|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Hello Games|
|Pub: Microsoft Studios|
|Release: September 14, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Mild Fantasy Violence|
The question, then, is really one of value. Is Joe Danger 2: The Movie worth your money? Retailing at 1,200 Microsoft Points, it's a more difficult question than one might expect. Yes, Super Meat Boy costs the same, but that game is finger-blistering hard, whereas Joe Danger 2 has a fairly gentle difficulty curve, depending on how much you really want to accomplish. Just navigating a level to completion is nowhere near as trying as in SMB or Trials HD (also the same price). Further, that price-point includes recent releases such as Dust: An Elysian Tail and Mark of the Ninja, the former of which is expansive and almost painfully beautiful, the latter innovative and slick.
Joe Danger 2, in contrast, is kind of a glorified iPhone game. It's Canabalt with distinct stages, Jetpack Joyride with more control complexity, a game that takes advantage of the tactile controls its platform offers, but doesn't really evolve its concept in a meaningful way for the average gamer. Those who are willing to devote an excess of time to it will find that there's a lot there beneath the surface, little idiosyncrasies in the controls that can entirely revolutionize the way one plays through earlier levels, but it's a very small subset of the gaming public that's going to get to that point. Further, its multiplayer mode, which is designed for up to four players, is local only.
Multiplayer draws primarily on the stunt mechanic. Players race through a level, racking up points by performing unbroken stunt combos as they would normally, but now those combos are incorporated with those of their teammates and competitors. While each race has a victor, the team as a whole also has a score, which posts to a leaderboard. It's an interesting mix of score attack and competitive racing, but the fact that it demands multiple people at the same console is surprisingly prohibitive. In contrast, the level editor mode allows one to post user-created obstacle courses online or download those others have made, which introduces a bit more longevity to the game for the player who's looking to get a little more involved.
Overall, the game is fun, yes. Very fun, and that's probably the biggest thing to keep in mind about it; if it were 800 MSP, I'd say "jump on it!" without a second thought, but the equivalent of fifteen dollars? That's a lot harder to swallow.
Date: September 18, 2012