Review: Joe Danger 2 The Movie
Where else do you go after initial success but Hollywood? In following the grand tradition set by Cool Spot all those years ago, Joe Danger is shooting for the silver screen in Hello Games’ sophomore effort. Joe Danger 2 The Movie is vast, packed to the brim with content, and filled with more smiley faces than you could ever hope for. Seriously, they’re everywhere. From the loading screens to the background objects in every level, Joe Danger 2 is just filled with faces grinning at you. It isn’t long before the game’s unbridled joy rubs off on the player. From top to bottom, Joe Danger 2’s mission is to make you smile, and it achieves that by the end of the first level.
In Joe Danger 2, you’re not just riding a motorcycle anymore. In the spirit of the stuntman, you’ll find yourselves on almost any vehicle you can think of, in costumes to match the sets you’re riding on. Skiing away from an avalanche while disarming missiles? Of course. A mine cart ride through some expansive caverns? Well, it wouldn’t be a feature film without one of those. Joe Danger 2 seems content to constantly throw new ideas at you, safe in the knowledge that if you don’t enjoy that one, there’ll be an entirely different scenario coming right up to make you smile once more. Its easy to just get lost in the variety, and the ever increasing rush of medal challenges. In the game’s myriad of levels there are all sorts of challenges. Some ask you to simply collect stars, while others ask you to collect bananas as a monkey on a bicycle. While each level is over relatively quickly, you’ll find yourself returning time and time again to collect more of the game’s little trinkets. Some levels will even ask you to collect them all at once for a special reward, usually a new costume for Joe to motor about in. These Pro Medal challenges will test every ounce of your being, and are without a doubt some of the most fun I’ve had playing a game in a while. Putting together the perfect run on a level and pulling it off is absolutely elating. There’s nothing quite like it.
Joe Danger 2 would still be fun without the visual polish Hello Games has put behind it, but the game’s luminescent colour pallet combined with its aforementioned tendency to put smiling faces on every possible object makes replaying its levels over and over again absolutely joyous. These things, combined with the cheerful sound effects and deliciously upbeat music makes the whole experience that much more enthralling. As an example, the game’s jet pack levels kick off with a guitar riff clearly inspired by Danger Zone from Top Gun, and seeing Joe strapped in to his jet pack while some 80s rock blares out from the speakers is hilarious every single time. Its the way when, as soon as you hit the throttle on the pack, his head rockets back as the force propels him forwards. You won’t be able to help laughing the first time you see it.
Hello Games has gone to great pains to make Joe Danger 2 on PSN the most expansive version of the game you’ll ever find, to the tune of an entire cup tucked away inside the game’s downloadable content screen. These levels, taken from an early version of the first game, are quite possibly some of the most amazing and infuriating things I’ve ever played. Its a fascinating look at the iterative process the first game went through, and while the levels don’t always feel polished in the way the rest of the game does, they remain fun and manic just the same. Combine that with the level creator, now with global sharing, and the content is only as limited as the PSN version’s player count. Even better, with the PSN version’s YouTube support, you’ll be able to upload yourself failing your friend’s levels for the 75th time in the most spectacular way, just so you can prove to them that you tried your hardest.
Joe Danger 2 The Movie is every bit the sequel the original deserves. Packed to the brim with content, its almost ludicrous just how much Hello Games has packed into this one title. They’ve said in the past that Joe Danger 2 The Movie is the last game in the series save for some mobile versions, and I believe them. There doesn’t feel like there’s much else they can do with their smiling stuntman, but when he’s going out in a blaze of glory like this, the future seems irrelevant.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Exudes joy and happiness
- Tight controls on all the vehicles
- More content than can be deemed sane
What I Dislike:
- Retrying a level for the 50th time
- The interface sometimes getting in the way of the action