phazon's Joe Danger 2: The Movie (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

I Smell An Oscar

The original Joe Danger is one of the most renowned titles across PSN and Xbox Live, bar none. The orignal PlayStation Network title was a smash-hit, and beloved by Sony gamers worldwide. The game had charm, style, and the addictive quality of the retro games of old, with new twists. In fact, PlayStation gamers talked it up so much that Hello Games brought it to Xbox Live late last year with some fluff in Joe Danger: Special Edition. But in the following months, fans have been clamoring for more, and Hello Games has been more than happy to deliver. The original had the archaic nature of the retro era, and threw in a great level editing system. Joe Danger 2: The Movie doesn't cut any corners, and doesn't take any shortcuts - it's the Joe Danger sequel we've been craving.

On the surface, Joe Danger 2 seems like a decent enough platformer with various vehicles to traverse the world, but just like the original game, Joe Danger 2 is a game that emphasizes exploration. That's where the ball-busting difficulty can come in, because it'll take you at least 20 hours to completely 100% the Movie Mode, the game's campaign. To progress, all you have to do is beat the level, but it's never that simple if you're the type of person who wants to collect everything. During certain levels, you'll have to complete a certain challenge to earn stars to spend on the final level of a group. It sounds tedious, but most challenges are not impossibly difficult. Completing challenges will grant you a higher score multiplier and base score, as will gathering collectibles, and most of these collectibles are tied to the environment. Also, just like in the original, if you complete the course on the first try, you'll get a "Pro" medal.

Once you think the game is over, Hello Games throws a curveball at you with the "Deleted Scenes" levels. These levels are some of the weirdest, most difficult levels of the game, and is for the people who can just breeze though Movie Mode. The amount of creativity shown in these levels are as fascinating as they are crushingly hard to master. If you don't want to go it alone, the multiplayer makes a triumphant return, and up to three other players can trek alongside you. It's very fun, but it does seem strange that there is no online mode to be seen. It doesn't detract from the overall package in any sense, but it would have been a welcome addition.

One of the largest changes to the game is in the level editor mode. While deep and intuitive in the original, you never got to share your creation with the rest of the world. Joe Danger 2 fixes that issue. Creating your ultimate level is just as fun as it was in the original Joe Danger, but how Hello Games lets you share your creation works wonderfully. You browse through the "Movie Maker" mode, and can download levels based on what's hot now, top downloaded, the developer's pick, and even your friends' levels. The only draw is that you can only download up to five of these levels for yourself, but seeing as they're always up there, it is not a very large issue.

This is the last Joe Danger game, so says Hello Games, and this is the epitome of going out with a bang. I'll be coming back to Joe Danger 2: The Movie for quite a while, and features the best bang for your buck I've seen on Xbox Live. The game constantly throws surprises at you, and when you think you're beat to the ground, good old NES tactics of trying and trying again can pull you though the deepest challenges. Even if you haven't touched the original game, get your hands on Joe Danger 2, it's one of the best downloadable titles of the year, hands down.

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