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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Hello Games
Developed By: Hello Games
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: E (Everyone)
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Screenshots: Link
Price: $14.99
Written By: Anthony Cara

July 12, 2010 - If someone had told me they had found a way to combine all the best qualities from the original NES Excite Bike and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater I would probably slap them for even dreaming up such madness. Then when they showed me Joe Danger on the PSN, all would become clear… With its warm and fuzzy retro 70’s atmosphere and its noticeably cute backgrounds and object designs, Joe Danger provides a wonderful visual experience accompanied by a constant guitar ditty that sounds suspiciously like the Allman Brother’s classic tune Jessica.

The story of Joe Danger is simple. Joe was basically the greatest stuntman EVER, but he suffered from a tragic accident that should have ended his career. No one thought he could do it, but he bounced back and better than ever. Now Joe must reclaim his former glory by touring the country with a series of exhibitions to wow and delight audiences and let him know he is still the number one stunt dude around.

As hinted at in the introduction, the game plays somewhat similar to the old school Excite Bike. You are on a two dimensional race track with 3 different planes. You drive forward and backwards using the Left and Right trigger buttons respectively (after hours of intense Joe Danger playing, your right trigger hand will ache dearly if you have a vice grip on that switch like I do). While driving, you can press left or right on the analog stick to wheelie backward of forward respectively. Pressing X performs the all important turbo boost which is both invaluable in racing and in surviving some deadly jumps. Pressing square allows you to duck down lower which helps avoid objects that could smack you off of your bike, and releasing square makes you perform a small hop that helps avoid pitfalls and such. As you approach a ramp, you can use square to jump slightly higher and then you can perform flips by pressing either direction on the analog stick. Finally, you can perform crowd pleasing moves by using L1 and R1.

Each course can be completed by simply making it to the finish line, but if you progress through the game simply finishing each track will not be enough. Similar to Super Mario 64, later levels require you to obtain a certain number of stars to continue. At this point you can choose to go back to the easiest levels and perform the various feats required to unlock stars. Most are pretty simple and one can usually obtain all of a level’s stars simultaneously. These stars require you to do things like combo a trick for an entire level (basically whenever you aren’t jumping, you have to be doing a wheelie), find hidden stars, obtain all of the small silver stars spread throughout the level, or spell out JOE DANGER with colorful block letters found in various spots. Some stars get more complicated and make you do multiple things at once like landing on every single target and beat the level within the time limit.

I found the Joe Danger multiplayer experience to be a bit lacking. I grabbed a friend and played through the entire multiplayer section in about 3 minutes. The game has such wonderful features with the jumps and points and combos and collectible stars… but multiplayer is just a race. Since racing is probably the shallowest aspect of the game, it made the experience less than enjoyable. On the positive side, I think I got more multiplayer fun out of the level editor mode. My friend and I took turns designing the most wicked and terribly irritating levels and then laughed as the other attempted to clear it. Then of course we would design levels meant for multiplayer and attempt them together- the creator always having a distinct advantage. The online leader boards also offer some multiplayer goodness and if any of your friends play Joe Danger, you can see how much better than them you are.

With a decent length single player campaign filled with challenges to complete and trophies to unlock, Joe Danger is a surprisingly fun and enjoyable game for the price. As with any game that offers a level creation mode, the replay value is endless and for just a few bucks- that’s not bad!


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