Should you buy it? Read our Joe Danger 2 The Movie PS3 Edition Review
When the first Joe Danger released back in 2010, I managed to play it only for an hour or so and I found it amazing. The gameplay, the art style and the overall feeling of the game was amazing. So a sequel was inevitable. Hello Games released Joe Danger 2: The Movie for the Xbox 360 on September 14th of this year and to tell the truth I was a little disappointed that it didn't release on PS3 too. But at that time I didn't know about Hello Games plans for the PS3 release. Now about seven days ago, they released the game for the PS3 with new levels, balanced difficulty and some cool neat features. But how does it compare to the old one?
He is back, Joe is back and the challenges he has to face are bigger than ever. There is a movie in the making, clearly with Michael Bay as the director :D, full of crazy stunts and big explosions and Joe once again jumps in as the main stuntman. The game has many "modes", but the main one is Movie Mode. Six chapters with more than 30 levels. Chapters are set in different locations for example the first one is set in caves, the second one is set in a snow mountain and so on. Some of these levels are references of action movies like Indiana Jones, Total Recall, 007 movies etc. One level is called "Indiana Bones" so... yeah. This time around Joe is not limited to only his motorcycle. This time around his garage has expanded to bicycles, unicycles, ATVs, minecarts, skis and a frickin jetpack! How these vehicles are introduced and used in the levels is done greatly, so that you never know what to expect next. Also new mechanics and techniques are introduced as you progress through the "campaign".
In terms of difficulty, I can say that the Movie Mode is relatively easy, but some levels can be really hard. Each level has its own set of objectives like survive the scenery, collect coins/clocks, finish in time, find hidden stars etc. Some of the levels has up to 5 maybe 6 objectives to complete at the same time. But that doesn't mean that you've got to get them in only one run. You can repeat the mission different times to collect all the stars, that's why it's easy. But there are some levels where you can achieve a pro medal. These are the hard levels I was talking about above. In these levels you have to get all the objectives in one run so that you can achieve the pro medal. Some of these levels require some tries, but for some lets say around 200 tries. In level you have to survive, collect the coins, do specific tricks, find the hidden star, collect the word DANGER and to top it of, you must keep a 100 % combo through out the level. Throw in a difficult level layout with tons of spikes, barricades, bombs etc where jumping and ducking should be done with pinpoint accuracy and I think you'll get my point. Each objective you complete earns you stars which are used to unlock new levels.
Apart from the Movie Mode there is also the Deleted Scenes section. Here you will play levels from the Movie Mode, but with a twist. What do I mean by that? Well in a level that all you've got to do in Movie Mode was to just survive the scenery and get to the finish, in the Deleted Scene you must not only survive the scenery, but at the same time you must collect coins, keep up a 100% combo, find hidden stars and to top all this you must keep balance all the time because you are on a unicycle, yes a UNICYCLE. The Deleted Scenes are a lot of fun. The difficulty scale ramps up quickly, but it's so addictive that you will not bail out but continue playing the same level even after failing like 250 times. Believe me I have done this and there's nothing like the satisfaction of beating the level after failing that hard so many times. The sense of progression here is amazing. You are constantly rewarded. For every Pro Medal you get a new costume or some other cool secrets. That's something that most games today are missing and by doing so they have a lower replay rate. Joe Danger 2, in the other hand, has an insane replay value.
The level editor or Movie Maker here, returns in Joe Danger 2. The tools given to you are easy to use and easy to learn. Helping you to learn are the fantastic tutorials. You play the level like you usually do in the other modes, but to finish it you must manipulate the level somehow. Maybe you have to put a object in the world, maybe you have to move it, maybe you have to rotate it. These levels are fun and they really teach you something. You can play your levels as you are making them, so you can try the different mechanics and fix them in the spot before publishing it online. The community has already started creating some cool levels and I can't wait to see more.
Multiplayer returns, but it's still only locally. You can play with up to three people locally in five different challenges/modes. I only played with a friend and I really enjoyed it. I can only imagine how fun it must be with three more people. But still I would have love to face my friends online. The only online experience you get here is the one with the ghosts, where you see how other players have done in the level you are racing.
Now do you recall when I said at the beginning that the PS3 version had some cool new levels and new features? Only in the PS3 version you can play what the developers like to call Joe Danger: Gaiden and now I understand why they choose to call it that. Found in the downloadable levels section you will find the Team Nasty levels. These are some of the levels from the first ever prototype of the game and let me tell you that they are very very hard, but not totally unbeatable. Set in the Motion Capture environment, you control Joe's enemies, Team Nasty, motorcycle riders that look like the Power Rangers. Some of the levels, especially those where you can get the Pro Medal are extremely difficult. How difficult? Take the most "pain in the ass" level from Movie Mode and multiply it for 10. That's how difficult! I am still trying to get the final Pro Medal from the last chapter with the red "power ranger", but it is hard as hell.
New to Joe Danger 2 only for the PS3 is the ability to record gameplay videos and upload them directly to your Youtube profile. Did you see the video about Movie Maker? I used the in-game capturing feature! How cool is that? More games need to do this. So a big thumbs up for Hello Games for putting this awesome feature here.
In terms of gameplay, apart from the racing, there is also some light platforming to do. Finding all the hidden stars or collecting the different letters, you need to do some platforming. The controls are perfect. The motorcycles control and feel great. The unicycle is very fun to ride, but hard to master, and so is using the jetpack. The levels are full of spikes, barricades, bombs, traps etc that kill you instantly. Avoiding all of these is a lot of fun even though it can become insanely difficult in the end levels. A problem that I found kind of a nuisance is that sometimes I would get killed by a barricade even though I was ducked. But the biggest problem I had with the game was the loooooong loading times. A minute and a half loading for a 25 seconds level?!
The presentation is very good. The menus are easy to navigate and the UI is intuitive. Visually the game retains the aestethics from the first game. The levels are full of details and different objects with vibrant colors. This game is a treat for your eyes! The sound effects are awesome too and so is the soundtrack. The only thing that becomes annoying is the director who shouts to you when you have to duck and jump.
Overall Joe Danger 2: The Movie is an awesome game. The gameplay is fantastic, the controls for each vehicle are perfect. The constant rewards and the "difficulty" of the game will keep you hooked on for a long time, believe me. The game is very long for being just a downloadable one. To see everything you might have to put 20 maybe more hours into the game with Gaiden taking up to 10 hours to complete. The presentation is amazing and the level editor will keep you coming for more. The only things that "ruin" the game are the crazy long loading times and the lack of online multiplayer. Buy the game for the PS3, don't think twice. You will totally get your money and time worth!