hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Joe Danger: Special Edition

Review: Joe Danger: Special Edition

2:00 PM on 12.14.2011 // Jordan Devore

The team at Hello Games got an opportunity that I wish more studios, particularly those smaller companies with limited budgets, would get: an honest-to-goodness second chance.

Not to say that Joe Danger was a bad game in need of a redo when it originally released on PlayStation Network. Far from it! We gave it a 9 out of 10, after all. But, at some point, you have to stop adding features and put your game out for the world to see.

More than a year after the launch on PSN, the definitive version of Joe Danger has come out. The twist, however, is that it's available exclusively on Xbox Live Arcade.

Joe Danger: Special Edition (Xbox Live Arcade)
Developer: Hello Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Released: December 14, 2011
MSRP: $14.99 / 1200 Microsoft Points

To provide a basic overview for new players not wanting to read the entire aforementioned review, Joe Danger is a happy hybrid of racing, platforming, and puzzling. Tricks are performed with the left and right bumpers, and are how you earn boost. You're given a great deal of control -- crouching jumps allow for greater height, for instance, and acceleration/reverse can be used to maneuver Joe forward or backward while he's in the air. The end result is a control scheme which feels natural.

The immediate comparison for Xbox 360 players to draw is Trials HD, which is a decent enough starting point. Whereas RedLynx provided an experience most of us struggled to survive, Hello Games largely goes for the opposite end of the spectrum.

Joe Danger is simple in all the right ways, which very much seems to be by design. If there's fat in need of being trimmed, I haven't found it yet. It's the type of colorful, enjoyable, ageless entertainment that's suitable for the whole family. I'm reminded of the days when the ESRB still used its Kids to Adult rating.

Though the game ultimately culminates in demanding courses which may or may not result in the occasional swear, the build up is gradual to the point where this fact isn't obvious until you go back to the beginning levels; their simplicity seems laughable by comparison.

Getting frustrated by a botched combo, or the unforgiving end-game content, is a weird experience. On the one hand, you were so close, but on the other, Joe Danger is a game in which one background ad depicts a gentlemanly dinosaur mascot for Tea Rex brand tea. I can't stay mad at you.

Splitscreen multiplayer and the sandbox-style level editor also make a return. The latter deserves a special mention for its rapid-prototyping philosophy. They even managed to smartly incorporate tutorials for it as "puzzle" courses within the core single-player mode.

Okay, so what's new? Better anti-aliasing, new playable characters, "80% faster loading times" (!!!), The Lab, and Pro Medals. Those last two I'll need to expand upon, but -- as if my crazed use of exclamation marks didn't stress this enough -- quicker loads for a game of this nature is hugely important. Particularly for those who want to get wrapped up in leaderboard dueling with rivals.

The Lab is like a shorter, alternate-universe take on the standard Joe Danger experience. Your progression in it is separate from that of Career Mode, and for good reason. While there are far fewer levels on offer (25), they're some of the more interesting, engaging courses in Special Edition.

Due to the compactness of levels in The Lab, you're expected to perform well, in a short amount of time, with all of the tricks in the book being thrown your way. The end-stage Assault Courses combine prior lessons and expect nothing short of excellence from the player.

Now, on to Pro Medals. In Joe Danger, getting to the finish line is rarely enough -- you have to earn stars along the way. Stars can be obtained by keeping a combo throughout an entire level, landing on targets, collecting coins, and clearing a course quickly, to name a few methods.

Not every star type is available for you to earn on every level, and the same can be said of Special Edition's 25 Pro Medals. These are awarded when you complete every star objective simultaneously in a single run. Easier said than done. Those tracks with a Pro Medal up for grabs are often the more challenging ones.

Unlockables such as characters and Xbox Live Avatar gear are attached to Pro Medals, so there's incentive beyond simply aspiring to master the game. That said, you haven't truly played Joe Danger until you've attempted to get some of these things. The end result is beautiful in its fluidity.

I'll be coming back to Joe Danger for some time to come. In getting this review written for the game's launch, I haven't had too much extra time to go back and improve high scores to the best of my ability. With every new name added to the friends leaderboard, that urge will grow stronger.

Special Edition is indeed the definitive version, but not merely for a new audience; there's just enough in here to warrant a double dip for even the more casual of returning players, especially when you consider how catered to the familiarized much of the additions are. This utterly delightful game is one everyone owes it to themselves to play.



Joe Danger: Special Edition - Reviewed by Jordan Devore
Editor's Choice Award - Is it legal to marry a videogame? Because I want to be with this game every day for the rest of my life. It completes me. It is my soul mate.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
Batthink avatarBatthink
This GrumpOut video was pretty funny to me (props to TheBadSpoon on the Dtoid chat room);
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Sonic Lost World is coming to PC on November 2nd for $25! I may double dip, hopefully they'll make the final boss less rage-inducing. Ah well, I can always grind for extra lives lol.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Older. Grayer. Wiser. Dick still works. #Ballin
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Wow I just want a mic for the PS4...why are they so expensive ;_;
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Went to play MGSV, got prompted to download the MGO data; it's not on the PS Store yet. Or maybe it's Kojima-san's way of telling me it's not the real MGO data, but is instead a janitor who once protected me from a puddle of pee and now wears my face.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Joe Danger: Special Edition

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -