Sequels in both games and films are generally quite poor and very rarely live up to the high expectations set by its predecessor. Joe Danger, a game which plays out like a movie, released on the Xbox Live Arcade at the end of 2011 to much critical praise. Can the follow-up, Joe Danger 2: The Movie, match the same success?
Joe Danger 2 has players on the set of a blockbuster movie - chasing crooks, destroying robots and escaping giant boulders on the back of a motorcycle and using a jetpack.
Something that particularly stands out about the game is its visual style, which is extremely colourful. The bright colours and cartoon-like appearance used may look as if it’s based at a young audience. Deceptively, the gameplay most certainly isn’t.
The latest instalment in the series retains the same gameplay as its predecessor - a combination of Trials HD’s stunts and movement, with the reactions that Mirror’s Edge required. More experienced players will also be able to chain stunts in order to obtain a higher score.
While scoring plays a big part in the title, it isn’t the most important aspect. “Movie Mode” is the game’s main campaign game mode, in which progression is made by collecting stars.
Stars are earned through the game’s specific objectives, which include collecting floating letters and getting to the end of the level (known as ‘scenes’) under the time limit. Furthermore, Pro stars are awarded for completing all of the level’s objectives in one run – something that can be accomplished by trial and error.
Movie Mode only consists of five fairly short acts and therefore isn’t a particularly lengthy game mode. Nevertheless, it’s the mode players will spend the vast majority of their time on as they return to the scenes to improve their scores.
Another of Joe Danger 2’s game modes is “Deleted Scenes.” As the name suggests, these are scenes that didn’t make it into the main campaign. They are also a great deal more difficult than the game’s other scenes. While the Deleted Scenes aren’t impossible, they will certainly require a lot of time and effort.
If the scenes already available in the game weren’t enough, players can also produce their own scenes in the in-depth “Movie Maker.” Creating scenes is something that can be done with ease, though the best scenes require players to be particularly creative. Scenes can then be shared with the Joe Danger community over Xbox Live.
On the multiplayer side of things, Joe Danger 2 contains support for up to four players – an improvement on its predecessor which only allowed for two players. However, it stills comes with its problems. Disappointingly, the multiplayer is restricted to local play and, to make matters worse, there are only five stages available, with no support for custom made scenes.
If you’re a fan of avatar clothing and other unlockables, then Joe Danger 2 is well up your street. The game throws avatar awards and gamer pictures at the player throughout its entirety, a feature that spurs players on to complete it.
The brilliant development of the game continues with the audio, which contains a great soundtrack and sound effects that won’t have you reaching for the mute button.
Don’t let the 1,200 Microsoft Points price tag put you off. There is plenty of enjoyment to be had from Joe Danger 2: The Movie. While the developer, Hello Games, could have been more ambitious in moving the game forward, returning players will be happy with the new content that’s on display. That’s a wrap!
David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.