Greetings Comrads. I have one question and one question only: Are you ready? Because I am about to go back in time, to where games were polished, had little to no glitches and actually had captivating stories! Today, I will be looking at Twisted Metal 2 from the nineties.
Boy, do I remember being a kid, sitting down in my bedroom or living room, where ever the Playstation was and just having fun. It didn't matter whether you won or lost, you just knew fun was to be had. For me it was the ultra violent games and Twisted Metal 2 was no episode of My Little Pony. Let's get into it.
Right off the bat, I remember getting it for christmas one year. Man, it was almost magical. My fat little fingers at a tender age of five, struggled to open the packaging. My grandparents and mother laughed at me. I knew I had something special. My grandmother was kind enough to open it for me and my grandfather was there for her to pass it to him to plop it into the system. I still do this up to this day: When ever I get a video game, I start getting the shakes. Like Joe Cocker performing at Madison Square Garden, I will twitch and sputter until a round or match of whatever game I'm playing is over. Back to my Childhood.
As my grandfather placed the grey disk, ever so delicately into the machine and closed the lid, I knew I was in for a treat. He pushes power. Oh shit, here we go. A black screen, then a WHOOOSH! Rockets are flying through letters spelling out "Twisted Metal", making it explode and into a billboard reading "Twisted Metal 2". The screeching of tires is heard and then the theme song from Twisted Metal kicks in. My eyes are as big as a dinner plate (Hey Ash Whatcha Play'? Reference). "This game? Oh...This game right? I get to play this game?" I ask myself. My hand covers my mouth as it hangs agape, so far you could probably land a 747 on it.
I somehow manage the strength (And courage) To pick up the grey controller in front of me. I scoot a little closer, still intimidated by the flaming clown head on the title screen. I gingerly move my fat little digits around on the D-pad, moving into the options menu. Yes, easy mode. This is good. Easy. Before I leave the menu, I stop on the music level. The theme starts up again. "HELL YES!!!" I say in my mind, before quickly exiting out of the options menu and into the singleplayer game.
My grandmother is gleefully watching me, just as in shock as I was. I enter the car selection screen. Damn, these guys (And ladies) Look very cool. We have an old war veteran, a skeleton on a motorcycle, a dunebuggy, a squad car, A MONSTER TRUCK!!!! Ahem, excuse me, got a little excited there, a guy with wheels attached to his arms, a hearse, a striped car and last, but not least. MR SLAM! The front loader. Of course I picked the front loader, who wouldn't at such a tender age. And a boy at that!
I start into the game and the cars that I am going to be facing are on the screen. I see the demonic clown's icecream truck known only as Sweet Tooth. "What's that? Can I unlock him?" I asked my grandmother, "I don't know honey." She replied, before the game starts. I'm in. In front of me is my front loader, a map to my upper left hand corner, weapons on the bottom right, along with a special abilities meter. I wouldn't figure out how to use these abilities until I was thirteen or so. My fingers roll over the shoulder buttons. I startle myself as I push R2 and start to fire my machineguns.
I quickly look down at the controller, checking where each button is. Then I push the L2 button. A fire rocket shoots out the front of the construction vehicle and into Outlaw, the squad car. I giggle manically before pulling out of this parking spot. I get a handle on the accelerator, the square button to be precise. "Interesting" I think to myself. Never have I ever had a racing game with the square button as the gas. The awkwardness doesn't stop me for long, before I'm chasing down Warthog, but before I get to him I hear "YEEEHAW!" then a big THUMP sound as Grasshopper comes in from behind. At this moment, I'm very new and slow to the controls, so she jumps on me again, but this time I'm ready. I quickly spin around and catch her in my front loader. The loader is special, having a top and lower half to the bucket and teeth painted onto it, it allows me to grab Grasshopper and slam her into the ground a few times before she breaks loose.
The music in this game, is probably some of the best tracks for a game I have ever heard. They fit each stage almost flawlessly and coming from a young boy, this was the cats pajamas. Back to the gameplay. I quickly start getting torn a part by Axel. He has super sonic powers and likes to do a shockwave-like special. Which will cause your car to jump into the air, disorientating you for a few moments before you come crashing down. A few more Shockwaves and I'm dead. It was the most graphic thing I saw at this age: A scream of pain from my driver, my car gets demolished and the only thing left of me is a burning fire. Holy S***!
Second life, best make this one count. I'm scouting out the level, trying to pick up weapons like more rockets, napalm showers and the like. I'm already thinking to myself that I love this game and would marry it if I could. Of course not! Not at this age, you sickos! I would be thinking that though, if I was the age I am today, back then!
I hear a strange noise, a scream, mixed in with a rocket firing off. It's Spectre. Now I was always a big fan of Spectre. Playing as him was an awesome time, but fighting him, he can be pretty cheap. Seeing as his rockets can go through solid objects. I try to get close enough to pick him up into my bucket, but he quickly makes a zig-zag-like pattern towards a fire rocket, all the while firing off his Ghost Missles (actual name for them), hitting me and stalling me for a moment, before being juiced by Outlaw's squad car. I'm getting tag teamed. I know I have to get out of this situation quick, or I'll be reduced to a smoking corpse, or worse: A ball of flames!
I quickly get the heck outta dodge and find a health pick up. Thank God! My loader was looking bad already, but at least the health brought me back up to the green part of my health bar. Here they come again! More screams off in the distance could be heard as Sweet Tooth finishes off Warthog. I'm begining to feel bad for these men and women. Having to fight for their lives in such a tournament actually frightened me. I had to keep going though. I had to win. For me. For my life...
[To be continued. And for the record, Twisted Metal 2 is one of my favorite games of all time. Check it out on PSN Store for only six bucks! It's worth it. The real question is: Will you drive again?]