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Twisted Metal: Head On - Extra Twisted Edition (PlayStation 2) artwork

Twisted Metal: Head On - Extra Twisted Edition (PlayStation 2) review


"I'm going to start off this review by saying that Twisted Metal: Head On is not a bad game. The reason I believe it belongs in the bargain bin is because it simply does not have enough substance to be worth the price of a full console game. Maybe this is because it has been ported over from a PSP game, and while there have been some additions; it still falls short of what should be a full release. Fans of Twisted Metal have wanted another console release, and this port of a PSP game is what they..."



I'm going to start off this review by saying that Twisted Metal: Head On is not a bad game. The reason I believe it belongs in the bargain bin is because it simply does not have enough substance to be worth the price of a full console game. Maybe this is because it has been ported over from a PSP game, and while there have been some additions; it still falls short of what should be a full release. Fans of Twisted Metal have wanted another console release, and this port of a PSP game is what they ended up getting. It's not a bad game, but it isn't going to turn heads either. The two main things it really has in its favor are the gameplay and nice environments, but its campaign mode is so short and forgettable that it doesn't really have any lasting appeal. Still, the gameplay is so much fun that it's hard to be overly critical with it.

The gameplay, first and foremost, is really fun. It is a vehicle combat game. If you've never played one before, think of it like Mario Kart where there is no starting or ending line, and the courses do not have walls of a race track. You can go anywhere around the course, in any direction. You are also able to acquire similar power-ups to Mario Kart as well. These power-ups are almost all variations of the shells you get though, as all you really have to do is line up the center of the screen with your opponent's car and click on the fire button. You also get a machine gun with an unlimited number of bullets for when you run out of power-ups. That is really all there is to it. The gameplay is simple, but really quite fun. There are many different vehicles to choose from, and each vehicle gets one unique power-up for itself. However, the gameplay doesn't really translate into a good campaign mode. It's so short that it can easily be beaten in one sitting. All you really do is go through each level and wipe out all the other vehicles. There is occasionally a boss battle thrown in, but it becomes very repetitive very quickly. There also isn't a terribly great motivation for you to continue, due to the plot not being all that prevalent.

Twisted Metal's plot revolves around a worldwide tournament taking place, and many different characters taking place in the tournament. Each character has their own motivation for entering, as the winner is supposed to be granted one wish by the tournament creator. If you lose while in the tournament, you will die, so it's a risky tournament to take part in. There's also the notion that the wish you are granted will never turn out quite the way you want it to be. For example, if you wish you had the best house on earth, it would later be burned down. This part of the plot was interesting, but seeing as how the plot is really only there to give you a reason to shoot missiles at another person's car in many different locations from around the world, it becomes inconsequential in the final product.

Speaking of the locations, they are nicely varied, and the sightseeing tour takes you to many different places over the globe. From Paris to Tokyo, the environments all look average at worst. Some of them look very nice, while others are blander, but still serve their purpose. Each level varies in terms of obstacles and size, and they never really feel like they've been cloned from one another. this works in the game's favor, as it makes each level feel new and exciting, and makes you want to play them a few times just to explore every corner of the map. While you are exploring the levels, you will be doing so to the same type of soundtrack you've come to expect from a Twisted Metal game; A great one. The soundtrack lives up to the rest of the series, and is very enjoyable to listen to. Each level has its own track, and the song fits nicely with the theme of the level. You can tell that the developers did put quite a bit of work into the package, not only with the level design, but also with the rest of Twisted Metal: Head On.

The disc contains quite a bit of what I will call fan service. It is only included for the fans, but it helps to pad out the package. The main game is there, but alongside it standing proud is a separate part called Twisted Metal: Lost. Lost contains levels from an uncompleted Twisted Metal game. The campaign of this part of the game is unfinished, but the game does tell you that beforehand. It was basically there to show you what could have been with Twisted Metal: Black 2. Sadly, many of the original developers perished in a plane crash, and they never got to finish the proper sequel to Twisted Metal: Black. What is there, with a little more polish, could have been great. As it is, it's nice to have, but doesn't really contain the substance to bring you back to it. Among the other fan service elements that it contains, there is an interview with some of the people who made Twisted Metal. It's interesting and it is definitely worth watching, but suffers from having no way to properly pause it. There is also a mode called The Sweet Tooth Tour. It allows you to control everyone's favorite flame-haired clown, and take you through some of the platforming levels that were planned for Black 2's release. Throughout this level are many different facts about the series, often time coupled with some concept art. This mode won't take long to complete, but is something that all fans of the series should probably go through at least once.

What Twisted Metal: Head On - Extra Twisted Edition really ends up being is a game made for the fans. It was ported to the PS2 after 3 years of being exclusive to the PSP. It was brought over with a lot of extra content that only fans would really want to see. It does all right with the mission it was given. The gameplay is as fun as ever, but the campaign mode just doesn't hold up. It can easily be beaten in an hour or two. The plot is basically non-existent, and is really reminiscent of a fighting game. You get an intro and an outro, but that's really it. The environments look nice and are varied enough to make you want to continue coming back to them, even if the character models are somewhat lacking. All of the bonus materials that separate it from the PSP version are certainly a welcome addition as well. There just isn't enough actual gameplay motivation to keep anyone playing for long enough for it to be worth a full priced purchase. Get it from the bargain bin at $10-$15, and you'll be getting a pretty good gameplay spread too thinly for a decent price.

Pros and Cons

+ Fun, addictive gameplay
+ Varied environments
+ Interesting bonus content

- Lack of plot
- Short campaign mode

Rating: 7/10

marter's avatar
Community review by marter (July 07, 2010)

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aschultz posted July 29, 2010:

Hello and welcome--I've seen your contributor page, so you've written reviews before, but I never saw this one. I hope it's not too patronizing to say that you'll do even better eliminating some mistakes that'll vanish with experience, if you want to continue review writing. I really enjoyed some parts, like the 2nd last paragraph talking about why/how the game was created.

I have some proofreading stuff which hopefully shows your review was worth looking at in detail. Feel fre to edit, or ignore the advice.

"I'm going to start off this review by saying that" isn't necessary--as it's tautologically true. E.g. we can see it is the start of the review.

additions; it -> additions, it

critical with it -> critical of it

Perhaps the 2nd paragraph assumes too little of what the gamer knows. I think you're circling around the right idea of "It's Mario Kart with ..."

Also, you repeat a sentence "The gameplay, first and foremost, is really fun." "The gameplay is simple, but really quite fun." Perhaps--"For a game where you just wipe out a bunch of bosses and forget plot, TM2 is fun while it lasts." I get the sense Paragraph 2 can be shortened to make way for the well done paragraph 3--or even flipped with paragraph 3. Generally, we like to know what the game is about pretty quickly, and the mechanics can wait or be described in a sentence or two unless they're unusual.

I might also look to sharpen sentences like "Some of them look very nice, while others are blander, but still serve their purpose." The way I look at my writing when I re-read it is to pretend someone I hate wrote it and try and give myself any excuse to shut/shout them down. I get rid of a lot of weaker sentences that way, and often with the space I save I'm able to throw in a new idea or two I thought I didn't have room for.

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