games / Reviews

Explosionade (XBLA) Review

November 9, 2010 | Posted by John De Large

Games like Metroid, Blaster Master and Metal Slug are few and far between. The world needs more platformer/shooter mashups, if you ask me. While I can do nothing about the lack of great games, Mommy’s Best Games saw fit to do something about this problem by making Explosionade, one of the greatest games you can buy for a dollar (alongside Shoot1UP, also made by Mommy’s Best Games).

Explosionade takes place in the future as the human race is battling against a subterranean alien race. Players assume the role of Terry Atticus, low level grunt in the military, coward and all around nerd. After he stumbles onto the military’s secret bipedal weapon GRenaDOS (see what they did there?), Atticus stumbles into the alien race’s secret lair and proceeds to lay waste to everything in sight.

Atticus’ arsenal includes a machine gun, sticky grenades (obviously) and a gravity shield which lets players bounce off of most, if not all terrain, block enemy fire and crush enemies. The machine gun is fired with the right analog stick, while grenades and shields are controlled by the right and left triggers respectively. It’s a simple control setup and the amount of weapons is just enough to give players a variety of artillery without bogging them down or confusing them. Alternatively, players who need more firepower need to look no further than the bars of gold that they will find across 40 different Metroid and Metal Slug themed maps. Collecting ten of these golden bars activates Gold Mode which enables players to spam grenades, a feature that makes hoarding these rare trinkets worth the effort.

Explosionade’s graphics are also worth noting. The game doesn’t look like a big name title, but it also manages to avoid looking like a budget title also with some sprites that look hand drawn and larger than life boss monsters. Going into the game even deeper, the levels themselves have all been carefully constructed to feel like 40 DIFFERENT levels, not just a bunch of cut and paste nonsense. Explosionade sounds good too, with some rock inspired jingles and boss music, plus a tense background theme that will accompany you for most of the aforementioned 40 levels.

Because Explosionade is reminiscent of other great games like the ones mentioned in the first paragraph, you can bet that it’s just as fun as the games that inspired it. While the game might not have much replay value, the main story is 40 levels in length and features some truly gnarly bosses, so you might be playing campaign mode for a while. About the only thing missing from Explosionade is a versus mode, which would add to its replay ability. Also, how cool would it be to have double grenades blowing up everything in sight?

THE 411
Explosionade is a great game. It combines shooting and platforming elements and the end result is a fun romp across 40 levels of space madness. Best of all, it’s only a buck (AKA: ONE DOLLAR), so if for some reason you don’t like Explosionade (you weirdo), you can probably get your money back by digging into the seat cushions of your couch.

And if you need a little more convincing to get this game, just peep this:

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John De Large
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