Joe is back and now he wants to be a movie star. Why not give him a hand by controlling him through many different movie sets while driving a variety of vehicles? Trust me, it'll be fun! But, be careful; Danger is involved.
For those new to the Joe Danger universe, you control Joe who is a stuntman with high aspirations and very little sense. Generally speaking, you hold a button to accelerate on a two-dimensional plane and another button to crouch which will force Joe to hop when you let go. Additional controls include the ability to boost, go in reverse, perform tricks, and punch opponents. You can also lean left and right to pass difficult terrain and pull off wheelies and flips. Different vehicles may utilize varying control schemes such as the jetpack which uses the boost button to ascend while the acceleration button does nothing. Also, the unicycle requires you to keep pushing left and right to keep your balance. Although there are over ten vehicles, the majority of them control exactly the same. This is good because you don't have to memorize the controls but it's also a missed opportunity as it would have been interesting to experience vehicle-unique mechanics. Anyway, the controls are perfectly tight and responsive which makes for some incredibly satisfying gameplay.
One thing that stands out when it comes to gameplay is the fact that it's amazingly well-balanced. It takes a major screw-up to make Joe crash. Even sloppy players will witness Joe almost wipe out yet still remain on his vehicle. This forgiving element does give the game wider appeal, but it is still very challenging as mastering every stage will not be an easy feat for even the most skilled players.
Joe Danger 2 looks great with its brilliantly colourful and charming 3D-rendered movie sets. Joe is smoothly animated as him and his vehicle react to every command and bump in the road. Everything from seeing Joe grinning and waving while you perform tricks to watching him flail around like a ragdoll when you crash is full of humour and brimming with charm. The soundtrack consists of funky jams and film-like scores which match the frivolity and movie theme perfectly. You'll find yourself tapping your toes in the menus and nodding your head as you speed through each stage. The sound effects are well implemented as acceleration is subtle yet when you hop or boost, a sudden spike in the engine's revving makes it feel genuine. You will also hear appropriate background noises such as police sirens which add a layer of authenticity to the environment. Obtaining collectables and achieving goals are signified by gratifying audio cues that make you feel instantly rewarded for your efforts. Overall, this game simply boasts top-notch presentation.
Single player is broken up into a main campaign and a deleted scenes campaign with six acts in each along with support for additional DLC acts. Each act contains a number of stages that have various goals and challenges. In order to complete these challenges, you'll find yourself trying to obtain all of the collectables, performing large chains of tricks, trying to finish under a certain time, and even disabling nuclear warheads! Some stages feature pro medals that are unlocked after you complete every single challenge in a single run. These are obviously the most difficult unlockables, but that makes them all the more rewarding. There is certainly a lot to do in Joe Danger 2. Even after beating the game, you'll feel compelled to go back and clean up all of the yet to be completed challenges.
Multiplayer consists of five courses that can be played locally with up to four players. Considering there are so few courses, you probably won't spend much time playing Joe Danger 2 with friends. It is fun for a while, but you and your friends will probably have enough once you've played each course once. That being said, punching a buddy as you pass them is always a good time.
Joe Danger 2 features a level editor that is extremely easy to use. First off, you are given tutorials that act like puzzles which slowly introduce you to every feature. Once you're confident enough to start making your own levels, you'll feel like the tutorials were a waste of time since it's so easy. You can create scenarios as complex as your imagination and patience will allow. After you've created a level, you can share it with the world as well as download other people's creations that are conveniently categorized to show off the best of the best. There are some real gems on there, too.
If you're up for some simple and challenging single player 2D stunt driving then you can't do much better than Joe Danger 2: The Movie. With a wonderfully charming setting and tight gameplay, you'll find yourself unable to stop playing as if you were tied up with genuine Saskatchewan sealskin bindings.
- + Colourful visuals and awesome audio
- + Tightly balanced gameplay that is both forgiving and challenging
- + Tons of content and extras add a lot of value
- - Most vehicles control exactly the same although they appear different
- - Multiplayer can only be played locally and meagerly consists of five courses