Portable gaming isn't the only source of simple, low cost, high-quality gaming these days you know. The consoles have something to say about that, courtesy of affordable download services like Xbox Live Arcade.
One such gem to come from the aforementioned service is 'Spolsion Man, a quirky platformer where the protagonist jumps and fights by detonating himself repeatedly.
The reason I bring this up is that MaXplosion is rather similar. In fact, it's beyond similar.
Of course, there's no shame in pinching good ideas, so long as you manage to create something worthwhile out of it. Unfortunately, MaXplosion goes off with something of a whimper.
The first major issue is one of control. This is yet another iPhone platformer derailed by an awful virtual solution to movement.
Capcom Mobile has opted for a sort of analogue slider, but rather than affording precise control it feels spongy and imprecise. Negotiating rotating platforms and triple-jump-happy heights is considerably more difficult than it should be as a result.
The world our combustible chum inhabits is a colourful one, though, with an attractive cartoon-like art style. It’s a shame it hasn’t been taken further, as some sections feel sparse and unfinished – particularly the backgrounds, which occasionally make it hard to judge where a moving platform is in space.
Insufficient bangs for your buck
This inconsistency applies to the interactivity of the universe itself. Certain background objects can be destroyed by detonating yourself in front of them, which usually yields bonus pick-ups. However, it's often unclear with which objects you can interact, so you end up running through levels hitting the 'explode' virtual button in hope rather than expectation.
We have nothing against iPhone developers hand-picking the best ideas from console-land. It's a two-way street, and we'd certainly like to see 'Splosion Man on a portable platform.
Unfortunately, MaXplosion fizzles out thanks to the dampening effects of poor controls and careless design.