There is no doubt that Twisted Metal is one of the oldest franchise that Sony has created, dating back to the good old days of the original PlayStation. This was one of those games that had a great mix of cars and action that really wasn’t replicated by any other series. We saw Twisted Metal heavily on the Playstation, and then at the beginning of the lifespan of the Playstation 2 and then it sort of fell off the map. Now making a comeback with Twisted Metal Head-On for the PSP, and now we have a port and extended version of that game on the Playstation 2 in Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition. Does this game bring back the glory of the Twisted Metal franchise? Read our full review to find out!
Twisted Metal is one of those series that you haven’t played for five years and come back and feel like you never left. That is the way I felt with picking up Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition for the PS2, it felt like I had never left. So let’s first start by just discussing the PSP to PS2 port. We have seen this transition for Sony quite a bit recently and although the idea sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and a lot of times this is true, but we have seen some games make pretty good transitions.
In terms of Twisted Metal: Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition, the transition is a mixed bag. First off, you’re getting all the same content from that game and the translation of this content is good and bad. You have the same great car action, the controls have translated perfectly, and the game itself still contains all the great elements. Now on the bad side, the frame rate is radically worse on the PS2 version, the game also just doesn’t play as well on the PS2 as it did on the PSP.
So I am not going to get into the grim details of the "Lost Levels" which are also included in this game. There is a bit of a weird tale that goes along with them, and I will just leave that for you to check out. The Lost levels are actually pretty neat, a bit of a different feel then we have seen in the series and does give some reason for the true hardcore Twisted Metal fans to check out this game, even if they have checked out the PSP version of Head-On.
The gameplay in this game is still good. It has all the necessary elements that make a good Twisted Metal game, but just not that polished. In fact the game really just feels a bit too rough around the edges, that does take away from the experience.
This is one of those games that really made a rough visual transition from the PSP to the aging PS2. Visually this is a game that is full of blocky textures, poor frame rate, bland colors, and just an overly bland experience. The explosiveness that is supposed to arise from a Twisted Metal game is not here. The only positive I can state for this game are the different car models which still have the same great flare that they always have had.
I really enjoyed Head-On for the PSP, it was a really great portable reincarnation of the Twisted Metal games. I was looking forward to seeing how the game would translate back onto the console, but I am once again not sold on the whole PSP to PS2 transition. It seems like when the games get to the PS2 you see more flaws, more problems, and just not as satisfying an experience. The game has the potential, you can see that had it been directly developed for the PS2 this would be a great game, but the flaws of transitioning from the PSP to PS2 really hold it back.
It is a shame to say that Twisted Metal Head-On: Extra Twisted Edition wasn’t able to recapture the same great flare that the PSP version had. The extra levels were good, they brought a deeper experience, but the final experience was one that just wasn’t as strong as you would hope from a Twisted Metal game.
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