Joe Danger: Special Edition Review
Joe Danger: Special Edition is about the daredevil Joe Danger who is attempting to make a comeback after an accident in a previous stunt. The colorful graphics and exciting soundtrack give the game a great presentation and gets you pumped to do an assortment of tricks and tasks. It has a very old school, arcade feel that’s been polished for this generation.
The game is a mixture of racing, action, and platforming as you attempt to complete different objectives, collect pickups, hit jumps and do tricks, blast through loop-de-loops, and rack up points in a certain amount of time. One objective that’s a lot of fun is trying to complete the entire level while doing one long combo.
The campaign mode also has certain competition stages where you race against other daredevil racers. The campaign is lengthy, with about 10 areas and each having around four to six levels each. You’ll be returning back to the levels to complete objectives you may have missed the first time to get the SE token, which are tougher objectives that usually require you to complete more than one objective in one run. Competition races also give you the option to punch out other racers who get too close to you. All of these objectives are challenging and you probably won’t get it right the first time but none of these objectives are frustratingly hard.
The controls are pretty simple. Right trigger is gas, left trigger is brake and reverse, A is boost, X is crouch and jump, and B is to punch. One thing that’s actually bothersome to me is the tricks. They’re done by manipulating different combinations and button presses with the left and right bumper. This means you have to let go of the gas button in order to do the tricks, which can be troublesome towards maintaining speed. The left and right triggers are also used for moving your bike backwards and forwards respectively so this means you can't perform tricks and move your bike at the same time.
There’s a lab mode as well that is basically the campaign mode but with tougher challenges. These aren't bad but are basically an extended portion of the campaign and not really different or interesting enough to warrant a separate mode. If you find the campaign too easy, this will be the mode for you.
The Sandbox allows the player to create their own courses and their own objectives for that course and share them online. This is well thought out and a lot of options are available to make different obstacles and set pieces for your level. A complaint can be made about the controls in this mode however; they're not very intuitive. Regardless, by the time I was happy with the course I created, I had spent over two hours doing so and, if I say so myself, it is as good as any of the courses made by the development team.
The one aspect of Joe Danger that’s a real letdown is the multiplayer. It’s simply a race with little to no emphasis on tricks or objectives (the best aspects of the game as a whole). Furthermore, levels aren’t very long, as they were meant to be played in quick spurts. Races usually end in under a minute. Controls and gameplay remain relatively the same but without the added objective incentives, you can basically skip over multiplayer. It doesn’t help that multiplayer is local play only. Yup, no online play. The online features are regulated to only leaderboards and custom track uploads and downloads.
Joe Danger: Special Edition is just a thrill to play and is a welcome addition to the Xbox Live Arcade library. It’s one of the most addicting games to be released on the platform and I can’t recommend it more. Due to some slightly sketchy controls and a disappointing multiplayer, I can’t give this a perfect score, but that in no way means this is a lesser title. On your own, there’s plenty of content and fun to be had. Go download this now. Not later. Now. Go. Go. GO!!!