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My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2 (Read 1036 times)
BrandoTG
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My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
04/14/18 at 18:07:24
 
I had played Small Brawl, Black, and Head-On as a kid, but only got to play 2 once when a friend brought it over. I've played challenge mode casually a few times here and there, but I finally sat down and played it through. I found both positives and negatives throughout, but was surprised at some of the negatives, I think it's a tad overrated, and is by no means the best game in the series, but it is a good game. Since it probably matters, I completed the game playing as Shadow on medium difficulty.

The Positives:

1. The goddamned soundtrack is fucking godly. Period.

2. The variety of characters and specials was wonderful and fun, nothing felt reused or filler, especially Mr.Slam, but I like him and his move better in TMHO and TMSB. Shadow's special was loads of fun, having the spook sneak under them, and then blowing 'em sky-high, literally.

3. The levels were fun takes on the world, with nice destructible stuff here and there, but the taxis in hong kong made me wish Yellow Jacket was in this game.

4. I liked the weapons, like how well the ricochet pushed the opponent off of the edge in New York, and like I said before, most of the specials.

5. By far, the coolest damn thing in the game was when you killed the enemies while they were frozen, the broken pieces are covered in ice as well. Nothing, and I mean nothing, in the whole damn series tops freezing a large character, like Mr.Slam, firing Shadow's special, and detonating it under him, sending Slam's broken vehicle flying into several pieces still encased in ice. Reminded me of the mortal kombat movie, when Sub-Zero froze that dude and broke him into pieces. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MjHv7y5oIA)

6. With the "tight turn" as the manual calls it, you can maneuver and turn really quickly, and that's really useful and adds a strange sense speed to the gameplay.

7. The AI is fucking superb, they know where to aim, when to shoot, but most importantly, how to hit, namely Slam, he freezes you, then drives up and uses his special. It was cool to see the AI use a simple tactic to get the special to work, rather than have slam run around like a dumbass slamming nothing.

8. The game has some damn-cool secret tracks, especially cyburbia, I liked that in TM1, and the Suicide Swamp level from Jet Moto.

9. The game is forgiving near the edge, 3 times today I sped toward a ledge, only to tight turn around and boost the opposite direction milliseconds before it would've been too late for me to stop. In TM4, you will hang by the two wheels, and gravity pulls down, hard. In TM2, however, you are mostly locked upright, like there's invisible balloons at the top of the cars. Nothing makes the adrenaline run like boosting back to a platform with just the front two wheels keeping you from falling to your doom, a doom that looks much alike the Jet Moto 1 track Nightmare's "ground" texture. The hidden cheat code is cool, but finding it isn't so cool.

The Negatives:

1. If you stop, for any reason, and for any length at all you get instantly frozen, and then fucked in the ass by a 10 missiles, hammerhead, slam, and axel's power about 6 times. This would be a positive, because it keeps you moving, but negative number 3, which I'll get to, makes this a pain. You can also end up sliding and bouncing around like a pinball if you get stuck in a small area with more than one or two people.

2. Thumper's special can drain your life like hearing AXEL POWERRR!!! 7 times in a row drains my sanity. You can also happen to spawn directly in front of him. Lovely.

3. Invisible. Fucking. Walls. So many god damn times I run into a "wall" running up a ramp, or driving over a slight incline. Even if that "wall" only exists for a millisecond, it stops me dead in my tracks, and axel can smell that shit from a mile away. I swear I'm gonna get salty as all hell if I'm in the middle of running for my life, only to hit something that isn't there, and be instantly brought to a stop, and then to get freezefucked.

4. Later on, especially the last few maps, you will get freezefucked constantly. If you get frozen, you might as well try boosting away while hitting ^^> when it wears off and hope for the best, because once you are frozen you will probably lose about half of your health, from damage you can't avoid, unless you avoid getting frozen altogether with the shield, which, as I'll get to, was an issue for me. If it's Thumper that freezes you though, then I hope you've got extra lives.

5. Why is Sweet Tooth a secret character? Why not add a different cool character, and make them secret? He's in tournament mode, often too, and he's not rediculously op or anything, so what gives? Maybe they didn't decide on him being the series' mascot yet, or something. Even then, where they hid the code was cool.

6.The game almost felt "floaty" or "slippery" at times, like, my car, at one point, tilted like a balloon with a weight on it, and boost came out, but didn't push me because I didn't have any traction. That and you can reach certain platforms by just boosting, you clip up onto the platform if you ride into the edge. Not a huge deal, it's rare that it's a problem, and I kind of like the floatyness, but it might present a problem at some point.

7.Shadow's special is hard to tell exactly how close it is to the enemy the farther it gets away, making it difficult to deal as much damage as possible. Especially since you can't blow it up anywhere near you or it'll deal damage to you. It usually takes down a large chunk of you opponent's health(or yours), like a quarter of the bar, but I could've sworn it took half of axel's life bar down one time. One can only dream...

8. Twister's special is pure shit, it barely does anything, just throws them away from you almost immediately. I read in a guide that you had to be standing still, and you couldn't do it in a drive by. Even if that is true, sitting still like that is basically the equivalent of spreading your ass-cheeks for axel and saying "come get some".

Possible Negatives:

What I mean by possible, is that I've been playing this on ePSXe, an emulator, because it's much easier than plugging in the ps1, the extension cord, the t.v., then connecting the av cables, the controller, putting the actual game in, etc. etc., whereas now, all I have to do is plug in my controller, double click, click, click, and then I can play. This opens me up to possible issues do to emulation, so take these with a grain of salt, and please let me know If you, during emulation, or on the actual console, do, or do not have these issues.

1.The "secret" moves (ice missile,shield,jump to be exact) are delayed from when you press the last button. When I hit ^^>, as soon as I hit >, the shield should activate, but it doesn't. It can take up to a full second for it to activate. That may not sound like a big deal, but when axel and hammerhead are comin at ya, and an ice missile is also on the way, you better type that code extra fast, to make up for the time you have to wait, or you're fucked.

2: This is what completely fucked the gameplay for me. Sometimes the "secret moves" would not work at all, as in, the input wouldn't even register. So not only would I have to wait around a full second for it to work, it might not work at all! There were times I was being chased, and my inputs were like ^^>^^>^^>^^>^^>^^> and you know what happened? Oh, I got a shield alright, a nice, chilly, cold, protective sheet of ice, that's what I fuckin got! It's not my controller, the codes for the rest of the games, TM1,TM4,TMSB all work fine. Needless to say, I got a little salty here n' there, due to the last two things, but I chilled out n' tried again, and I eventually beat the game.

Well, that's my review on TM2, took a few hours, 40% of the time I got distracted lookin at my miku and paul mccartney shimejis lol. I'm gonna play as soon as I'm done publishing this. If those potential things did/didn't happen to you, lemme know, and lemme know what ya thought, if you read it, that is, hehe.

Here is what my screen looked like by the time this was done, in case anyone's interested in what the shimejis look like, lol.
https://i.imgur.com/p8kQ9y5.png
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BrandoTG
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #1 - 04/17/18 at 06:13:12
 
I must make a few small additions, but rather than edit the original post, I'll just add them in a reply, because the original is long enough.

I got a chance to play 1v1 with my brother, who's been playing games 1v1/coop with me since we were kids, and I have to say, It's one of the best vs modes in a game we've ever played. The adrenaline and fear when you have low life is only parallelled by the feeling of power and confidence when you are on the chase of an injured opponent.

Krista is my new favourite character, that special is insane. Unfortunately, half the time, you can use it from a mile away, and it'll home in like Sheer Heart Attack, but the other half of the time, it won't lock on at all. The distance doesn't seem to affect whether it work or not. I like the ability to be hit to be stopped, and the clever use of the shield as a counter for that. If only it worked more often.
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Thumpy
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #2 - 04/17/18 at 11:07:29
 
Most of your negative comments on TM2 seems to be the aggressive nature of the AI controlled vehicles.

I can remember Mr. Slam freezing players multiple times, something we can not do when we play him.

I do not think TM2 was overated, it was a game that was way ahead of its time.

It was a major step foreward from TM1 which was a fairly great game by itself.

I have compared TM2 with the original Star Wars, I am old enough to remember its release in 1977 and I can tell you that it broke so many boundaries which made it one of the most memorable movies of all time.

I have been addicted to video games for 39 years and after mastering over 120 of those games the one I recieved the most enjoyment was TM2.

I appreciate your unbiased comments BrandoTG, its nice to see interest in such a great game.

All we can do is hope that this franchise takes another leap forward before we pass on.
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Marltoro
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #3 - 04/18/18 at 10:40:11
 
Yeah the inputs for the special moves are really annoying. That and the A.I. having unlimited meter are probably the biggest negatives for me. IMO pretty solid review. I'm glad you made sure to list both positives and negatives. I hate it when people only do one or the other.

As for Sweet Tooth being unlockable, I wonder if it has anything to do with Dark Tooth? I'd like to ask Jaffe about it the next time he's streaming.
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« Last Edit: 04/18/18 at 18:26:28 by Marltoro »  

Twisted Toolkit
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Zi-vnTGotGM6lGGX11U7qlWuBk7ZgaeA/view

Source Code Repo
(The source code repo isn't working atm. I need to upload some missing files)
https://bitbucket.org/mrees240/toolkit

Currently working on the Map Editor
 
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Malefactor
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #4 - 04/20/18 at 23:11:23
 
Marltoro wrote on 04/18/18 at 10:40:11:
Yeah the inputs for the special moves are really annoying. That and the A.I. having unlimited meter are probably the biggest negatives for me. IMO pretty solid review. I'm glad you made sure to list both positives and negatives. I hate it when people only do one or the other.

As for Sweet Tooth being unlockable, I wonder if it has anything to do with Dark Tooth? I'd like to ask Jaffe about it the next time he's streaming.



It's not a very complex answer.  Remember Axel being unlockable in Twisted Metal: Black?

Or Warthog in Twisted Metal: 2012?

We had crap like that growing up in the nineties too, but for most of it we didn't have memory cards, and we definitely didn't have hard drives.

How are you going to save unlocked charactes on a CD Rom without them?

You're going to use codes. 
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #5 - 04/21/18 at 04:43:12
 
Given the code based nature of the early games instead of a save feature, I'd have to agree with Mal on this one.

The only reason I can think of Sweet tooth being unlockable was just to mess with fans.

"I guess sweet tooth isn't in this game... Whats this code?"

Kinda deal.


My biggest issues with two are inline with most people. Nothing messes up a good run like being froze indefinitely. Slammed 5 times and Shockwaved to kingdom come by Axel.

Besides the spammy AI I really don't have any other issues with it.
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #6 - 04/21/18 at 05:29:30
 
I figured Sweet Tooth was a secret character due to his Special charging up quickly than the rest aside from Minion. Could also be due to ST's special itself where you can spam it to the point where the character was rendered helpless being juggled around like that.
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Re: My Semi-Positive Review of Twisted Metal 2
Reply #7 - 04/22/18 at 12:47:21
 
Twisted Metal 2 changed everything.  Without it there would be no Black as we know it (which in my opinion, is hands down the best).

Without it I would have never fallen in love with the series.  It brought the most intricate car combat of its day, and is still easily the second most complex car combat game that has ever existed.  Honestly, I'm not qualified to comment on all of the details that exist in a solid multiplayer bout, but from my time spent on it, it's an amazing accomplishment. 

Below are the things that, for 1996, were extremely groundbreaking:

1. Fully realized COOP mode.

This is much more common now, but for DECADES it was not. This is why I originally fell in love with the game.  Played it for hours with family.

2. AA special moves.

This was SO cool and and played like the fighters of the day. Yes, the inputse weren't always perfect, but neither were Mortal Kombats or Street Fighter's. For the day, and compared to its competition, it was solid.

3. Amazing cast of characters.

Axel, Slam, Grim, Twister, Grasshopper . . . .each car was different in feel and style resulting in completely new experiences. What's more, the attacks against a buddy would be HILARIOUS. You could laugh forever. I dropped a measly $20 for the greatest hits version of the game, and got literally year's worth of entertainment. Amazing value.

4. Fully destructible and interesting levels.

Paris . . . Hong Kong . . . . EVEN Antarctica . . . with NO places to hide (actually there were, but I digress). This kind of stuff is in just about every game now, but back then we'd never seen anything like it.  Realizing the Eiffel Tower could be destroyed was such a wow HFS moment.

5. Memorable Boss Fights

Not even Black's boss fights can compare to the first encounter with Minion . . . or dare I say it, Dark Tooth. Simply put they were the best the series ever had to offer.

6. Memorable CPU

I know the above review trashed the AI, but I think you're being a bit heavy handed.  It's slightly less deep than some of the best AI of 2018, but not by much.  Yes, one of the biggest things you have to learn is that the cars literalloy have unlimited ammo.

However, that isn't to say that they don't have limits. The cars all behave in unique ways which you will catch on if you watch long enough.  For one, most of the cars won't go whole hog on you unless they see you.  Did you catch that?  Kind of like real oppononents, if they see you, they go ape.

Next, Warthog lays mines. Shadow prefers rear shadow bombs over forward. Did you notice that weird crap? There is all sorts of behavioral stuff built into all the car's actions in this game. Sometimes they go completely nuts and just do crazy stuff.

My bro and I laughed for thirty damn minutes straight once when in New York Sweet Tooth led the entire CPU enemy team off of the edge.  He played his music like the pied piper and they just followed him right off. Craziest damn thing I've ever seen in a game.

I'll never forget when I hid in the subway of Hong Kong only to have Dark Tooth eventually camp out on top of the ramp (because he was too big to enter himself) and lob bombs down the subways to smoke me out.

That was AMAZING for an AI.  Even today that is something special.

Is TM2 perfect?  No. The weapons are far too weak and it is way too freeze weapon focused (both things that Black corrected). The cars are too floaty (which was a glitch and a limitation of the time but they kept it in there because, again, many feel that floatiness is fun).

However, for my money, it is way better than most of today's games if people can see through the graphics, and I would love it if a new Twisted Metal was even half as good.
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