Joe Danger 2: The Movie Xbox 360 Review

September 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews, Xbox 360

Publisher – Hello Games – Developer – Hello Games – Genre – Action – Players – 1-4 – Age Rating – 12+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

The original Joe Danger was a game that drew much of its inspiration from the past, but it was also a game that had an identity all of its own. There was so much fun to be had that I just couldn’t help myself placing a 9 at the foot of my two reviews. Unlike the original game, which was first released on the PS3, Joe Danger 2: The Movie has had its big premier on the Xbox 360.

As Joe Danger was so much fun, I would have settled for a very similar game with the sequel, although developer Hello Games have been busy, and Joe Danger 2: The Movie is so much more than a simple sequel.

This time around the eponymous Joe Danger is making a film as a stuntman, and it’s your job to steer him throughout the different scenes and scenarios. All the latter is certainly a good excuse to explain why Joe’s trusty motorcycle is no longer the only vehicle in the game, with everything from skis to mine carts added to the action.

With the original playing so well, it was actually a bit of a risk to add new vehicles (along with the earlier mentioned skis and mine carts, there’s jetpacks, bicycles and even a unicycle in there) , with the danger (no pun intended) being that Hello Games may have taken this sequel so far away from the original that they forgot what made it so great in the first place. Like the original, the motorcycle controls are near perfect, and you’re able to control the bike in the air, but all the other vehicles also control just as well, although it has to be said that some are more enjoyable to use than others. The unicycle is one of the standout vehicles, and it takes skill and great concentration to use.

The setup is pretty much the same as that of its predecessor, so each of the levels have you performing different things to earn stars, in which in turn are used to unlock some of the later levels, with the game taking place on a 2.5d plane. To earn those all important stars you’ll do things such as finding all the blue mini stars in a level, chaining a combo right through a level, coming across all the letters to spell the word danger, getting through a level within a specific time and so on. You’ll get different tasks based on the level you are currently playing, but if you manage to do all those tasks in a single run on specific stages, you’ll win yourself a shiny pro medal. It’s completing all the objectives and winning all the pro medals which will draw many players back to the game in order to improve on their previous runs, and it’s only the best games that pull you back to them like this.

The levels are also more varied than the original game, with more different themes to be seen in the backgrounds. The visuals remain as colourful and as attractive as they were first time around, bringing to mind many Nintendo and SEGA games, and the crash physics are still very amusing, if also a little infuriating at times, with Joe tumbling through the air after making a mistake that is always entirely your own fault. Thank god for the instant restart button, which pulls you back to the last checkpoint that you crossed as soon as you press it.

The level editor also returns, allowing you to put together your own levels and share your creations with others. This is certainly something that adds longevity to the game, and it’s deep enough for you to put your own stamp on your own creations. As for the levels of others, you can search through newly uploaded levels as well as top downloaded and developer picks.

Joe Danger 2 also has a multiplayer mode, although it’s restricted to offline play only. Up to four players can participate in the multiplayer modes, in which the objective is to pull ahead of your opponents, forcing them off the bottom of the screen, Micro Machines style. Every time you crash, you’ll lose one of your life tokens, and crossing the finishing line in first position will earn you more tokens, so the winner being him/her with the most tokens at the end. There’s much fun to be had, although, with its lack of content, it sadly feels a little limited.

But, regardless of small flaws, Joe Danger 2: The Movie is another winning game for Hello Games. If this is indeed the final Joe Danger game (and Hello are saying it is) then the series has certainly went out with a bang. The extra variation certainly makes for a sequel that  feels rather different, but it also feels very similar at the same time. This is one colourful and fun-filled download that deserves to be on a lot of hard drives.

9/10

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