Monday, January 30, 2017

Review #370: Twisted Metal Black

 Yet another twisted romp into the world of Twisted Metal.
 Twisted Metal Black had a lot riding behind it, the original team that developed the first games in the franchise were back, and now they had new hardware to bring their car-combat classic into the world. Even more twisted, darker, eviler and gritty than before, Twisted Metal Black is often considered the best in the franchise, but is it good enough to turn someone like me, who doesn't particularly like the formula, around? No, it's not, but does it try!

 There're quite a few ways to play the game: Story, Endurance(Survival) and Challenge(VS CPUs) modes for Single Player, as well as a few 2P VS and Co-Op deathmatch modes. The real beauty of the game lies in the stories surrounding the 15 members of the cast. 10 of these characters feature their own prologue, mid-scene and epilogue, while the remaining 4 only get an ending. Regardless, every story is sick and twisted which make them oh so enthralling, it makes you want to finish the annoying single player mode in order to get every piece of the story surrounding these sick, sick people.
 Just as with Twisted Metal(2011) and a few other Arcadey arena-combat games, Twisted Metal Black falls into the same pitfall: CPU enemies will ignore each other, for the most part, and just gang up on you. To be fair, it's not as bad as TM(2011) in which CPU wouldn't even scratch each other, but it's still pretty bad. It doesn't help that a lot of the unlockables are hidden in very guide-dang-it places, and some require a degree of finesse that is hard to achieve when you are being constantly bombarded left, right and center. To be honest, I just activated cheats and unlocked stuff at my leisure. I'm not even ashamed of it, the game is unfair to the point of tedium and the unlockables feel like little more than a way to sell guides, so if the game won't respect me, I won't respect it either.

 In the game's defense, combat feels pretty nice and the game runs at a smooth framerate. While I think combat and movement felt a bit tighter and crunchier in the 2011's remake, I think controls, as a whole, are easier to grasp in this game. I just grabbed the joystick and instantly clicked with them, not so much as with 2011. That said, there're a few shortcomings, namely concerning the Special attacks, which are done with slightly complicated, since you have to remember them by heart, directional inputs that are hidden away in the instructions booklet.
 Besides having more vehicles and stories than its successor, the game has better levels, in my opinion, as well. They suffer a bit from the brown-color-palette syndrome, but considering the dark world of Twisted Metal, it kinda works. That aside, the levels are brilliant, so much so that a few were remade in 2011. The only bad level would be the Skyscrapers, since some downward ledges are impossible to see, making it for very treacherous roads, unfairly so.

 Twisted Metal Black is a fantastic game IF you've friends that like the genre. Me? I can tell that a lot of effort was put into the game, and that if you enjoy drawn-out battles that take forever thanks to having to go around the levels over and over again to get more ammo in order to do slightly more damage while your prey escapes to fill its health gauge back up.... Yeah, I really don't like this game. But hey, different strokes for different folk!
 7.5 out of 10

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