Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
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 community fisters, 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.

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!

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

Recap: Metal Gear Solid 1

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

ikiryou avatarikiryou
I went back to Persona 4 Golden this weekend, asked Chie to be my girlfriend but then accidentally maxed out my social link with Yumi, changed my relationship status to "It's Complicated" on Personabook. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Why am I hyped? Just cause :D
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
You know what Fallout 4 mod I want to see? One to fix the interior lightning. It's like the silliest thing to get fixated over, but I can't seem to ignore how white and bright some of those inside lights are.
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Just wrote my first C-blog. It's me talking about the games I have played this month; I'm quite excited
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I wish the Squid Girl outfit was still a dress for boys. I want to live through my Inkling boy and be a cute girly-man, dammit. [img][/img]
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Goshdarnit...just stood in front of the camera to record an intro for the advent calender thingy and actually got stage fright >.>
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well, it seemed like for two seconds people were finally going to give Star Fox a fair shake, but nope! GameXplain's YouTube audience seem pretty insistent that it's just a Star Fox 64 clone down to the graphics. Sometimes I just don't understand peopl
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
more quickposts



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 -