Classic Gaming Retrospective – Twisted Metal 2

Following the success of the first Twisted Metal came its sequel, Twisted Metal 2.  The game made small changes to the formula which added a lot more strategy to each match.  So, how good was it?

Many fans of Twisted Metal point to the second game as the best in the series.  It’s hard not to see why.  The gameplay was finely tuned, and it added a set of special moves that all characters could use.  They weren’t weapons, but were sometimes just as important.  All these maneuvers required a small D-pad combination, typically only three steps.

One such maneuver was Jump, which did as you’d expect, allowing vehicles to jump in the air.  The height wasn’t great, but it’s enough to get over some small ledges.  Slightly more useful is Freeze, which sends a blue projectile out which has a weak homing trajectory.  Once it hits an opponent, they’re frozen solid for a few seconds, allowing you to fire off a couple easy shots.  There are other tricks, but I won’t spoil those.

These maneuvers use up a Special meter, which does recharge.  So you can’t Freeze all the time.  You have to choose wisely and manage your energy.

The story for this game is much the same as the first.  However, the bosses have changed.  Minion, the fearsome tank from the first game, is now the mid-boss as a result of his defeat in the previous tournament.  Not only that, but he can be unlocked via a cheat code.  The big baddie in this is Dark Tooth.  Turns out Yellow Jacket, driven by Charlie Kane, won the last Twisted Metal tournament.  In that tournament, Charlie wanted to know the whereabouts of his son, Needles Kane.  However, Needles Kane is the driver of Sweet Tooth, and for Charlie to have won, he had to unknowingly kill his son.  So Charlie went a bit crazy, pimped out a larger, more menacing ice cream truck, and is now known as Dark Tooth.

In this game, the characters are all represented by cartoon drawings.  Calypso is no longer disfigured, and all the cut-scenes are essentially cartoon slide-shows with voice-over narration.  It’s still dark, but in a more cartoonish way.  It also introduced a plot point that was used again in a later Twisted Metal game.

All in all, Twisted Metal 2 is a really great game.  It plays really well and it’s a lot of fun.  Is it the best in the series?  Well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.  But if you want to check out Twisted Metal, be sure to make this part of your collection.

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