Joe Danger 2 The Movie

Danger Is My Middle Name

Joe Danger 2: The Movie has us seeing stars. And trying to grab them.
Author: Aram Lecis
Published: October 14, 2012
A few years ago a plucky daredevil by the name of Joe Danger drove into our hearts via the Playstation Network. The rotund little fella lived a life that was some sort of bizarre amalgamation of Excitebike and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, racing and tricking his way through multiple objectives on a slot-car like track. Joe Danger was the good-natured and brightly colored cousin of XBLA’s Trials HD but if you got him drunk he could be just as ornery.


Two years later and Joe’s gone all Hollywood on us with the release of Joe Danger 2: The Movie (The Game). Hello Games went back to the well and whipped up a whole lot more Joe for your playing pleasure with not only a whole new campaign but a passel of PSN-exclusive deleted scenes that more than double the number of levels in the game. Then there is the multiplayer and the level designer and sharer oh and the DLC campaigns… yeah, there is a lot MORE Joe this time around.

Now, if your next question is “Aram, I hear you, there is a lot of new content, but how about new gameplay features?” then my answer is… well, the original game was pretty good, right? This time around, you are still boost, ducking, and bouncing your way through each level while trying to complete anywhere from 2-5 challenges and unlock stars. The big difference is that instead of being constrained to a motorcycle you’ll rotate into various vehicles themed after the genre or film of the current level. During “Dr. Snow” you might be on skis, when you are filming “Temple of Boom” you’ll ride a minecart, and in “Jetpack to the Future” you pilot a… you get the idea. Be advised though, the change is almost purely cosmetic and outside the jetpack they all control the same. You have to love the clever movie spoof names though.

So yes, expect to still grab stars, land on targets, race bad guys (now with some Road Rash-lite melee!) and combo your way through the level. Levels alternate between laid back ones with no time limit and lots of checkpoints and hectic timed levels that make you restart if you crash, and like the vehicles the same handful of objectives are repackaged with a new name to fit the level. Don’t take this as criticism, just know going in that Joe Danger 2 is more of a huge expansion pack and not a whole new experience.

Once you get through the main campaign, you can head over to the Deleted Scenes and REALLY test your mettle (actually, just getting through the levels on Movie Mode isn’t that bad at all, although if you want every star and Pro medal, it’s a bit more challenging). The Hello Games guys say the deleted scenes are the bits that were just too tough to make it in the main game so they left them out in the initial release on the Xbox. Now they are back, packaged into a half dozen more “genres” and featuring way more wacky vehicles and costumes like a cupcake riding a unicycle. These levels have their own set of stars to unlock and have even more content than the main campaign, and will often take many more tries to complete adding a lot of value to the game.

If you are the dress-up kind of player, Joe Danger 2 has all the goofy costumes you could ever want. You’ll unlock these by earning the 42 Pro medals you can get for unlocking all the level stars in one run. That task ranges from breezy easy to punishingly painful (especially when one of the stars is 100% combo the level) and only the most hardcore will ever see all the costumes. If you like dressing up LEVELS instead, Joe has you covered with a pretty powerful level editor that remains accessible. Sure, this is LittleBigPlanet so don’t expect to see total conversions making Joe a First Person Shooter, but if the community grabs ahold you should see plenty of quality content beefing up the already impressive collection.

As a fan of the original game, I heartily recommend Joe Danger 2 to both young and old. It still has that same goofy charm and eye-catching look of the original that makes if just plain FUN to experience. The basic challenges of each level are simple enough that even my 6 year old daughter can get past most scenes, while completing everything will take an iron will. Taking all the content into consideration, there is easily triple the amount to do in this installment and there promises to be a lot more to come. It’s been a bit of a boom on the PSN of late, and Joe Danger 2 is one of the shining stars.
The Verdict
8.5

Joe Danger 2 follows very closely in the footsteps of its predecessor, echoing the same gameplay with a new coat of paint. That's a good thing though, as we didn't get enough Joe the first time around.

8.0Graphics:

It's bright, it's flashy, it's just like Hollywood! These aren't the most detailed textures on earth but they give the game a cartoony appeal that hits the spot.

7.5Sound:

Joooooooooooooooooooe Dangerrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Yep, that is still there, along with the same catchy theme and some new backing tracks. The frantic announcer telling you when to duck or jump fits great.

9.0Control:

The trick scheme is really basic so it makes it easy to keep combos going at a breakneck pace while avoiding obstacles, and your bike/skis/cart/whatever feels really responsive.

8.5Gameplay:

It may be more of the same, but that same is pretty damn good. You'll get plenty of fun just making you way through the main campaign, and going back and getting all the stars AND seeing all the other content will keep you busy for ages!