Joe Danger: Special Edition

9 Overall Score

Great game at every skill level!

The directional controls are not necessarily as expected.

Written by on December 20, 2011 in [, , , ]

This weekend I got to have my first experience with Joe Danger: Special Edition. It was a download from the Xbox Live Arcade that runs 1200 points. I went into it knowing that it was a racing game but wasn’t sure what else to expect. It was great!

The premise is that Joe Danger is a 1970’s stunt man who had TV show and he is now trying to have a resurgence in his career. Sounds kind of cheesy, right? Well, it is but that is the charm!

Let us talk logistics for a minute. Joe Danger: Special Edition is a basic side scroll racing game that is almost puzzle game-like, too. While you are always going side to side you have to master tricks and uncover hidden things to score higher, collect more things and ultimately do better. It does have a local cooperative mode for two players, but there isn’t any online cooperative options, at least not yet. But it does track your online friends’ scores to compare.

You control your direction with your trigger buttons on either side. You control the orientation of your motorcycle with your left joystick. By that I mean that is how you do a wheelie, flip over, etc. Then your x, a and b buttons all control individual actions like jump, boost, restart. The controller is the one thing that truly drove me batty about this game. I kept trying to use the left joystick to control my direction so I kept burying my nose in the dirt or landing on my head and dying;). Which was its own entertainment.

I went into this knowing it was a download from a smaller studio so I had low graphic expectations. I expected something almost 16 bit like and really simplistic. I expected two days of game play and then the adults in the house would have beat the game and been done. Well, by no means is that the case.

The graphics are clean and pretty detailed. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a Portal type graphic but a complete cartoon animation and that adds to the charm of the kitsch of the game. The animation is done to the level that when you slam into something like a hurdle, it is hilarious. I died in various ways, various times. I haven’t laughed this hard playing a video game ever. Which means that everyone around me who wasn’t playing was also very entertained. My kids thought I was doing it just to make them laugh (always a win). But just to be fair, how you get more points is doing tricks. And as you do more tricks you die more too so crashing and burning isn’t relegated to us beginning and intermediate gamers.

The actual game play is great for all levels of gamers. The same levels in the beginning can be do-able and forgiving for a low level player while at the same time offering plenty of challenges for a more experienced one. The reasoning behind that confusing statement is that the game play itself is forgiving of inexact moves and will allow even the most novice beginner to actually complete the first few levels in each section. The intermediate player will be able to collect enough goodies with in a couple of tries to continue onto the more advanced levels and the advanced player will fight on every level to collect every single thing available (which is pretty hard).

One of the aspects that gives Joe Danger: Special Edition so much dimension as a game are the various areas. You have a lab to play in. Now don’t be mistaken and think that the lab is one of those one tutorials in how the buttons work. It is so much more than that. It is a complex set of levels that hone different skills at an ascending level that goes 50 levels high. Then there are the normal levels that go from solo racing to racing the “Nasties” to various other types of levels that are about 100.

But the one that really piqued our interest was the “Make Your Own” level. It is super easy to work the editor to pick elements and add them in where ever you want in the course. You put it all together and then play it. The system automatically puts in the stars to collect and the point values and it is played like any other level. It is a great way to create a level that is full of something you are great at or an element that you want to practice. It is very cool and easy to use!

This is a great game! You definitely get your money’s worth because we have played it for hours and there is no end in site. And that is just for discovering levels. You definitely go back and replay levels to score higher and to collect things that enable you to buy into higher levels. This is a great family hit because it is G rated and is great for all level of gamers.

I highly recommend Joe Danger Special Edition and we will be playing this throughout Christmas and Hanukkah!

A copy of Joe Danger Special Edition was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Jacqueline C. View all posts by

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