Reviewed: March 11, 2008
Released: February 5, 2008
It is time to get twisted once again. Only this time I would prefer to stay straight. In the latest release of one of the longest series in PlayStation history, Twisted Metal: Head-On the Extra Twisted Edition comes off really lackluster. There are many added features in this edition and some never before seen levels from the Black edition.
The game modes are endless whether you are playing by yourself or with a friend. In single player mode you can choose from a story mode, challenge, or endurance. The story mode has you pick a character and then follow their progress through the game to discover his/her adventure. This shows you why they are playing in the tournament set up by Calypso. During the challenge mode you will take on the computerized opponents in a last one standing destruction derby with all out mayhem. Finally, endurance mode is to see just how good you really are. You fight against as may opponents as you can handle to see who can last the longest.
In multiplayer mode you have two different modes to choose from; 2 player Death Match and a 2 player split screen co-op. With the 2 player Death Match you get to battle against your friend in a variety of battlegrounds. This is a one-on-one fight to see who can be the first to destroy the others vehicle. In the 2 player split screen, you fight as a team to progress through the competition.
Just like any other Twisted Metal game, you drive around various places and destroy the other vehicles. Some of the places that you get to drive around are: Rome, Russia, Greece, Monaco, and Tokyo. Throughout your playing you get the opportunity to unlock bonus levels, mini-games, and even characters. The more you play the more you unlock. The biggest bonuses come in the form of the most popular character: Sweet Tooth. You get to access an asylum of extras from the game developers while you run around as Sweet Tooth.
The controls are very similar to what they have always been. If you want to move you have to hit the square button to accelerate. You steer by using the left analog stick or with the d-pad. Hitting the O button causes you to break and if you want a tight turn you hit the X button. For a turbo boost you can do one of two things; you can click down on the right analog stick or tap the square button while moving.
When dealing with your weapons all you have to worry about is the R and L buttons on the top of the controllers. To select a weapon you hit the L1or R1 button. Every time you hit it you will scroll through the weapons you have in your arsonel. To fire the desired weapon you hit the L2 button. If you are all out of the special weapons, you can always fall back to your machine guns by hitting the R2 button. You never run out of bullets on your machine gun, but you do stop shooting them if you hold down that button for too long. This is to help cool off your guns, or maybe it is the games way of reloading.
There are different types of weapons that you can use in this game. The basics are, your machine guns, homing missiles, fire missiles, power missiles, and ricochet disc. Then you have yours skill weapons that consist of: napalm, remote bombs, swarm missiles, environment weapons, and your character weapons. The environment weapons change dealing with what level you are playing. Just like your environment weapons, your character weapons vary depending on who you play as. The final sets of weapons are the energy attacks. These weapons demand a set of commands from the d-pad. You can freeze your opponents, drop mines behind you to take out a tailing opponent, use a shield to temporally withstand strong attacks, become invisible, fire weapons from the rear, use a flak to intercept and destroy missiles and damage any opponent around you, and finally add napalm projectile to any weapon that you fire.
With all of these different weapons come upgrades. You can acquire upgrades by destroying other vehicles and running over the upgrade they leave behind. Upgrades do carry over to the next levels but if you do die you lose them. There are seven upgrades available: Turbo and energy regeneration, jump height, ram damage, machine gun, armor, special weapon, and random power-up. Use these upgrades to help elude enemies or to help you destroy them.
The graphics are really not that bad, it is just that they could have been better. The game is really dark. At times it is hard to tell what is what. Past games had a feature that allowed you to adjust this to fit your television better and that helped out a lot if you donít have a high def television. The characters seem very simple and donít have a lot of detail on them. I know we are dealing with a PS2 game but still, it seemed like they were selling this system a little short. The levels are smaller to help speed up play and force you to fight more opponents at one time which is a good update.
Depending on which levels you play this are flourishes or is so so. The lost level sounds are much better. There are a great mix of hard rock and techno that really suits what is happening. Now the music in the rest of the game isnít horrible but when compared to the lost levels you wonder why they didnít just incorporate the lost levels music in the whole game. I love the sound of the engines revving as you speed up, I love the explosions, and I love the sounds of the screeching breaks right before the collision. The one thing that I was a little disappointed in was the character sounds. Maybe I need to quite reminiscing about the very first time I played the original Twisted Metal on the PlayStation and every time you passed someone you heard their trademark sounds it send tingles down my spine. I really donít get that excited or anxious in this game.
This is the most amazing part of the game. For a messily $20 you can own this brand new version of Twisted Metal: Head-On. With all the game modes, bonus features, weapons, and weapon upgrades this game will give you hours and hours of fun. Not only is this a game but you have movies that allow you to visually see the ending of each characters journey of this game. This game is under priced and would be a nice addition to your Twisted Metal collection or would be a great first time play in the Twisted Metal series.
Twisted Metal was the first game that I had ever played on my PlayStation and has a special place in my gamer heart. Every time I play the next game in the series I always compare it to the original. I find that even if the game is better I still find myself wishing I was playing the original instead. With this game I am torn. Where in some parts I liked the original, others I couldnít help but think about how much the series has grown and left me wanting more. This game never disappointed me in any way and far exceeded my expectations.