Twisted Metal: Head On – Extra Twisted Edition Review

Sometimes, a gamer just needs to jump in a car strapped with all manner of weaponry, then drive around blowing the crap out of everything else on the road – or off. The Twisted Metal series has always given players the opportunity to do just that.

Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition for the PS2 is an updated port of the 2005 PSP game, with bonus content thrown in to persuade us all to forget that it is nearly three years old, originated on a handheld, and suddenly has no online play.

It’s the bevy of extras that sets Extra Twisted Edition apart from the original Head On, acting as a sort of a gift package for fans of the series. Included is a developer commentary, videos cut from the original Twisted Metal, and the beginnings of an on-foot mode that was planned for the design of Twisted Metal: Black 2. What’s more is that the game includes Twisted Metal: Lost, which is a collection of arenas originally created for that cancelled project, and is set up like an entirely separate game on the same disc.

Other than the bonus content and some minor tweaks, not much has changed since Head On’s first appearance. The game follows the formula set forth by Twisted Metal 1, 2, & Black, where the malevolent Calypso holds a Tournament to decide…well, nothing. He just wants to see the combatants kill each other, then screw over the winner by granting them a twisted version of whatever it is they wish for as their prize.

In Story Mode, players choose from over a dozen cars, each with their own unique attributes and special attacks, then battle it out in a sequence of matches against multiple opponents. These take place at various arenas located all over the world. There is also Endurance Mode, where players must survive as long as they can against a steady flow of individual opponents, and Challenge Mode, which is basically a custom game where the player chooses his or her opponents and the arena they will do battle in.

In all cases, the battlefield is littered with various different types of ammo, which all seems to run out way too quickly in the heat of battle. It’s not uncommon to have blasted an opponent with everything you’ve got, only to be forced to abandon your prey so you can re-arm yourself. Luckily, weapons respawn as if they’ve been injected with some sort of growth hormone between game sessions, so one rarely has to drive too far in a state of utter defenselessness.

The whole experience is quite enjoyable, especially if some friends stop by for a few rounds of multiplayer action (which is sadly limited to two players at a time). It evokes a surprisingly nostalgic feeling for those of us who have a history of driving the streets late at night carrying rocket launchers and wearing clown costumes – makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

When it’s all said and done, though, I get a strange sensation, like I’ve just been wasting time. It’s as if I should’ve been playing this game while riding a bus or waiting on line at the supermarket. Then it hits me – I’m playing a PSP game. From the low-end visuals that lack significant detail or aesthetic value to the average and unexciting audio to the loose controls shared by every car (although slightly improved), the game shows it’s age and it’s origin. Head On is a three year-old PSP game…

…but it’s a fun PSP game, and only costs 20 bucks. If car combat is your thing, you might just want to pick it up.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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