Returning To The Set – Joe Danger 2: The Movie On PS Vita

It’s the 44th take and I’m losing my patience with this set. That dinosaur and those damned fireballs it throws seem to be attracted to Joe as if he was a fire magnet. The director seems as excited as ever though, gleefully shouting things like “Oh boy!” or “That’s in the can!”, as if he likes watching Joe suffer. Maybe he does. Even though I’m struggling with this level I can’t give up, because Joe Danger 2: The Movie absolutely retains that one more go hook for its Vita release.

Joe Danger 2: The Movie from Hello Games released over two years ago in September 2012, and I reviewed it back then scoring it an 8/10. There hasn’t been a major overhaul for the Vita release, though trick variety seems easier to pull off by combining circle and triangle. It definitely felt like I was scoring higher on the Vita than when I played on Xbox 360 where the shoulder buttons were used for tricks. You also have the Undead Nightmare Pack included in this release too, which adds 15 more levels on top of those found within the six movie mode stages as well as the deleted scenes content.  Playable characters also include Sackboy as well as Atoi and Iota from Tearaway.

After playing through the Vita version of Joe Danger 2 I do have to wonder why it wasn’t there from the get go, because it really is a perfect fit for the console. The vibrant colours seem to pop from my Vita’s OLED screen, and the overall visual effects look great on the console. It sounds great too with the catchy music blaring through the speakers, though I do advise on using headphones to really get into the game. Joe Danger: The Movie requires split second reactions so drowning out other sounds definitely helps.

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The Vita edition of the game doesn’t really use the console’s additional features bar the touch screen, which can be used to scroll through the main menu and to edit levels in the movie maker. Other than that you use the R button to move forward, L button to reverse, X to boost, square to jump, circle & triangle to do tricks, and the left analog to spin. It’s a control scheme that is easy to pick up, but even with that being the case a lot of levels still cause frustration.

Joe Danger 2: The Movie may look all bright and cheery but beneath that exterior lies a cold, calculating beast. You can’t predict what levels you’ll have trouble with as you get lulled into a sense of confidence. I found myself breezing through quite a few levels before being stopped in my tracks by a particularly evil stage. I had vague recollections of the level from my time before with the game, but I didn’t remember it being so hard back then. In fact levels I did struggle with the first time round I managed to pass easily this time, and I’m sure there will be levels you’ll find easy that I hated.

While overall Joe Danger 2: The Move on Vita is a smooth port it isn’t without some problems. The first I encountered when I initially started the game and it wouldn’t allow me to get past the main menu, taking a restart of the console to solve it. Secondly there was a particular level where there was a huge frame rate drop, that not only caused the action to slow right down but strained my eyes. It’s strange only one level suffered from it; it’s the one where Joe is dressed as Elvis and has to collect burgers if you’re interested.  The worst one I found though was a bug that affected a few levels, where background scenery would enlarge and push to the front of the scene, obscuring the track. This one was particularly annoying as you need to see the obstacles coming up to plan for them. Oddly it seemed to only affect scenery that rotated.  These issues will need to be patched out to ensure that nothing detracts from what is an otherwise fun experience.

If you’ve already played Joe Danger 2: The Movie then I don’t think there’s a lot here to require you to double dip, unless you want to take the game with you. However if you’ve not played it before and own a Vita I do recommend downloading it. The game is fun to play despite the bugs, and these will hopefully be fixed. If you like challenging games that allow you to pull tricks while in the air then this is for you. Just be forewarned about some of the more frustrating levels, like that damn dinosaur and its fireballs.

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1 Comment

  1. The Joe Danger games are brill, the first game was ported well to the Vita so I hope the bugs are fixed soon.
    After playing the first game again on Vita I am definitely looking forward to picking up this one up too.

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