Joe Danger 2: The Movie
When Joe Danger released on PSN, many (including us, who gave it Game of the Month) praised it for its charm and difficult-yet-rewarding gameplay. The small team at Hello Games loves their down-on-his-luck stuntman, and they're bringing him back for one last adventure. Designer Sean Murray told me that he instructed his team to squeeze every idea they had into Joe Danger: The Movie, as he promises it'll be the last appearance of the franchise. The team clearly listened, as the stuntman has reached into his bag of tricks and come up with far more than some new motorcycle stunts.
As evident in the title of the game, Joe is filming a movie this time around. Considering how frequently the setting switches between levels, Murray explains that the movie will probably wind up being entirely nonsensical. One level features Joe outrunning an avalanche on skis, while others have him chasing bad guys on a police bike, performing tricks on a unicycle, and even traveling through time and riding on a T-Rex. Murray's idea for the credits sequence involves Joe riding a wheelchair down the street while all the characters from the game chase him, but it remains to be seen if this makes the final cut.
You may have access to tons of vehicles in Joe Danger: The Movie, but the core gameplay seems to stick with the traditional formula for most levels. I saw plenty of "complete the level" and "collect D-A-N-G-E-R" objectives, and there are sure to be plenty of score and combo challenges as well. Some are entirely different, however, such as a boss fight that features Joe on a snowmobile while avoiding missiles shot from a helicopter. Another features Joe sneaking around a military base and stopping the launch of nuclear missiles.
I had a chance to play another level that was clearly an homage to Paperboy. In the previous level, bad guys had destroyed Joe's police bike, forcing him to interrupt a boy's paper route in an effort to grab some wheels. As I chased enemies down the street on this bicycle, I was able to throw bundled papers at them with the B button. It may have been a different gameplay style than the standard Joe Danger levels, but it fit right in with the game's personality and didn't lack in the entertainment department whatsoever.
Players that love the competitive nature of games like Trials HD should love Joe Danger's new ghost mode. You'll see the ghosts of higher-scoring friends as you progress through levels, which should tip you off on how they managed to rack up their crazy scores. If you're playing the level at the same time as someone on your friends list, you'll even see a completely live image of them as they progress.
Even though The Movie looks to shake up the formula substantially, there's no question that the heart of the series remains intact. Levels are still challenging, and the visual style is as charming and vivid as ever. From what I played at the Spring Showcase, fans of the original shouldn't hesitate to check out Joe Danger: The Movie when it releases later this year.