Classic gaming continues to see a resurgence in one form or another. In the past couple of months, remakes of popular classics have been the most recent offerings. In the case of Explodenmon by Curve Studios, classic gameplay elements meet a unique blend of platforming that is far different than anything previously experienced.
As the dim-witted Explodemon, you must battle a robotic menace that is invading the planet Nibia. Forget everything you know about side-scrollers and set it aside. Explodemon takes the concept, tosses it out the window, and changes the dynamics greatly. The hero doesn’t carry any weapons; his only method of attack is his ability to explode. Jumping and reaching high platforms also involves using the same ability.
While the exploding mechanic may sound awkward at first, it works quite well during gameplay. Each environment relies heavily on solving puzzles with your explosion capability. Some areas require you to explode a certain number of boxes over walls onto platforms to open doors, while others have you exploding containers beyond electronic barriers to deactivate them.
Aside from his main ability, Explodemon can slide into enemies and juggle them in the air before attacking. This is quite useful when a room is overpopulated with enemy robots. Large machines hang from the ceilings and regenerate the robots you destroy, and if you’re not careful, they will quickly overwhelm you.
After completing a level, there is an option to upgrade your abilities. From this menu you can upgrade Explosion Powers, Time Before Explosion, Armor, Charge Gain, and Gold Recharger. Additionally, power-ups like Speedchargers – which increase the recharge speed of your explosions – can be found in some levels.
Be prepared to encounter some tough boss battles. Like the levels themselves, the boss battles are more akin to puzzles that require more thinking than button-mashing to complete. In a lot of cases, you will spend your time exploding containers into the air to damage a boss. These encounters are not necessarily difficult; there is a slight learning curve that will require some additional thinking to figure out the pattern.
The in-game controls are pretty straight-forward: the right analog stick allows you to see certain parts of the level; the left analog stick is used for movement; X button jumps; Circle button activates explosions; and holding down the left analog stick and X button allows you to slide. The control scheme works quite well and never falters during gameplay.
Explodemon offers beautiful 2.5d visuals that are very reminiscent of old-school platformers. The sprites look very retro in design and the levels resemble something from a SNES title. With that being said, old-school gamers will certainly appreciate the atmosphere produced by the graphics.
As a platform game, Explodemon offers the right mix of classic elements and intuitive gameplay to make it addicting, engaging, and fun. If you purchase at least one platform game this year, make it Explodemon by Curve Studios.
Platform: Playstation 3 (Available on PSN)
Developer: Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Studios
|The 2.5D graphics are very retro in design.|
|The soundtrack is slightly repetitive, but very catchy. The sound effects are fantastic.|
|The explosion mechanic helps Explodemon stand out above the rest.|
|This is a must-have for any platform gamer.|