light on Hard. Guess who's never listening to Zack Furniss again? :-/EdgyDude Deadpool spoilers: He gets cancer.beargreasey So Kanye just announced his new game, Only Once. It looks beautiful and personal. It's just a shame that I still have no idea what it is.CoilWhine I dunno why people are getting so huffy about Windows Store / XbOne Quantum Break crossbuy. It means double the gamerscore for me, and AW and AW:AN are rereleasing on the One so I'll have owned them 3 times over. Great games.Nekrosys I once considered pitching an idea for a Dtoid Australia podcast, but then I realised it'd probably just be Zyk and I getting drunk on Foster's and complaining about Atlus for half an hour each week while incessantly calling each other cunts.Parismio New Splatfest is Pokemon Red vs Pokemon Blue. Im Blue Team bitches!Jed Whitaker Been sick but these pills are fixing me right up.
[img]http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-don-t-call-it-a-comeback-i-ve-been-here-for-years-ll-cool-j-63-60-01.jpg[/img]KingSigy Why is it impossible to find a raid group in Destiny? Am I just cursed or something? All I want is to get a clan and do a raid.ikiryou I don't even care how the rest of this day is.Gamemaniac3434 *Starts up XCOM: UFO Defense*
Alright, I'm ready to do this...hmmmm...not much going on. Space ship! Shot it down! Lets fight, I've played XCOM...wait...what the fuck do all these buttons do? Alright I got it now! Annnnnd 1/6 soldiers survived.
Hmmm. BaronVonSnakPak Going to Deadpool in 45 minutes. I can't wait to see Ryan Reynolds junk.