Sunday, August 2, 2009

Splosion Saturday

Splosion Man, Splosion Man, Splodes Like No Other Splosion Can

In case you haven't read it on other tumblr blogs's, the OMIE Beacon Summer Program (a.k.a. the people that I worked for) took it's staff and students on a camping trip over in Livermore, CA. Those adventures can be read right here, here, here, and here. I had a great time despite my clashes with the ATF, but you can read about what happened somewhere else (and you really should).

The only unfortunate thing from the trip was the apparent pandemic I brought back with me ( I suspect it came from the shitty pool lake). So, I've spent the past three days pretty much as sick as, well .... just really frigging sick. And since in my book sick comes under the heading bed rest, and luckily the bed is right next to some game systems, I spent the majority of Saturday catching up with video games.

The first game I tried I'd heard about a few weeks ago, called "Splosion Man."

Splodin' Like No Other Brother

In Spolsion Man, you play the role of the title character trying to escape the platforms and pitfalls of a twisted laboratory. As the name suggests, you only have one major ability - to explode. Sploding is the only way to jump, and the Splosion Man can jump up to three times before he needs to hit the ground again and recharge.

I think the thing that surprised me the most about "Splosion Man" was the consistent level of humor found in this game. Spolsion Man, himself, is a very animated character. He runs through the hallways of the lab swinging his arms like a plane and making noises, quoting the occasional Arnold film as he goes. Every once in a while you'll hear something like, "get to the chopper," "No way, Jose," or some other famous movie one-liner. And in the end, making Splosion Man such a fanboy is a brilliant way to add character depth to a platformer - even in the light hearted tone of this game.

As cool as the "Splosion Man" concept is, it's not a game for everyone. This is a really difficult game. It's so mind numbingly tough at times that you'll frequently question if some of the move combinations needed to escape a particular section are even possible. More challenging is the fact that most of the game revoles around a trial-and-error style of game, making deadly mistakes feel more like user error than anything else. As negative as this all might sound, I never really got stuck in the same space for very long. Most of the time, it just came down to being observant and hitting the jumps as best as possible.

Well, I've gone on long enough and now it's Sunday morning and I'm still sick (hooray). So, besides getting some much needed breakfast, I'll probably be home again playing more games again. Sigh.

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