Twisted Metal 2
Developer: Singletrac Publisher: Sony Genre: Vehicle Combat Players: 1-2 Memory Blocks: 0 (you use passwords instead) Discs: 1 Analog: No Dual Shock: No ESRB: Teen Difficulty: Hard
Gameplay--While it may be old (it was out before the first Jet Moto) Twisted Metal 2 is one of the best action games to come across in a LONG time. In my opinion, it's even better than it's big modern brother, Vigilante 8 (and a LOT better than TM3 in comparison). Twisted Metal 2 plays just like any Hollywood action movie you've ever seen. Really. Mass destruction, SF Rush style jumps, cars screeching around corners, and weapons of all sorts. You can even blow up the Hollywood letters in LA! Wait, that doesn't really count. Anyway, every friend of mine that has played this game has loved it, and if you're an action fan, I'm sure you'll love it, too.
Graphics--The graphics in TM2 are great. Not a bad amount of pop-up, absolutely no slowdown, and cool looking special effects and explosions are great. All the scenery looks great, and each level has it's own distinct feel to it, due to the atmosphere the cool graphics create. Okay, I admit that Vigilante 8's graphics are better, but Twisted Metal 2's graphics aren't too far from V8's. Being a somewhat old game, some of the scenery may have a bit of clipping, but you'll be having so much fun blasting an opponent into a heap of fire and junk, you wont notice too badly.
Music--The music is definitely one of the best parts of this game. Even though I'm not into rock that much, I found myself with the music stuck in my head over and over again. All the levels' music accompanies the stage perfectly. The Paris level, for example has the Can-Can and Are You Sleeping (both French songs) tunes changed into hard rock music, which in this case is really fun to listen to and fits in with the level perfectly. Some of the tracks are just awesome (Quake Zone Rumble, The Drop Zone, and The Big Leap for example) and are always a welcome thing to hear when you start playing the game. Oh, in my opinion, NONE of the music in Twisted Metal 2 is repetitive! I guess my only gripe about the sound effects is Grasshopper's CONSTANT "Yeeehaaa!!", the most annoying war cry in gaming history. Otherwise, every explosion, tire screech, scream, and missle shot is crystal clear!
Control--Unlike Vigilante 8, Twisted Metal 2's controls are slick, responsive, and easy to pick up. You may think that with such fast-paced gameplay, your car may be hard to control, but it isn't. Even time you use a turbo boost off a jump or a 180 degree turn to out-drive an oppenent, your car moves quickly and responsively. Even the characters with "Sluggish" handling are easy to control! The buttons aren't fully configurable, but I don't think that they need to be. The Standard setting is just fine with me. The advanced attacks might be a bit tricky to pick up when you first start playing, but with a little practice and memory, you'll be turning a car into scrap faster than Palmer can eat a hamburger at a Shinra barbeque.
Palmer sez: Hey-hey! Says who?
Okay, almost as fast.
Fun Factor--Let me just keep it basic, and say that TM2 is an extremely fun game to play. The loading times are pretty short, making for easy access to the action, the pace is extremely fast, and the overall feel of the game just makes you want to drive an ice cream truck armed with a machine gun and a rocket launcher off of your roof, cackling with glee. Okay, maybe not, but it's still is a really fun game. Even after all these years, it holds it's spot as the most fun driving/vehicle combat game on the Playstation.
Overall Satisfaction--I think that this was one of the best games that I've chosen to buy. One of the best parts of the game has to be the thirteen diverse characters and cars. Each car has it's own distinct look and feel, the drivers are people that you come to fear, jeer, and hate, and you ain't going to find any palette swaps in this game. The cars include: An Indy car, an ice cream van, a hearse, a tiny motorcycle, a utility vehicle, and a weird-but-cool contraption which puts the driver in between two huge wheels. With each car, you're going to have to have a strategy, too. For example, with Outlaw 2 (my favorite character), you'll have to use her special attack as a drive-by shooting, and utilize a hit and run strategy. With Mr. Slam, the huge utility vehicle, all you really want to do is freeze the opponent, then drive up to them and use your high-damage special. There are many more, but it would make this sound like a FAQ instead of a review. The challenge level, while it may not be as high as Tomb Raider or Oddworld or anything like that, is pretty tough. You're going to have to study every level to find out where each scarce health power-up is, you'll have to memorize the environment, you'll have to learn your opponents strengths and weaknesses, and you'll have to spend a lot of time practicing in the Challenge Match mode. As for secrets, there are two cool hidden characters, three hidden tracks, a ton of secrets in the battlefields, and even a few monuments that you can blow up, too. One last thing for me to say: Twisted Metal 2 makes just as good a party game as Tekken 3, your friends will love the high speed thrills and action.