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Driving / Action






Incognito Entertainment



T (Teen)



March 2005



- Classic Twisted Metal gameplay

- Smooth, intuitive online multi-player



- Graphics not up to par with other PSP launch titles

- A bit of a been-there, done-that feel



Review: ATV Offroad Fury - Blazin' Trails (PSP)

Review: Twisted Metal Black Online (PS2)

Review: The Getaway - Black Monday (PS2)



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Twisted Metal Head-On

Score: 8.0 / 10


I still think Twisted Metal: Black, Incognito's return to the series they started on the PSX, is one of the best games available for Sony's PS2.  When Black: Online was released free with the broadband adapter, I was in heaven as I blasted away faceless drivers from across the world.  Now, half a decade later, Icognito launches Twisted Metal Head-on for the PSP.  It isn't as immersive or impressive as Twisted Metal: Black, but it is a worthy hand-held version of the great series and online play out of the box really pushes it over the top.


twisted metal head-on review          twisted metal head-on review


Head-on has more in common with the PSX games than with TM: Black.  It is a return to the roots version of Twisted Metal in much the same way Doom 3 is a throwback to the original.  The name of the game here is wanton destruction a high speeds, and the game delivers.  The graphics and sound are solid, if possibly a bit below average when compared to the other high-profile PSP launch games.


When first loaded, Head-On presents the player with a simple menu screen featuring Single-Player, Multi-player, and Options as the only choices.  Choosing options allows the player to change the control scheme (something I did immediately as I hate the default, FPS-like control setup), tweak the audio, load or save game data or view video clips that have been opened (each character has an end movie that is opened when the game is beaten with that character, providing what little story Head-on has).  Choosing Single-Player gives the player the choice between story mode (the main game mode), Challenge Mode (which allows the player to choose opponents that will be in the arena), and Endurance Mode (simply stay alive as long as you can).  Of these, Story Mode is where most players will spend most of their time. 




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In Single-Player mode players can choose between ten vehicles.  The player is then thrown into a series of battles in different arenas with gradually increasing kill quotas.  Game play will be familiar to fans of the series basically find a weapon power-up and use it to mutilate the other drivers.  Once a certain kill number is reached, the game goes on to the next arena.



Choosing Multi-player allows players to choose between ad hoc, Infrastructure, and Infrastructure LAN mode.  I played a number of Infrastructure games with players from California to New York and gameplay was smooth as butter.  It is still pretty stunning to me that I can lay on my couch with a wireless hand-held and play total strangers from across the globe.  I wish more PSP games featured the Infrastructure online mode and as smooth as Head-on's is, I expect a lot of good networking games to come.


twisted metal head-on review          twisted metal head-on review


For replay value, along with the online mode, Head-on features ten mini-games and lots of game tweaking options.  It is not as deep, or as fun, a game as Twisted Metal Black, but it is a nice addition to the series.


- Danny Webb

(June 10, 2005)


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