I had very little context when I played Joe Danger 2: The Movie. Having never played the first Joe Danger, I had no idea what to expect from the intense vehicle driven platformer. I was a little lost and disappointed at first with its odd controls and what seemed like simple minded coasting and collecting. It turns out this sweet Xbox Live Arcade game is actually a fun platformer offering some worthwhile challenges, but still keeps things fairly simple to play.
Joe Danger 2: The Movie follows the usual platforming chemistry with collectable items and absurd obstacles to overcome. However, Joe Danger 2 often features more on rail levels with the player constantly moving in vehicles such as minecarts, skis, snowmobiles, and even a jetpack to boot. It kind of gives it more of a Sonic the Hedgehog feel to the game more so than Mario and given the use of vehicles it fits right in.
Controls do take a moment to get down before you’re able to settle into them. It can be awkward at times trying to accomplish tricks and maintaining your speed. Moving forward is done with the right trigger, while both bumpers allow you to perform random tricks. The A and X button act as your action buttons and allow you to jump, duck and boost your vehicle. Like I said you can get it down eventually, but I would’ve liked some more fluid controls.
Collectible items attribute to the addition of stars to continue through the campaign. And you’ll be aptly rewarded. Each level features certain challenges to accomplish and you earn stars for each one you check off the list. Many of the rewards give you access to new outfits and other items for your accomplishments.
Joe Danger 2 successfully made some of these challenges specific to the scene or movie. In one course you need to stop seven missiles from being fired and you need to move quick if you want to stop the launch. These personalized challenges break up the monotony of basic collecting and intensifies the challenge of the level.
Joe Danger 2’s looks gorgeous visually. Its cartoonish art style reflects perfectly with the games attitude, not taking itself too seriously. Each level’s environment is beautifully rendered and particle effects from explosions and your trail on jetpacks. The course designs are varied and are generally easy to follow. It can be a challenge at times though they are simple enough to follow even with obstacles. Along with each level’s personalized challenge levels can become intense drawing you into the game and keeping your attention.
Though not a groundbreaking game Joe Danger 2: The Movie is one of the better examples of genre mashing. The platforming mechanics prevent you from rushing through each level, but when you find yourself flying through one it can hardly tell it’s the same game. Controls may be confusing, but once established you’ll find yourself wanting to take on every challenge in this genre mashing game.