Community Review: Retro Review: Twisted Metal 2 (PS1)
"If you're looking for a flat out good time, give Twisted Metal 2 a try..."
Twisted Metal 2 is one of those unique experiences. If you experienced it long ago when the Playstation was on top, you must have fond memories of killing every other car on the stage to advance to another stage to kill some more cars. Twisted Metal 2 is just one of those games - it's refreshing, and you're guaranteed to remember it long after you're done with it.
The visuals won't do much for anybody who hasn't played this game before, but if you remember how this looked in its day, you remember this game was excellent. The cars were a nice size on the screen and had some nice little details to them that only a child from years and years ago could possibly appreciate. In any case, some of the effects were cool when this game was new. The biggest problem is that the visuals didn't hold up well, and it didn't take them long to become outdated and pixelated in comparison to other games. While you won't fall in love with the visuals, a few of its aspects were quite neat. For instance, in the Paris level, if you shoot the Eiffle Tower enough, it blows up and the top collapses, giving you a nice little bridge to the rooftops. While the animations aren't increadible - some aren't even there...watch the top of the Eiffle Tower for the explosion, and the the tower's just suddenly toppled - the effects cover most of the animations that haven't held up to the game's age.
Sound is still pretty good. These effects wouldn't win any awards by today's standards, but the cars all sound good and most of the weapons have good, clear sound effects associated with them. Music is nice, too, but nothing in the soundtrack is really memorable. There's not much ambience, either, so expect to listen to a lot of engines and guns and not much else.
The gameplay in Twisted Metal 2 is where this game really shines, because it's just so much fun to play. There are a number of different weapons ranging from your basic machine gun to homing missles to napalm to each character's unique special, but some of it isn't as balanced as it should be. For example, some of the characters have a special you'll never use, while others have a super-powerful special that does massive damage. Mostly, though, you'll be distracted from this shortcoming by the sheer fun factor this game holds. The levels in Twisted Metal 2 are all around the globe, and they're all different enough and fun enough that you never mind fighting in them. The controls are sometimes too responsive, and you'll find handling some cars can be quite a chore until you're familiar with the controls and the sensitivity of each vehicle in the game.
At the end of each character's game, you'll get a brief ending scene. These scenes consist of hand-drawn stills with Calypso's voice over telling the ending story for each character. Of course since this is Twisted Metal, each character's wish will end up having a negative result, but half the fun is getting through the game to see all the different endings. Some are serious, while others are just flat out funny. The variety of endings gives the player something to look foreward to. It's just too bad there's no way to keep like a theater of the endings as a way of keeping track of who you've beaten the game with and also as a simple reward system (after you watch the ending, you're left with nothing to show for it).
Overall, Twisted Metal 2 is just one of those games that's a lot of fun to play. If you've never picked up this game, I suggest you do so while it's cheap. On top of how fun it is, it's also quickly becoming one of the Playstation's collectable titles. If you're looking for a flat out good time, give Twisted Metal 2 a try, and I can guarantee you'll be satisfied with it.