Date: 02-23-2011 21:01
Author: Zahir Merchant

PDC profile: Zahir

When the planet Nibia comes under attack by an alien race, the unlikely hero, Explodemon, is inadvertently unleashed to save the day. With his special ability to explode, he blasts through his foes to stop his brother Absorbemon from taking over the galaxy.

Blast off!
Created by Dr. Nitrous, Explodemon wakes up from his cryogenic sleep to find his planet in ruins due to an attack by his own brother Absorbemon, and an alien race known as the Vortex. Upon seeing the destruction, Explodemon decides to go after his brother, defeat the Vortex, and save the galaxy. Along the way, the Help Desk operator and Dr. Nitrous support Explodemon by helping him harness his power. Sure, the story doesn't have much depth, but I personally think that is okay for this sort of game. Transitional cut-scenes between stages are told with a comic book-esque format, which was an excellent choice. I found myself chuckling during each one, due to the character dialog being very humorous. In-game cut-scenes take place through text boxes, which are also written very well.

Explode onto the Scene

Explodemon is all about two things: purposefully speaking in really funny broken bits of Engrish, and exploding constantly. If you don't make him explode after a set amount of time, he will become unstable and explode automatically. His explosions are utilized for various actions; jumping higher, killing enemies, dashing, deflecting missiles, and moving crates. Your power gauge fills as you kill enemies with your explosions, or by collecting charges scattered throughout the level. The more you fill your gauge, the larger and more powerful your explosions get. In addition to charges, you can also find rechargers, which will decrease the recharge time between your explosions. These collectibles provide only a temporary effect, yet golden rechargers can also be found, which permanently decrease your recharge time. If the in-level upgrades aren't cutting it, you can buy permanent upgrades in between levels. There are three planets in the game, you begin on planet Nibia, then move on to Arbor, and then go to Squall for the big finale.Through the course of the game, you will run through twelve levels, four on each planet.

Save the Day
After beating the main story, you can replay the levels to attempt to get better ranks and times. If you want to get an S-rank, you better be prepared to move fast and destroy everything in your path while collecting as many items as you can. There are also leader-boards, so you can compete with your friends and the entire PSN. In my personal experience, the difficulty curve ramps up very smoothly until you reach the final few levels, where the difficulty goes from tough to damn near impossible. The timing required to proceed to the final areas is so precise, they caused me to tear my hair out in frustration after dying for the 15th time on a section. This leads to another personal beef I have with the game. After dying and continuing at a checkpoint, you must repeat unskippable cut-scenes. This became very frustrating, especially when acid pits were introduced. I found myself accidentally and frequently falling into them by forgetting to jump at the end of a dash, or by just not noticing them.

Final Thoughts
Besides a few gripes, I had lots of fun with Explodemon. I never got tired of the great cartoon art style and electric style music. To be honest, I'm surprised that this game was developed by the folks that brought us the PSP versions of the Buzz! quiz game series. Faster respawns, more levels, and co-op multiplayer with Absorbemon & Explodemon, would instantly get my money for a sequel. For the price, Explodemon is a great experience that I think any PS3 gamer should check out.

Explodemon was developed by Curve Studios, exclusively for the PS3. It is available now on the NA/EU stores for $9.99/9.99. I played the game for about 6 hours before writing this review, beating the game, and replaying a few levels to try and get better ranks.


8/10
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