"It sure is great to see a return to the Twisted Metal franchise on the PS2. Twisted Metal Black was the only other Twisted Metal game for the system, and as it did so well it was quite odd that we hadn’t seen another game sooner. But better late than never, and Twisted Metal Head On: Extra Twisted Edition goes that extra mile to make fans happy, and make that wait more than worthwhile. "
It sure is great to see a return to the Twisted Metal franchise on the PS2. Twisted Metal Black was the only other Twisted Metal game for the system, and as it did so well it was quite odd that we hadn’t seen another game sooner. But better late than never, and Twisted Metal Head On: Extra Twisted Edition goes that extra mile to make fans happy, and make that wait more than worthwhile.
I’ll admit, not the best. Most of the game is ported from the PSP’s Twisted Metal Head-on 2005 version, so it isn’t going to look spectacular. Everything is distinguishable, and nothing looks bad. But we are pretty far into next-gen graphics now, and these just can’t compare anymore. The colors are fairly dull, and aren’t very vibrant, but this is the mood and tone that you can tell the developers wanted to set. Anything else would’ve looked odd and out of place. Levels look quite good, and their seems to be a lot more graphical variety than in TM Black, and that’s a good thing. Parts of the game are true PS2 graphcis though, and those are the levels from TM Black, and the lost levels of TM Harbor City which was cancelled. Not a strong point, but it wasn’t really necessary for the developers to crank a lot of time, effort, and money into the graphics anyway. The good thing is that the graphics maintain that overall Twisted Metal edgy/insane feel, and don’t make the game stand out like a sore thumb from the rest. Overall decent, but not too appealing.
Graphics Score: (7/10)
Once again, the overall sound of this Twisted Metal is pretty good, but not really outstanding in anyway. Most of the in game music is some artificial rock tunes, and techno. Most of the songs are done by the “Swivelheads,” “Level,” “Scorpio Sound,” and a few songs written by a someone named JD Mayer, which I got out of the game credits. The music accompanies the game very well, but I don’t really think many people like this sort of B list rock. Sound effects pretty much equal the music, or are better. Some of the classic sounds pretty much remain, or are barely tweaked, and some fans may be happy about that. Each sound is unique and appropriate. From the familiar “death cries” when a car is killed, and to the awesome crunshing metal noise that is made when two cars collide. Good solid sound overall, except for some fairly annoying songs at times.
Sound Score (7/10)
This is classic Twisted Metal gameplay at its best. Anyone familiar with the series knows how addicting and satisfying the formula is, and that hasn’t been changed in the transition of developers from “Single Trac” to “Eat Sleep Play.” For those of you unfamiliar the game, it is set up like this: Calypso has made a car combat tournament for his entertainment and will grant any wish to the winner of the tournament. You choose any of the unique vehicles to do this, and any of the four difficulty settings to try to decimate your opponents through the following stages. Each of the vehicles varies in handling, speed, armor etc, and makes every car feel unique and different as you play it. Each level will contain a different amount of enemies, and will only get harder until you win. You can take your opponents out in one of several ways. You can launch any of the projectiles you collect in the level, including swarm missile clusters, time bombs, and ricochet bombs. Health pickups and teleporters are also scattered around in every level. Your opponents can take you out as well, and you have to be careful not to exhaust all of your lives before the game ends. Each vehicle also has its own special weapon, and this is kind of the signature thing about Twisted Metal, and what sets it apart from every other game in the genre. Special weapons are unique attacks that are very effective in bringing down enemies, and this weapon is probably the sole factor in determining your favorite cars to play with. Weapons range from twister attacks, fireballs, and missile combinations. At the end of the tournament (when you win) you get to see each character’s special ending movie as a reward, and incentive to win as every character.
A key element in any Twisted Metal game, and multiplayer isn’t forgotten in this one. There’s a classic deathmatch mode, and a co-op campaign you and a friendly TM player can go through together. Aside from the multi modes, there are few other 1 player modes different from the campaign. There’s an elimination mode (last man standing) and an endurance mode which pits you at an infinite amount of cars to see how many you can take. Both of these modes add some more hours to the game, and offer new chances to create some twisted metal. Also new to the campaign mode are secret mini games. (1 in each level) These mini games are unique to each level and unlock bonus lives, power ups, vehicles, and unlock new vehicles. They include top down shooters, obstacle courses, platforming and racing. They are a fun diversion from the battles of the game, and offer nice bonuses for completeing them. As a final inclusion for the game, a short Sweet Tooth platforming mode has been created. It’s kind of a cookie cutter platforming mode, and truly the definition of a gimmick, but I’m sure fans will get a kick out of it anyway.
Gameplay Score (10/10)
This game isn’t a rehash of all old Twisted Metal features though, and contains a good new amount of content. Some of this may or may not be new, because I haven’t played TM Black and don’t know some of the differences, but I’ll list all the things I believe are new.
Levels like Monaco, and Transylvania (new if you don’t have PSP version of the game)
Upgradables-when you defeat any car, you collect an upgrade that increases armor, machine gun damage, and more.
New special level attacks like Zues thunder, and nuke shockwave
A new energy attack called Flak that destroys incoming missiles
Helicopters that deploy pickups in the level
Secret mini games in each level
Never before released Twisted Metal 1 ending videos:These were going to be featured in the game as the videos for winning the game, but were scrapped because they were horrible as anyone can see who watches them!
4 exclusive levels from Twisted Metal Black
A lengthy interview with several developers on the Twisted Metal Series that fans will surely savor
An additional short artbook featuring concept art that is included with the instruction manual
1-player sweet tooth adventure mode
6 LOST levels from a cancelled game called Twisted Metal Harbor City-This is a huge plus, and a main draw to buy the game. These were levels intended for a new Twisted Metal game, but sadly and ironically 6 key developers of the game died in a plane crash of twisted metal themselves.
Features Score (10/10)
Overall there is really no reason you can go wrong with buying this game. It’s only $20! brand new! This game is just so jam packed with nostalgia that TM fans will surely eat up. New players will find a huge package to start the series with as well. The sheer amount of features crammed into this disc, and especially the six lost levels are a great reason to love this game. Fans of the series with absolutely play this game inside out, and new players have a great entry point to a great series. In no way should you count this excellent game off your wanted list.
Community review by G_Dub (February 07, 2009)
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