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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action/Racing

 

Publisher

SCEA

 

Developer

Incognito Entertainment

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2002

 

 

- Fun for both dial-up and broadband users

- Great, dark graphic design

- Smooth frame rate

- Did I mention it was free?

 

 

- Dial-up users are limited to one-on-one matches

-  Action can become a bit repetitive

 

 

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Review: Totaled! (XBox)

 

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Twisted Metal Black Online

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Twisted Metal Black was one of the first AAA titles for the PS2, and hints of the online version surfaced not too long after its release.  Back then, it seemed like TM:B Online would likely be a key title in the launch of the PS2ís online library, and I suppose it actually is though it certainly comes at a surprising price Ė free.  A coupon for TM:B Online is included with every Sony Network Adapter sold in North America.  For that unbeatable price, players get an online only (TM:B Online has no offline mode at all) version of the multi-player modes of TMB.  

 

twisted-metal-black-online-1.jpg (34637 bytes)          twisted-metal-black-online-2.jpg (42487 bytes)

 

As befits a title that is basically a pack-in for the network adapter, TM:B Online works with both dial-up and broadband accounts.  The dial-up user is limited to one-on-one battles, but these are still 60 fps and show little lag or graphical slowdown.  Hook TM:B Online up to a broadband account and it is able to support up to eight players, and the games are likewise smooth and action-packed.

 

Graphically, TMB remains one of the best looking games on the PS2.  The levels have great, dark design characteristics that remain creepy and unique.  The frame rate is locked in at 60 fps.  The lighting and particle effects are still some of the best on the system, and, overall, the game is very good looking.  It matches up well with the games being released now.

 

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Setting up a new account is simple and the interface is efficient and intuitive.  What really impressed me is that when I switched to dial-up (thanking heavens for my broadband providerís free 20 hours a month of dial-up service) and joined a game everything was smooth and glitch free.  In a weekend of heavy dial-up play, I had few disconnects or serious lag issues.  Hosting games made the problems completely non-existent.  I would have liked to 

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have seen the developers expand the dial-up version to four players, but two-player death match was still fun.  And, hey, itís free.  For that price, nobody should be complaining.

 

Of course, broadband users get the best deal as all the modes benefit from more players.  TMB was always about slightly controlled chaos, and it is hard to obtain that vibe with only one other user in the level.

 

twisted-metal-black-online-3.jpg (18255 bytes)          twisted-metal-black-online-4.jpg (38181 bytes)

 

Regardless of the type of connection, purchasers of the Sony NA should certainly go to the trouble of filling out the coupon for the free Twisted Metal Black Online and sending it off.  It is a fun diversion that is well worth the effort.  Kudos to Sony for providing such a quality game free for all PS2 NA owners.

 

- Tolen Dante

(December 14, 2002)

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