Review: Joe Danger

PLAY THIS OR YOU’RE IN DANGER

Developer: Hello Games
Genre: Racing
Platform: PlayStation 3 [PlayStation Network]
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Rating: 9.5

Joe Danger is an amazing game. It came out of nowhere and will suck you in a way in which you have not been in a long time. It is hard to nail down what type of game it is. Joe has elements of the XBL game Trials HD along with some old school Excite Bike, with a trick system as deep as Tony Hawk and a dash of LittleBigPlanet like creation tools. That’s the best way I can describe it. There are over 50 levels in the game and each level has a couple of objectives to complete in order to receive stars, or the game’s currency. The stars you earn in levels are used to open other levels with more stars in them. This far into the review and I still don’t think I have explained what type of game it is yet.

Joe is a stuntman who banged himself up so bad he was forced into early retirement. He wants to get back into being a stuntman but the game has changed and he needs to adapt and go all out to reclaim his spot at the top of the industry. The story elements are non-existent except for a small part in the beginning basically saying what I just told you. From this small piece of narrative Joe is dropped on his bike and you are free to tackle the levels. The bike controls are solid and never become something you have to battle with, you always feel in control of Joe and trust me you are going to need it. Joe Danger is a hard game. You will die a lot but rarely does it feel cheap. I personally welcome harder games but the way to spot a good difficulty is in the way the mechanic work. In the game if you die it is because you didn’t do something as well as you should. Seldom did I feel as if the game was trying to kill me and that I had no control over it. The buttons are very simple but it is how you string together inputs and your timing that dictate you success or failure, not the game.

Levels vary from easy to difficult. Still, you won't become frustrated.

The levels are all designed brilliantly each one offering either something new or a new way to look at something you have already seen. The game is constantly introducing new mechanics and styles and they rarely feel dull because they are changed and tweaked throughout the course of the game. As I mentioned before there over 50 levels and the only bad thing I can think of is that the backgrounds are not as varied as one would hope, but this is rather nitpicky. Some levels are straight up race tracks complete with other racers to beat, some are stunt tracks with lots of jumps and an easy way to rack up points, others are more analogous to a platforming level complete with multiple paths and hidden areas. In each of the levels are multiple objectives. In one level you could have to collect all the ministers, hit all the targets, collect all the time trial coins, combo the entire level, beat the time limit, and numerous mixes of the ones I just mentioned. If you do not want to play a certain level or you just can’t beat it you can move on to another one and come back when you want to. The game is always offering you something new to do without punishing you if you choose not to.

The sandbox mode is the games level creation toolset and it is pretty fun. You can alter the level on the fly even in the main game. If there is a star too high up to get, you can, with the press of a button, set a jump spring right below it. Some levels even require you to use the creation tools to achieve some of the goals. If you take the time to create an interesting level you can upload them to your friends and you can play them together. The co-op in the game is limited to a race mode which is somewhat of a letdown but there is nothing stopping you from simply exploring the level together. The tools are pretty robust for the types of levels you are going to create and while the game has nowhere near the amount of options as say LittleBigPlanet, the mode is executed well and easy to lose time in.

Joe Danger is truly a game with lots of fun. This is a must download from PlayStation Network.

The graphics and sound are both great. Joe looks appropriately cartoony and the rag doll physics upon crashing are usually hilarious. The art style is pleasing with everything having an over exaggerated cartoony vibe that plays into the sound in the game also. The music is nice and lends to the whimsical mood of the game. While the music is nothing special the sounds effects are. The bike sounds like a real motorcycle and the crashing noises remind me of a comic book. The only thing missing are big letterboxes reading “SPLAT” after every time Joe lands on his head in the middle of a flip. The graphics and sound are very well done for a downloadable game and the developers created an inviting and interesting world to look at.

Joe Danger is the rare game that sneaks up on you and completely monopolizes your time. I have played the game now for about ten hours and I still want to play it. While I personally do not like getting into the slippery slope of value propositions, it is hard not to implore you to pick this game up with only a 15 dollar price point. I was completely caught off guard by Joe Danger and I cannot recommend the game enough.

Reviewed by jamespugh5 – September 14, 2010

Graphics
Fun and lighthearted color pallet with pretty interesting design.
 
Sound
Nothing too spectacular with the comic like sound effects being the standout.
 
Fun
An amazingly fun game that will challenge you. The challenges, once completed, leave you with an awesome sense of satisfaction.
 
Final Score

 

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Responses

  1. this is awesome u shold buy it from psn super fun,,gd review


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