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Apr 14 2014
By: HorrorGod Welcoming Committee 4404 posts
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[Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

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10 replies 1062 views Edited Apr 21, 2014

Game Title: Twisted Metal: Black

Genre: PlayStation 2 (PS2)
Platform: Vehicle Combat
ESRB Rating: Mature (M)
Developer: Incognito Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: June 18th, 2001
Overall Rating: 10/10
Review Author: HorrorGod

 

 

This week's spotlight is for the dark, mature, masterfully crafted 5th installment of the vehicular combat franchise, Twisted Metal -- "Twisted Metal: Black."

 

TMBcover.jpg

 

 

STORY/GAMEPLAY:

 

"Twisted Metal: Black" was the first in the series to grace the PS2. Like the previous installments, the story is about a mysterious man named Calypso that hosts an annual vehicular combat tournament, with the last driver standing having a single wish granted. Though, what makes this installment stick out amongst the rest, is it's darker, cinematic, serious, and mature tone. The game takes place in a location simply known as "Midtown," with a majority of the characters coming from "Blackfield Asylum." The player can choose one of of 10 characters at the beginning, but with 4 more characters being unlockable throughout the story mode, and a final 15th character being unlocked by completing the game with the first 14. The cast is made up of both new and returning characters and/or vehicles.

 

The gameplay is similar to the previous entries; You drive around in an area, destroying other enemies until the area is clear, then you advance. Each car has machines guns, projectiles you can pick up / fire, a special weapon that is unique to each vehicle, and an environment pick-up attack, that will trigger something in the level to damage an enemy. In Story Mode, you will play 8 levels with each character. Each driver has their own intro cinematic, midway cinematic, and ending cinematic. As you progress, their videos will be unlocked and kept available for you to watch anytime, in the theatre menu.

 

You are given / can earn extra lives during a level, but if you fail, you can retry as many times as you like. Your progress is only saved between levels and after completing the story with a character.

 

Black is rich with replay value. Aside from it's great Story Mode, it also has a "Challenge Mode," with is pretty much a pick and choose your own level / enemies, and an "Endurance Mode," which allows you to endlessly keep playing until you die or quit. On top of that, it has the classic split-screen couch-multiplayer mode and supports split-screen Co-Op for the Story Mode, as well.

 

As I mentioned above, if you complete the game with all 14 characters, you will unlock a 15th character. This character has no cutscenes; Instead, you are given numerical codes between levels, that when read, reveal what possibly is the truth to what's going on in "Twisted Metal: Black."

 

 

 

CLOSING REMARKS:

 

"Twisted Metal: Black" was highly praised and well received by critics (and fans.) It was the first entry in the series to be given a "Mature" rating, too. Sadly, the PAL version of the game was heavily censored and removed all the cutscenes from the story mode -- due to their graphic nature. In my opinion, it was, and still is the best installment in the franchise. I loved the first two games, especially "Twisted Metal 2," but I skipped on the two installments that followed. Not because David Jaffe did not make them, but because they did not, at all, look appealing. When Black was first revealed / announced and I found out the original mind behind Twisted Metal 1 and 2 was behind the project, it was a no brainer to pick it up on day 1. And wow, did it not disappoint.

 

I have fond memories of both my brother and I playing this game for hours, mainly the "Story Mode," in order to see / unlock all the characters and their movies. We still have that "perfect" save file to this day.

 

After the release of the PS2 Online Adapter, there was a free offer to receive an online only standalone called "Twisted Metal Black: Online," for those who had already purchased the game. I regrettably never pursued this offer. The "Greatest Hits" version of Black would also come packaged with the new Online Mode.

 

If you missed out or skipped this installment of the series, I highly recommend it. It is currently available as a "PS2 Classic" on PSN, or, if you were one of the people who purchased a copy of the Limited Edition of "Twisted Metal (2012)" on PS3, you should have received a voucher to download it for free. Whether you decide to track down a physical copy of this gem or grab it digitally -- please do. The game has aged well, in my opinion, especially it's beautifully twisted cutscenes. Enjoy!


My Rating:
10/10

 

 

TRAILER:

I actually could not track down an straight-up trailer for this game, so I present to you something even better -- A fan's video based off the game's credit sequence. Same song; same clips; just without the actual credits.

 

 

Please Note: The views expressed in this message are the views of the review author, who is in no way affiliated with SCEA or PlayStation.com.

 

Previous: "Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick" (PS2)
Next: "I Am Alive" (PS3/PSN)

 

"You must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared."


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Fender Bender
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 15, 2014
I never got the chance to play this one back in the day, till I got the ps3 game, which comes with a free download of Black. Let me tell you, right off the bat, Black is clearly the better game. It has way more characters than the ps3 game did. Yeah, 5 times as many. I really don't know what the devs behind the ps3 game were thinking. Did they really think they could pass off a cheap cash-in as a full Twisted Metal game? Ugh.
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Treasure Hunter
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 15, 2014

Love this game!!! This was the first game I bought when I got a PS2. This game rules! Soooo much fun and the story was good too. Great pick HG!


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Sackboy
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014

Twisted Metal was one of my favorite games on PS1, I played so much with my friends!

If they could come back to the sources and make another good Twisted Metal, I would buy it!

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Welcoming Committee
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

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Apr 16, 2014

tross88 wrote:
I never got the chance to play this one back in the day, till I got the ps3 game, which comes with a free download of Black. Let me tell you, right off the bat, Black is clearly the better game. It has way more characters than the ps3 game did. Yeah, 5 times as many. I really don't know what the devs behind the ps3 game were thinking. Did they really think they could pass off a cheap cash-in as a full Twisted Metal game? Ugh.

Sadly, "Twisted Metal" on PS3 was created by David Jaffe, the mind behind the first 2 on PS1 and Black on PS2. I think I personally was a bit disappointed by it, because I was somewhat expecting something on the lines of a "Twisted Metal: Black 2." At least we got the online multiplayer that a lot of people have been wanting to see in a TW game, but it came at the price of a lacking story. You could tell where their main focus was in that game.

 

I hope one day we see another TW (on PS4?) and it has an awesome story mode like Black, as well as the online multiplayer that was in "Twisted Metal (2012)."

"You must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared."


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Umbrella Scientist
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014

was the first Twisted Metal game i didnt like.

 

Lost the intimate feeling I got from the battles in Twisted metal 2,3,4.

 

Just seemed like a series of drive bys, in other games enemies would engage you in battles, in Black they all just seem to try and get away the whole time, not chase you down like they should.

 

the vehicle colors and designs somehow didnt distinguish themselves enough for me, I never really knew what was going on, and couldnt find the guy I just shot as he ran away, so it felt a lot like Nascar with guns, drive in circles around the map and shoot anyone if they got in front of you.

 

I never really played much beyond the first level and couldnt get into it.  I used to play the other twisted metal games for so many hours on end, I cant explain it better then that, but would give it another try at some point.

 

I lost my code for black that came with the ps3 game, so maybe will never get the chance?

Na13-31 wrote:
Finally, the structure of my question is that you would have to disprove every possible outcome to be correct and I would just have to have one that would likely be beneficial. That's statistically in my favor by quite a bit.


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Welcoming Committee
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014

Phillyblunz wrote:

was the first Twisted Metal game i didnt like.

 

Lost the intimate feeling I got from the battles in Twisted metal 2,3,4.

 

Just seemed like a series of drive bys, in other games enemies would engage you in battles, in Black they all just seem to try and get away the whole time, not chase you down like they should.

 

the vehicle colors and designs somehow didnt distinguish themselves enough for me, I never really knew what was going on, and couldnt find the guy I just shot as he ran away, so it felt a lot like Nascar with guns, drive in circles around the map and shoot anyone if they got in front of you.

 

I never really played much beyond the first level and couldnt get into it.  I used to play the other twisted metal games for so many hours on end, I cant explain it better then that, but would give it another try at some point.

 

I lost my code for black that came with the ps3 game, so maybe will never get the chance?


 

In some ways, I'd have to say I thought Black was a bit more easier than previous TW games. Possibly for the reason you just mentioned. But, I'm telling you, if you did not even finish the game with even 1 character, you were missing out. Where the previous TW games were more just about the vehicle combat, Black was more about the story. The cutscenes / stories for each character were enough reason to keep coming back and beating the game, over, and over again, with a new character -- because you wanted to see how all their stories ended.

 

This was the first TW game that actually made me want to beat it with each and every character. I never finished TW1 or TW2 with every character, and I loved those two games. (mostly for the split-screen couch combat with my brother.)

 

If you get the chance / money, you should just pick it up in the PS Store and give it another go.

"You must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared."


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Umbrella Scientist
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014

Yeah I loved the cutscenes in the previous TW games for sure, as you said it made me want to beat the game with every character to see the cool endings, which in those days were very high quality indeed.

 

 

Plus I really loved a lot of the cars from the previous games, they all felt so different, but correct me if i'm wrong a lot of the cars in black had very similar feeling attacks.

 

Where was the ghost from TW 2 which came out the hearse.

 

The cool sound effects of the specials, the fire works sound from the old soldier guy in the hummer??? Wat was his name again?

 

I even liked the little toy car, in I think TW 3.    The vet Specter in 3 or 4 was so great for its crazy speed.

 

I probably remeber them a lot better then they were due to the games out at the time to compare with, then on PS2 there was so much goodness to compare to maybe?

 

I actually still have my PS2 copy now that i think of it, and i have a 60GB PS3, maybe I will try to get my son interested in it?

 

cheers

Na13-31 wrote:
Finally, the structure of my question is that you would have to disprove every possible outcome to be correct and I would just have to have one that would likely be beneficial. That's statistically in my favor by quite a bit.


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Wastelander
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014
I need more metal.
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Last Guardian
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Re: [Review] Macabre Mondays - "Twisted Metal: Black" (PS2)

Apr 16, 2014
TM: Black was incredible. It was such an interesting and welcome change in tone. I didn't care for the campiness in the Twisted Metal 2.

So when Black rolled around with a gritty more serious attitude I was on board. Every character is interesting and unique. Plus it was just nice to see Calypso not screwing everyone over for once.

The combat was fun. I really enjoyed the variety in maps too. Plus the game had secret characters and hidden areas so the replay value was strong.

On a side note, I liked TM (2012). It kept that dark feel from Black but it lacked Drivers. And Calypso went back to being a jerk lol
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