Joe Danger Review
Joe Danger by Hello Games is Sony’s answer to Trials HD (which has sold over 1 million copies) – the only difference is that Joe Danger offers a whole lot more variety and not quite as steep of a learning curve. When you add in Joe’s rich track editing features and multiplayer modes, you have one of PSN’s best downloadable titles.
Joe Danger is a down-and-out stuntman trying to make a comeback. The gameplay is a mix between the aforementioned Trials HD and the old NES classic ExciteBike. You control Joe through different tracks with different objectives. The challenges range from hitting all the targets to collecting D-A-N-G-E-R to racing and brawling other motorcyclists. The level design is reminiscent of old Tony Hawk games since each track has a variety of objectives that Joe allows you to tackle in any order that you wish. Each objective awards you with stars that are used to unlock new levels and progress through the campaign. The level progression system and the ability to restart any track with the press of a button without any loading whatsoever are two of Joe’s strongest features and keep the game challenging without being frustrating.
Joe Danger is a nice looking game with bright colors and vibrant colors. While I prefer the realistic and gritty visuals of Trials HD, the graphics in Joe are nothing to scoff at and fit the overall presentation and motif of the game to a t. Joe’s animations are also top-notch and the menus and level select are depicted as stunt show wall posters hung up on Joe’s Trailer. The fun-loving and charming presentation is further supported by catch tunes and an announcer who’s “J-J-J-Jo-Joooooeeee D-D-Da-Da-Daaaaanger!” yells embody the era and motivate the player.
Joe Danger is a highly polished product, but what really makes it one of PSN’s best downloadable games is its lasting appeal and depth of features. The single player game has a ton of challenges a great variety of objectives that will offer up hours of entertainment, but Joe’s longevity is truly amped up by its multiplayer features and track building and sharing functionality. Joe Danger is truly this generation’s ExciteBike…only this time you can share your creations with your friends right through the internet rather than having to invite them over to your basement. My one complaint about the user created levels is that you can only send tracks to your PSN friends versus having a global database of levels at your fingertips (think Little Big Planet). Joe Danger also has a great multiplayer modes that lets you race people over Playstation Network or locally. It’s great that Hello Games included local multiplayer and split-screen since nothing beats creating a level with your buds and being able to experience your track collectively.
Playstation Network does not have nearly as many games as Xbox Live Arcade, but their games seem to be (on average at least) of better quality and value even if they are fewer and farther between. Joe Danger is a shining example of what PSN can offer. The game is robust and fully featured. Joe Danger is a charming title that expertly balances its challenges so that it never gets too frustrating. You’ll get more playing time out of Joe Danger for $15 than you will most $60 PS3 titles. If you own a Playstation, you really should add this game to your library. Go Joe!
Review summary Pros:
one of PSN's best titles, fully featured with tons of gameplay, great pacing and level design
Bright visuals may not be for everyone