bgenso's Joe Danger: Special Edition (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

DAAAAANGEEEEER!

Joe Danger is a solid arcade game with crisp comical visuals and gameplay that’s satisfying in 5 min chunks to hour-long gaming sessions.

First off Joe Danger’s gameplay is a unique, great hybrid of platforming, racing, and puzzle-like physics gameplay. For those unfamiliar with Joe Danger from its previous release on the PSN it’s easy to compare most of its core gameplay with Trials HD. Those were my initial impressions as well except the game has more of a platform feel with the physics gameplay. The racing stages in particular reminded me of the good ol’ 8-bit Nintendo’s Excite Bike. There are 4 different game modes, the main career mode, laboratory mode where you goof around with physics, multiplayer, and a level editor/creator mode.

Performing tricks refills your boost bar

The career mode has a lot of challenge themes many of which overlap in the variety of stages. The game eases you into the platforming mechanics overall in a very smooth progression. I did however run into some stages where I got stuck retrying 30+ times to clear a sequence or at least finish with at least one star earned, I’ll explain the stars in a sec. These moments were a little frustrating and made it easy for me to quite playing and play something else. But I do have to give credit to the easy rewind and start-over features of the game which made it a breeze to try things again at anytime. The load times were minimal if any at all. On to the stars, in general each stage has a way of earning stars. These stars are then used to unlock other stages and progress in the career mode. Some ways you can earn stars for example are completing the stage within the time limit, completing the whole stage with an unending combo (wheelies, tricks, flips), getting first place in a race, finding hidden stars, and collecting all the small silver stars in the track which are usually stringed out in paths and arches from jumps. The Laboratory mode is similar to the career mode in having stars to earn to unlock further stages, these stars are separate from the career mode ones and do not transfer over. In the Lab the stages are a variety of physics platforming challenges and mini games teaching new skills on how to get the most out of a spring jump for example.

You'll find yourself rewind parts of stages to collect everything

The games visuals are clean and enjoyable to look at. The colors are refreshing to see compared to the mono tones of other games I've played recently. The audio is great in this game as well. Overall Joe Danger is very tight and polished in all areas. It took me some time to really get into and enjoy the game. My time with Trials was very short but sweet, but like Trials I did not feel like playing much more when it got too hard or required repeated playthroughs. But as I forced myself to keep playing and get over spots that I found too difficult I did start to like the game more. Making myself overcome hills and areas I would get frustrated on was very satisfying like in many puzzle games. There were areas that reminded me of the type of difficulties old school games had where quick reactions and memorizations led to success. Such gameplay brought back a type of enjoyment in a game I had not felt in a long time. Actually this is more pure gameplay then most of the Hollywood blockbuster imitating trend of modern games where it's more of a cinematic ride and experience.

I can recommend without a doubt to download the trial version of this game and give it a shot for yourself. If you enjoyed Trials or like platformers there's good chance you'll enjoy this game. For me though and my personal tastes I would not have bought this game nor completed it. But I can't ignore the overall refined nature of this game with it's tight controls and gameplay, I mean I didn't even run into a single bug of any nature. This game clears all the jumps. I just don't feel like playing it again.

Originally written for my blog

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