previews\ Jun 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Twisted Pixel E3 Preview


I had the opportunity to preview Ms. Splosion Man, the sequel to the popular Xbox Live Arcade exclusive Splosion Man. I was terrible at it, but that didn't mean the game wasn't fun and addictive.

Unlike the original Splosion Man, Ms. Splosion Man offers you a non-linear path to follow. This feature unlocks 3 levels at once, allowing you to bypass a level if you get stuck on it for too long. While you will still have to go back and complete it to advance, at least you can try a different level in the meantime.

Some other additions Twisted Pixel has made to Ms. Splosion Man include 3 different environments. Ms. Splosion Man will now adventure in a resort area (an outside environment not seen in the original), a factory, and of course, the lab. They've also added zip lines and cannons for players to launch themselves with. Although Ms. Splosion Man is a side-scroller, Twisted Pixel has done a fantastic job creating dynamic camera movement, zooming in on Ms. Splosion Man to create a more engaging feel to the game.

For those of you who enjoy competition or need assistance with a level, Ms. Splosion Man offers a new Ghost Competition. This mode creates a ghost character of a friend replaying the level. You can race this ghost in an attempt to finish the level in the fastest time or use their ghost to see how they completed it if you are stuck.

Twisted Pixel was also kind enough to show me their Xbox Kinect game, The Gunstringer. This Western-themed adventure game has you taking on the role of an undead cowboy puppet as you fight your way through action-packed stage performances. The game is played in the form of a staged performance consisting of props and puppets. The goal of The Gunstringer is to enact revenge on the posse who murdered you.

From the beginning, The Gunstringer proved that this was a different type of Kinect game. There are no mini-games, forced gestures, or cheesy end-of-the-level photos to take. Each movement you make has a purpose. Speaking of movement, The Gunstringer is one of the few games in which movements are fluid and smooth. There was hardly any lag between my movements and the on-screen action. You control the puppet with your left hand and shoot by cocking your right hand back like you're shooting a revolver. It's also refreshing to find a Kinect game catered to a more mature audience. The game is filled with adult humor, making for an enjoyable experience.

Overall, Twisted Pixel had an impressive lineup at E3. Ms. Splosion Man looks to be a successful sequel to an already popular game, and The Gunstringer could be a sorely needed inclusion to the Kinect's anemic library.

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