Joe Danger 2: The Movie review
If you never played the first game on either XBLA or PSN the aim of the game is simple, get your character from the start to the end line to complete the scene. It would be a poor action movie if it was a simple as this, along the way you must overcome hazards such as spinning blades, fences which must be ducked or jumped over, fire breathing dinosaurs and many more. Additional challenges can also be found on each level, such as collecting a number of stars, beating the timer and hitting targets. Completing these challenges earns you medals which unlock further levels.
Movie Mode makes up for the first half of the games 60 or so levels, compared to over 100 in the original. It is split in to five film titles which are easy recognisable; no prizes for guessing what Temple of Boom and Dr. Snow are based on! Each film has a number of levels which are essentially action scenes in the film. Unlike the first game you are not limited to a stunt motorcycle, Minecarts, Skis, pedal bikes and jetpacks are all there to tie in with the theme of the movie. A unicycle is one of the additions, it requires quite a bit of skill to use though it is only used twice in the game.
A few new game types have also been added, such as car chase style scenes which see your character following a vehicle which you can also destroy for an extra medal. The trickiest new game type is perhaps escaping from danger such as an avalanche, you are left with little time for mistakes and less for exploration. They are fast and frantic, remember to breathe as you play as you will be holding your breath for the duration of the level!
The second half of the game, which can be played at any time, is Deleted Scenes. These are also split in to Cups with more movie pun themed levels. Lord of the Springs, Gulp Fiction and Das Boost, again no prizes for guessing either the film or what the levels contain! The deleted scenes initially act as a tutorial covering important controls in the game such as double jumping and performing tricks. At the end of each cup is a level known as The Assault, which after the first cup adds the previous assault levels on to it. By the end of the deleted scenes you have one very long level which sees your player changing vehicle a few times with a list of challenges that will take some time to master!
Creating your own levels in the Movie Maker makes a return and after a tutorial style series of levels you are free to create your own. It is extremely easy to create a level with simple drag and drop actions to place scenery. One downside to the original game was there was no central server to share your creations. Hello Games have taken note and added in a fairly basic but useable method to find and download levels created by others with categories such as developer picks and latest additions. It is a very welcome feature and should add a lot of replayability to the game.
Multiplayer has been bumped up from two to four players but it is still sadly LAN only, maybe we will see online for Joe Danger 3? I never got to try this mode but it appears there are only a few levels to race on so this was perhaps an afterthought and not a big feature of the game. Leaderboards are present so you can still compare your scores with friends and worldwide on them.
Graphically the game still remains bright and colourful with its cartoon style graphics. The music is again a mix of funk and movie sounding themes which personally I loved in the original and just as much in this game. There are times when the sounds clash when there is a lot going on, such as when being directed to jump while collecting items, it all ends up being a bit too noisy.
One thing to consider is the number of levels, around 60 compared to over 100 in the original which does shorten the lifespan of the game. I made it to the final races on both modes in around 4 hours, I would guess double that time for completing the game 100%. Eight hours is the average for most games now but I would feel a little short changed. Fans of the original will no doubt still be chomping at the bit to buy this and rightly so. It is great fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is as playable as ever. Joe’s still got it!
As fun to play as the original though we did notice there was fewer levels than the original. The new vehicles are a good addition.
Nothing much has changed visually from the original game, we still love the cartoon graphics though.
The funk and movie themes are enjoyable and will have you on the edge of your seat. The game does get a bit too noisy when a lot is going on.