MaXplosion will never be able to wash away the stink of being a blatant copy. That is truly sad as it is a quite enjoyable platformer. Capcom’s MaXplosion is almost the same game as indie XBLA Best original game of the Year 2009 Splosion Man. The gameplay mechanic is the same, and the character is quite similar as well. The original Splosion Man beats the copy when it comes to most other aspects though. I will not mention this disappointing aspect of the game again in this review, and judge MaXplosion on it’s own merits.
MaXplosion is a 2D platformer where you have to get Max to the goal using his cool exploding abilities. Controls come in the shape of a slider controlling left to right movement, and an explode button. Exploding makes Max jump, and he can explode three times before landing. This means that you can reach quite high platforms if you time the explosions correctly. Wall-exploding takes the familiar Mario wall-jump, and turns it volatile. Enemies, objects and turrets can be destroyed by exploding next to them.
The controls are kind of ok when you run about, and try to reach higher platforms. For those occasions, such as boss battles, where you need precision the controls are a bit slow and imprecise. The slider feels kind of long on the screen, and Max starts slowly. Not as slow as the original Sonic, but still slow enough to create problems when ducking, running and exploding against a boss in an enclosed space.
To reach the goal in most levels you have to run around looking for switches to open doors. For the early levels this is fine, but as they get bigger it gets hard to navigate. Instead of getting a feeling of progression you have to make a lot of backtracking. Levels are also fairly simple in design, and there are no shortcuts or cool bonuses to find. Sure there are collectable energy coins, and a hidden radioactive bar for each level. For the most part it is too easy to get all of them.
I quite enjoy the cartoon graphics, even though it is quite simple in style. Bright colours, and a cool Max character. The music is ok, but nothing memorable. Sound effects are also ok, and you can play your own music alongside them.
Game Center integration with achievements cater for online connectivity. The 20 levels give you a couple of hours of gamelife. Depending of course on your patience with the controls, as it is fairly easy to become frustrated as you encounter a boss.
MaXplosion is a decent platformer for the iPhone. The slow slider controls work, but not well enough to make it an instant gameplay classic. The game is worth getting if you want to have some straightforward plat forming, but don’t expect to have this on your device once you have finished it.
Seller: Capcom Entertainment Europe Ltd