Review: 'Splosion Man

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Review: 'Splosion Man

Take Portal, mix in some Super Mario, add a dash of psychosis, and voila: You have 'Splosion Man.


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AboveUp

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May 21, 2008
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Wow, and here I was thinking the game looked crappy and that I'd never spend points on it. Next time I have MS points, I'm downloading this!

As for your opening bit, Susan, I had the sort of thing with The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, which turned into one of my favorite Live Arcade games.
 

Cpt_Oblivious

Not Dead Yet
Jan 7, 2009
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Well, when I finally get round to buying an XBox I may have to buy this, it looks like a few hours of silly fun.

Thanks Susan!

[small]Everybody loves Do-oughnuts
I know I do-ooo[/small]
 

Nincompoop

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May 24, 2009
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I would rather say Portal + Jumper.

Seems like a hella fun game.

I love the "'splosion" variants =P!
 

Wandrecanada

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Oct 3, 2008
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Very happy that Escapist got this review up. This game has been nothing but great fun for myself and a few friends in the past week. Even better it was a Susan Arendt review which just adds so much gravitas to a great little game.

I can only mention that you didn't mention the amazing thing that is Multiplayer (haha I read Susan's comment at the end of the article just now. ARG!). As fun and challenging as the single player is, the multiplayer adds a laugh out loud element of cooperation between 2-4 people. The requirement of sploding your teammates to gain access to certain areas just adds a little something else to the game. Of course the extra 50 levels of multiplayer doesn't hurt the longevity either.

As an added funny I have to strongly recommend you watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsKjxErG5rg

Don't worry it's not spoiling anything from the game... but you might just get an idea of what to expect from beating the game. Actually I don't think anyone could expect what you see at the end of the game. Needless to say someone has finally outdone the Portal end credits.
 

tehbeard

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Jul 9, 2008
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like portal it haz cake, 47 cakes.

Good fun and my god that "way of the coward" came in handy. Playing this while drunk without a WOTC option would result in smashed consoles.

And for those looking for mpay fun, try four player coop where u r the only one with a mic. this is where the countdown button comes into its own.

You get your own tutu, how cute!
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Wandrecanada said:
Very happy that Escapist got this review up. This game has been nothing but great fun for myself and a few friends in the past week. Even better it was a Susan Arendt review which just adds so much gravitas to a great little game.

I can only mention that you didn't mention the amazing thing that is Multiplayer (haha I read Susan's comment at the end of the article just now. ARG!). As fun and challenging as the single player is, the multiplayer adds a laugh out loud element of cooperation between 2-4 people. The requirement of sploding your teammates to gain access to certain areas just adds a little something else to the game. Of course the extra 50 levels of multiplayer doesn't hurt the longevity either.
I know, I know, I do feel really bad about not covering the co-op options, but I genuinely just could not stop playing the single player mode. And the game is so good just for that, I consider co-op to be just a big fat bonus. I can't believe the game is only ten bucks. So much goodness.

Thanks for the comments about co-op, you helped fill out that part of this review. :)
 

Avatar Roku

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The_root_of_all_evil said:
So, like Portal, there will be cake?

[small]I'll get my coat[/small]
What's more, according to NoMoreSanity, the achievement for finding every cake is entitled "Not a Portal reference."
 

DaBozz

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May 27, 2009
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Ahhh, what a lovely singing voice you have Susan ;D
I would pay good money to have you sing me a lulaby every night xD
 

Ben Legend

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Apr 16, 2009
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This game is simply brilliant. I played the demo, and decided for a mere 800 points, this was worth buying. The multi-player is brilliant too, but a tad hard in places. The portal-cake reference achievement is brilliant too.

Even if this game doesn't look right or fun, just download the demo, I guarantee you will enjoy it.
 

Andaxay

Thinking with Portals
Jun 4, 2008
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I saw: "It's got some Portal elements in it" and immediately thought about getting it. I love Portal so much it's almost unhealthy. A friend recommended I should get it, too, and now after reading the review, I'll be getting hold of some good ol' MS points, and blowing myself to kingdom come. I hate games with ridiculous difficulty curves, so I'll definitely be giving it a shot.
 

RAWKSTAR

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Jun 5, 2008
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Ahhh I wish I could play this... The main character looks very lovable fair play.
'SPLOSION!
 

Hamster at Dawn

It's Hazard Time!
Mar 19, 2008
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I played the trial and seemed rather dull. I usually like this sort of thing so I'm surprised at this review. Maybe I'll have to give it another chance.
 

whyarecarrots

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Nov 19, 2008
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I was actually very intrigued by this game the first time I saw anything about it, and it's good to see that it it's lived up to that. Now to wait for a PC port :(
 

Bigeyez

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Apr 26, 2009
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For everyone who was disappointed by the trial you have to give the game another chance. The trial levels are by far the easiest the game has to offer. The difficulty and fun ramps up rather quickly after you get out of the first few easy levels.

The game is fairly long as well. Single player has 50 levels and it took me the good parts of 2 days to power through them. Might not sound long but when your used to beating XBL arcade games in a couple hours this is huge in length. Plus thats without me collecting all the cakes or trying to get on par time in every level. I also skipped 2 levels so that shortened my time a bit.

The multiplayer is probably whats going to keep this game going though. It is soooo much fun to play with 4 friends. The only downside to it is that it seems to dc a lot but that could be because the game is still fairly new. Playing with random people can be a little harder but even then the game features a countdown time so that even without headsets everyone knows when to splode.

In short if you have ten dollars, buy this. Personally I would have paid far more for it so lets be glad it's only 10 bucks!

Edit: If you guys like the Donuts song wait till you see the music video after you beat the game. That had me laughing so hard. We're gonna be seeing a lot of Splosion Men running around this halloween. =p
 

Triple AD

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Apr 1, 2009
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I so wish I had oh well I guess I only have a few weeks to wait till my Xbox 360 comes back from the 3 red rings of death hospital... *sigh* I'm gonna sit in a corner figure out ways I could 'splode till I get this game *sadface*
 

Asciotes

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Jul 24, 2009
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This game makes me wish I had an Xbox. And that song makes me wish I had a doughnut.
 

RRilef

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Jan 5, 2009
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Why is it that XBLA games make me want a 360 more than the full titles. Although, so far I can't help but feel a little bit of hypocrisy. Way of the Coward seems to have so far been taken positively, but Nintendo's Demo Play has been almost universally bashed.
 

Internet Kraken

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Mar 18, 2009
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RRilef said:
Although, so far I can't help but feel a little bit of hypocrisy. Way of the Coward seems to have so far been taken positively, but Nintendo's Demo Play has been almost universally bashed.
I think the bashing of demo play is unnecessary. I really don't see the problem with it.
 

Bigeyez

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RRilef said:
Why is it that XBLA games make me want a 360 more than the full titles. Although, so far I can't help but feel a little bit of hypocrisy. Way of the Coward seems to have so far been taken positively, but Nintendo's Demo Play has been almost universally bashed.
This game is very, very, very hard in the later levels. So hard in fact that if it wasn't for Way of the Coward a lot of people wouldn't make it to the end of the game. Not mentioning that to even be able to use Way of the Coward you first have to die an obscene amount of times in one section of a level. Then the game penalizes you heavily for using Way of the Coward by giving you a 999:999:999 time for that level and giving you 0 points. It also makes that level not count towards the complete single player achievement. In order to get the achievment you can't use Way of the Coward.


So yeah, big difference in the two systems.

Edit: I don't personally care about the Nintendo Demo play. I don't hate it and I understand why it's there. Just saying the two systems are very different.
 

Banter

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Apr 1, 2009
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I eyed up this one but I'm saving my pennies as I'm being served a big dish of credit crunchies right now... but I do love donuts and that song is amazing.

RRilef said:
Why is it that XBLA games make me want a 360 more than the full titles. Although, so far I can't help but feel a little bit of hypocrisy. Way of the Coward seems to have so far been taken positively, but Nintendo's Demo Play has been almost universally bashed.
1. XBLA is awesome and evil. It takes out the annoying head into town just for one video game trek that saved my wallet so much strain (kinda like steam)
2. The nintendo demo play takes control away and shows you how it's done, taking challenge out of completing the game. Whereas the way of the coward seems to just skip it and let you come back to it, but you'll still need to figure it out when you go back to it.
It doesn't give away the secret to complete it, but you can still make the pain of being stuck on one point go away.

I've experienced that many a time in adventure games (Broken sword) where one menial puzzle has me stuck because I don't click on an insignificant bit of background, so I leave the game and don't play for months out of a sulk.
 

SomeBritishDude

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Ok, I've played the game for about 3 hours now and its fucking awesome.

Haven't played an arcade game this good since Braid.

There's one problem. Every time I pick up Donuts I just can't put him down. His song is just so awesome. I just end up walking around listening to this song. I don't want to kill the guy.
 

Arkhangelsk

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This proves it, I have to get it! Played the trial, fell in love with it. Now it just calls for me, whispering it's awesomeness in my ear.
 

Kinguendo

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I thought the trial was rather boring BUT peer pressure roped me in... AGAIN!

Now, I have the buyers remorse... and I tell my peers about it at least once a day because of what THEY made ME do.

I got through 8 levels on Multiplayer before I felt like punching my friends in the face and then got through 8 single player levels before I got bored and went on Fallout 3: Point Lookout, I went back on it this morning to get an acheivement I knew I could get with minimal effort and then... sure enough, went back on Fallout 3. :D

All this coming from a guy who just bought Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires and having had all DW games... So you can see my level of tolerance for repetative games.

Everything in the game is pretty good... except the game itself, which really makes it a rather pointless reel of music, spinning loading screens, random meat and cutscenes... I may play it again when I get the 360 dashboard update for the free things.
 

samsonguy920

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Slycne said:
The full Donuts, Go Nuts! song

Newman, what are you doing? Thinking. Well think me up one of those donuts with the lil sprinkles. -donut for the answer-and another donut for Susan for another fun review! or do you want a cookie?-
And thank you Slycne for sharing that awersome song with us that haven't had the blessing of playing Splosion Man yet. This is just one more reason for me to get a 360 and get on XBLA. (Gonna need a big fat hard drive for what I'll want, fer sure)
Everybody loves donuts...
 

messy

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Dec 3, 2008
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I know this has been mentioned before (well kinda) but I couldn't help putting; Hmm a puzzle game where the cake isn't a lie.

I like the way they've done the "cowards way out" because to regular players they'll feel a bit of annoyance at being called a coward, having a time of 999 hours and 0 pionts for the level which should encourage them reply it. And more "casual" players wont care anyway at just skip the hard beats all the same I imagine
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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messy said:
I know this has been mentioned before (well kinda) but I couldn't help putting; Hmm a puzzle game where the cake isn't a lie.

I like the way they've done the "cowards way out" because to regular players they'll feel a bit of annoyance at being called a coward, having a time of 999 hours and 0 pionts for the level which should encourage them reply it. And more "casual" players wont care anyway at just skip the hard beats all the same I imagine
I love Way of the Coward, I think it's genius. Sure, slap me with the crappy time, that's ok...I'll come back to the level later and do it the right way. But being able to make progress and get back to the fun is wonderful.
 

Midniqht

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Jul 10, 2009
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after the review i decided to give it a try. got the trial and ended up buying it. great game
 

Cowabungaa

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That sure looks like a fun little game, shame I can't have my Xbox connected to Live...yet! Can't wait to check this out when I can access Live again.

I usually don't like options like 'The Way of the Coward' but in this case it's really well done. At least you have to reach a certain level of fail before you can use it.

*whistles the tune of Donuts* Thanks Susan.
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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Donuts! Go nuts!

I knew this would end up being a better use of my points than MvC2...And I even got an awesome premium theme for free! Hardcore mode is just evil though...NO CHECKPOINTS!
 

UnkeptBiscuit

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Jun 25, 2009
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alright, I have to get this. But my mom took away my Xbox until I finish summer reading. That means I have to finish reading The Lord of the Rings 1, IMO the most boring book ever, and do a stupid project on it. God Dammit mom.
 

Dramus

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Jul 12, 2008
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Fun game, but I have a few nitpicks about it.
1. Way of the Coward. Not the option itself (I managed to never use it, though it was a close call on some levels), but how it's presented. I understand that the first time it comes up stopping the game is a good idea so the player reads the description and knows what's going on, but all subsequent times it really should just pop up in the background. It breaks flow and on at least one occasion directly caused me to die by coming up right before I hit the A button, causing me to fall instead of Splode.
2. The camera. It was mentioned in the main review, but I still don't know who thought tilting it in certain sections was a good idea. I can only think that they were maybe trying to show more of the level, but it doesn't ever seem to, and instead messes with your perception and leads to several needless deaths. Also, why is it always so zoomed out? It can get pretty hard to see yourself at times because of this.
3. The barrels. I don't know why, but sometimes they send me to one side when I'm aiming for the other. There's probably a reason, but I don't know it so it's pretty annoying.
4. The last boss arena. Who decided that it should be orange on the sides (exacerbating the 'wide view, hard to see yourself' problem) and dark in the middle (making the little helper enemies near impossible to see, helped by the aforementioned camera)? I bet it's the same guy who did the camera. Dammit Gonad, must you always tarnish good design?
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Dramus said:
3. The barrels. I don't know why, but sometimes they send me to one side when I'm aiming for the other. There's probably a reason, but I don't know it so it's pretty annoying.
I have two theories on your particular problem, though the first theory depends on the barrels you're talking about. If you mean the bright green ones, they fling you to a specific spot, no matter what. If those aren't the ones you mean, I have to guess you're approaching them from different angles. If it's not either of those two situations, then I'm not sure what's up.
 

Wandrecanada

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Susan Arendt said:
Dramus said:
3. The barrels. I don't know why, but sometimes they send me to one side when I'm aiming for the other. There's probably a reason, but I don't know it so it's pretty annoying.
I have two theories on your particular problem, though the first theory depends on the barrels you're talking about. If you mean the bright green ones, they fling you to a specific spot, no matter what. If those aren't the ones you mean, I have to guess you're approaching them from different angles. If it's not either of those two situations, then I'm not sure what's up.
The case can be one of three things that I've encountered in my splosion journeys:

1. The Splosion animation (and awesome guitar riff!) can often hide your true location when you are thrown and the angle will send you where you wouldn't expect. This occurs most when you are Sploding closest to the center of the barrel. To mitigate this effect ensure that your Splosion Man's head is fully on one side before you Splode.

2. When Sploding up towards barrels your momentum, analog stick angle and position from which you Splode can impact the direction you are thrown from the barrel. Your best bet is to lay off the movement analog at the same second you press the Splode button. This should normalize of the behavior of your Splodes.

3. In multiplayer there is often lag between consoles and on the host machine your Splosion Man may not be exactly where you think he is. In this case you often need to adjust your timing slightly eariler or later depending on what is causing you to move (ie: other splodes, barrels, wall jumps).

Hope this helps!

PS: A tip for later levels (mostly world 3); Try to splode as fast as possible when jumping between surfaces or barrels. There is no cooldown between your 3 Splosions and in some cases waiting that extra half second to react will cause instant death. World 3-8 will destroy your mind if you do not learn this early!

PSS: World 3-8 is in fact the benchmark level that will be featured in the contest for a limited Splosion Man statue prizes (I believe there will be 20 made in the world). Incentive enough for everyone to get this game and learn how to Splode with catlike precision! Time and points will be the deciding factor but only between the dates listed at the end of the single player game.
 

GamerLuck

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Jul 13, 2009
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Looks alot like N+, one of my favorite platformers of all time. might just have to give it a go if and when i get some MS Points.
 

MrPop

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You didn't mention co-op Susan which is one of my favourite bits of the game. It is a great game. I didn't think that it would be a bad game initially when I saw the title though. I only tend to view a game as bad when see the title if it's a Pixar/Disney film adaption such as Cars.
I also love the quirky sense of humour of the game.
 

kiltmanfortywo

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this review made me decide to get this game. The only other game that has had a review sway me entirely to it was Bioshock. Yes, I would say this is on par with Bioshock. Its great, fun, and completely bizarre. I was just playing it with my friends, 3 of us on 1 screen, and we were having problems moving on because we were laughing to hard.

I would whole heartedly recommend you buy this game now.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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This game was terrific. It was the first XBLA title in a while that made me glad I owned an Xbox, Braid being the the last. Even though it can get really frustrating at times (Final Boss, I'm lookin' at you) it's so fun, and the Music is made of pure win.

Overall, buy it! Give them your moneyz so they can make more games like this!
 

Soulgaunt

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Jan 14, 2009
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I have to play this game! I also have to get a donut! I also have to get a job to afford this game and the donut! Damn my laziness!
...........I also have to have another sentence end with a exclamation mark!
 

samsonguy920

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I seriously can not pass a day without watching this review video again. I seriously need to get the game, wish it would come on Steam as The Maw and Braid did.
 

rossatdi

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Only played in on local two player but that was a blast. Totally investing in the full version when I have a free evening.

Vitally the gameplay isn't based around precision, once you've worked out what you have to do it's pretty easy. You just have to work out what to do!
 

CaptainCrunch

Imp-imation Department
Jul 21, 2008
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Curse you Susan Arendt! This probably won't be the last time you convince me to get an awesome game! I've been looking for a decent puzzle platformer, and 'Splosion Man delivers tenfold - maybe more. It's like how Sonic used to be, back in the good ol' days. Definitely a worthwhile purchase.
 

salamarian

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Aug 3, 2009
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Super Mario and Portals doesn't make splosion man. it makes a multidimensional wormhole.
 

Shapsters

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So I'm not the only one who has never even come close to the par time?!

HUZZAH!!! I thought I was a complete failure.
 

Hulyen

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Sadly, I knew I was going to get Splosion Man as soon as it was announced, since I've been stalking Twisted Pixel after playing The Maw. The press release for it was genius as well. (announce the game April 1, another release April 2 that basically said 'no really, we're making it!')

I love this game so much! <3

Also, more games need to be 2-4 hybrid local and live multiplayer. So very awesome!
 

Toastngravy

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I'm almost sad I won a code for this game from a contest. I actually WANT to pay them for it.

I'm also proud to say I never used way of the Coward throughout the entire game. I made myself refuse to use it. So due to that, certain sections of certain levels aggravated me to no end. After a lot of perfecting the routine getting through those parts was extremely easy.

The issue I have is, some parts that should have been ridiculously difficult I completed by just being a lucky son of a bread loaf. Those parts I got in one try without even knowing what i just did other than it worked bugged me. Oh well.
I enjoyed it.

The soundtrack (not just the donut song) is pretty much full of win.
 

Vern

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Thanks for the review. Honestly hadn't heard of it before, but after reading it I downloaded the trial. It was easy, and far too short, but the simple game mechanic combined with all the possible usages for it seems extremely interesting. Even the three levels in the trial were fun, however it seemed far too short. I suppose that's how they hook you. Games with twenty different functions can be enjoyable, but there comes a time when all a game needs to be great is a d-pad or joystick and one or two buttons, this seems like one of them.
 

Crimsane

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Just bought it, mostly due to this review. Looked amazing, is amazing. Simple, mostly mindless fun. Well worth the price. Only downside is getting doughnut song stuck in your head for days, although that's not really a downside considering how fun it is to sing. Not that I'd ever sing in the shower or in the car on the way to work. *Cough*

DaBozz said:
Ahhh, what a lovely singing voice you have Susan
Yeah, it's really soothing. Could market tapes of lullabies as a natural alternative to sleeping pills! :p
 

T-Bone24

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I just beat hardcore mode. Damn that's hard. Great review, great game, great music. The end theme(s) are brilliant.
 

Endspark

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Aug 10, 2009
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Easily one of the best downloadable games of Xbox Live. Clever and original.
Don't like this? Try Castle Crashers
 

New Troll

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Talked my roomate into buying this today cause we both liked the demo. Ended up playing it the entire evening multi-player. So much fun!

If anyone is second-guessing getting this, quit already! It's well worth the cost.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

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Apr 8, 2008
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Susan Arendt said:
messy said:
I know this has been mentioned before (well kinda) but I couldn't help putting; Hmm a puzzle game where the cake isn't a lie.

I like the way they've done the "cowards way out" because to regular players they'll feel a bit of annoyance at being called a coward, having a time of 999 hours and 0 pionts for the level which should encourage them reply it. And more "casual" players wont care anyway at just skip the hard beats all the same I imagine
I love Way of the Coward, I think it's genius. Sure, slap me with the crappy time, that's ok...I'll come back to the level later and do it the right way. But being able to make progress and get back to the fun is wonderful.
It's such a great feature that it makes the game less frustrating just by being there. I haven't used it yet, but when it comes up, there's always a sense of relief. I'm no longer trying to get past this part because I have to, I'm trying because I want to.

So far the only complaint I have about the game is that the ability to grab onto ledges leads to more annoyances than helpful situations. This is due in part to the game's very literal interpretation of the phrase "perfect timing."
 

Krall

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Mar 3, 2009
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'Splosion man is a fun game, but the 2-player co-op mode can be fiendishly difficult. Level 3-1 took me and my sister over 72 minutes to accomplish!

I suppose that's what the Way of the Coward is for, but I am not a little girly man, so I did not use it.