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Twisted Metal: Head-On

Developer: Incognito | Publisher: SCEA
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 03/24/05 | Genre: Action

Sony, it seems, is really going retro, using some familiar old franchises to jump-start the popularity of the PSP. So, it is no surprise that they are beginning this trend by bringing one of the most loved PlayStation and PlayStation 2 franchises to the new PSP. Twisted Metal: Head-On once again delivers, just as it did on the predecessors to the PSP, in showcasing what a new Sony hardware platform can do by shrinking the fun and excitement of Twisted Metal into your hands.

As you have heard and read in other reviews, the PSP is one powerful handheld console. Twisted Metal: Head-On uses the full faculties of the PSP and despite some minor slowdown issues, Head-On looks impressive from beginning to end. Each of the vehicles in the game has an enormous amount of detail and as you play, you are able to see the vehicles that have taken damage. Developer Incognito even has thrown in some weather effects and awesome explosions to round off the visual experience. Since this is only a First Generation PSP game and I am already this impressed, I can't wait to see what these same developers can do with this hardware a year or two from now.

Once you load up Head-On, fans of the series will feel right at home. That said, even those of you who haven't ever played Twisted Metal in the past will be able to jump right in and enjoy the action. Players will select from over 15 vehicles and attempt to blow up their opponents while staying alive. You will have several different types of weapons to destroy the opposition with. These include bombs, mines, missiles, machine guns, etc. Each vehicle has its own unique special attack move and handles completely different than the other drivers. While your vehicle may be armed with a variety of different weapons, you will have to keep a close watch on the radar for your opponents. It is important to also get to know each of the maps in the game because they hold many secret areas and it can help you gain a leg up on the competition.

The big feature I love in Twisted Metal: Head-On is the multiplayer option. Here you can play with up to six players over the Internet in battles to the death. In addition, you can play with other users in the nearby area. At the time of this article, not many PSP units were available so finding an online game was a bit tough. However, the few matches we did play online were fast and furious. It is very exciting to see a game like this run as well as it does online and it makes me absolutely giddy when I think of how much fun future PSP games will be online.

Besides the Multiplayer Mode, you will also find a Story Mode, Challenge Mode, and Endurance Mode. No matter what mode you are in, you will need to destroy the competition. For me, the most fun here is still the Multiplayer Mode but it can still be rewarding to fans of the series to play through the Story Mode and learn more about each of the characters in the game.

If you find yourself needing to quickly stop the action, you can save your game in-between each level. This is something that was not possible on the larger-screened home consoles but is a feature that is nice to have on a handheld gaming system.

While Twisted Metal: Head-On is not my favorite of the launch titles, it is still an excellent game. Fans of the series will definitely want to check it out and those of you eager for some fast-paced action will find a lot to like here--especially if you plan on playing online. The only negative things I can say about Head-On is that there is some slight slowdown and it is still basically the same game you played before on the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. But when a game is this much fun is that necessarily a bad thing?

By Kaleb Rutherford - 03/23/05
ESRB Details: Drug Reference, Violence

Screenshots for Twisted Metal: Head-On

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