Joe Danger Special Edition Review (XBLA)

Game: Joe Danger Special Edition
Genre: Racing/Platformer
System: XBOX 360
Review By: MrB4

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you were a daredevil? Jumping off of ramps to fly over a field of schoolbuses, or moving through flaming hoops without getting burned? Me neither. Let’s face it, taking risks is just something that some of us are not interested in doing nowadays. That being said, taking on a role of a person like this in video game form sounds like a lot of fun. Looks like our prayers have been answered, because Joe Danger: Special Edition is up to the task of satisfying all of our death defying needs, and then some. This is quite easily one of my favorite downloadable games from 2011.

Fun Factor: Fun and frustrating at the exact same time, the good thing about this title is that the positives outweigh the negatives. Accomplishing a task, after trying to complete it for the millionth time in a row, leaves one with a feeling of satisfaction and excitement that many downloadable experiences don’t really provide. Let me put it this way, a new obstacle is always lurking around the next corner making boredom seem like an afterthought.

Gameplay: The controls are simple and easy to understand, making it a pick up and play experience that anyone can enjoy.  As true as that statement is, appearances can be deceiving because even though anybody can play, there are only a select few out there with enough patience and skill to rise up and conquer the difficult challenges that await them throughout the game. How the developers made this happen was by starting off with simple objectives to accomplish, and then eventually adding in tougher ones to change things up. I thought this was a great idea that would make people think twice before making hasty decisions.

My only problem here is that I felt like some of the challenges were a little bit on the unfair side. Where this issue occurred the most for me was when a number of challenges were placed together in such a way that completing them in just one playthrough was an impossible thing to do. There was also times in which I felt like the developers would only accept one move for each part of a level and that’s it. To be fair though, memorizing the layout of a stage, and figuring out how to traverse through it is a lot of fun to do, despite how aggravating it may be.

Graphics: Not bad, but nothing special by any means. The cartoonish design of the racers, along with the quirky and ridiculous animations they exude, add quite a bit of personality to the game. Track layouts are a joy to look at and they provide enough variety within them to make one feel completely different than the other. Everything moves along at a smooth framerate as well, and aside from moving through a wall every once in awhile, there are really no technical problems to speak of.

Sound: A variety of upbeat tracks should help ease the pain after every cringing moment of defeat, but they probably won’t. All of the other sound effects are acceptable for a title that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Explosions sound just right, engine noises are not reminiscent of bug zappers, and the crackling sound of bones breaking are devastating enough to make even the most fearless person jump out of their seat at least once.

Replayability: A level creator, online leaderboards, local multiplayer, unlockable vehicles, avatar awards, and a whole new set of levels to play in the lab will have you coming back to this game for quite some time.

Joe Danger Special Edition is a fun experience that newcomers and fans of old school challenging games will definitely enjoy. Download it as soon as possible.

Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Joe Danger Special Edition
Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Metacritic: 88
MSRP: 1200 MSP ($15.00)