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Twisted Metal: An Example Of Paying Homage To Fans

No, it isn't perfect. But Twisted Metal is a perfect example. It's an example of how to pay tribute to a loyal fanbase, and how to please those fans without making a lot of unnecessary and irksome changes.

While many say the graphics could've or should've been better, and it's true that I still can't find a control setup I'm 100% happy with, the fact remains: this is Twisted Metal, through and through. Even though they altered one major element - characters aren't tied to specific vehicles now - the game still manages to retain every last shred of atmosphere, style, and dark, gritty theme that made previous entries so brutally...singular.

Normally, this wouldn't be a surprising occurrence. It wasn't surprising at all in the last generation. But this generation, so many developers (most all of them Japanese, but that's another subject) have decided to change winning formulas to garner new followers. There's an inherent critical flaw in this philosophy, however: you're not supposed to change what makes a product great; you're only supposed to improve upon it. Too many designers haven't understood this concept, or maybe they just didn't know where the line was between "fundamental alteration" and "upgrade."

Twisted Metal isn't supposed to be anything but Twisted Metal. Of course, the fans are allowed to - and in fact, should - expect upgrades and enhancements with each successive iteration, but they're fans for a reason. If they wanted completely different gameplay, they wouldn't be fans of this particular game, now would they? Making a product better keeps the old fans while simultaneously appealing to potential future fans. Changing the product entirely alienates all the followers you worked so hard to earn, and apparently on the off chance that you'll be able to claim a completely different group of followers. That, I guess, is the idea.

It just makes zero sense. But leave it up to David Jaffe and Co. to understand that a series should remain within itself. It should get better, and improvements can always be made, but it should never try to be something it isn't. Not only is that counterproductive, it's annoying. There. Just wanted to say this. And if you're a TM fan, buy Twisted Metal. It's what you've always loved.

Tags: twisted metal, eat sleep play, david jaffe, twisted metal reboot

2/16/2012 9:06:36 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (22 posts)

Jed
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 9:45:51 PM
Reply

This is very good to hear. I love TM and have since I played the first. I would be playing the crap out of it right now, but my wallet has sustained massive damage due to the Vita's launch. Hopefully gamefly will deliver soon.

Agree with this comment 12 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

playaplus
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:14:53 PM
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all im going to say...the game is fu**ing great

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fatelementality
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:16:10 PM
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I will say that I'm not a huge fan of the races and 'cage' matches. Also, it seems that the story was cut down to 3 people. I wish I had done more research before I went and purchased the game. I don't really do online multiplayer as my connection isn't that great and I've heard that TM's servers are having issues as well. I feel like I've been made a promise that wasn't fully delivered upon (except gameplay). You're right Ben, there is room for improvement in the future. Might have waited for it to drop to 30 before I purchased it had I read some reviews first. Don't get me wrong, it is Twisted Metal, maybe just not 60 bucks Twisted Metal :(

Last edited by fatelementality on 2/16/2012 10:20:33 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Geobaldi
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:25:27 PM

The story mode, or lack thereof, is the primary reason I haven't bought the game. I've always loved the TM series, but this one isn't a full TM game in my eyes.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:43:49 PM
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I'mma be down.. I'mma be down... down with the clown till I'm dead in the ground.

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Geobaldi
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 10:49:19 PM

ICP rules.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 11:49:11 PM

That's right

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Qubex
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 11:10:34 PM
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Yip, as long as that fandom buys enough of the game so they can make money from it. Surely this production will not turn out to be a loss leader. I will be keen to see the sales figures from this title...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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killerbee12
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 11:28:32 PM
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Who THE HELL IS JOHN SHEPARD?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, February 16, 2012 @ 11:48:56 PM

The guy from Mass Effect

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:24:37 AM

That's true.

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 6:02:59 PM

i thought he was from heavy rain xD

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Xombito
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 1:15:18 AM
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I'm in the camp that I feel TM was always a multiplayer game. My best gaming memories are playing the first two with my buddies. When Black first came out and prospect of console online gaming was approaching I always thought Black would make a good entry for online. Then it did but never got the chance to play it. The new TM is just a blast to play online. I seriously think its about the most fun multiplayer game out there right now. This was intended as a multiplayer only downloadable title. So the shortcomings in single play doesn't surprise me. And Yeah it's got some connection issues at the moment but you'll still be able to get into a match before long.

Last edited by Xombito on 2/17/2012 1:16:18 AM

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Xombito
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 1:21:13 AM

Good crowd playing it so far from my experiences I just wanted to add.

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___________
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 2:36:33 AM
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exactly why i love the game!
a true homage to the old days, reminds me so much of splatterhouse.
ah great now you made me wanna go play splatterhouse!

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Twistedfloyd
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 3:11:07 AM
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As with the review, I agree, Ben. They didn't change the core gameplay, and what they did change only improved the game for the most part. While I wish some vehicles didn't share specials and that the lightly armored car's specials were stronger (minus Reaper), the game itself is still Twisted Metal, and it's incredible.

Just finished Tooth's story. What could have been really good was just meh. The story itself was good, just didn't like the execution.

The SP gameplay was really good, but the bosses, while well designed weren't too hard for me.

So overall I like the SP, but love the MP. Which I think was the intention. Just wish the game had gotten the love all the way around like Black did. That was the pinnacle of the series.

Oh well, can't complain too much. As a die hard fan, it's amazing to have a new console Twisted Metal by the original crew, and it's a great game to boot.

And they didn't sell out. Didn't do load outs or super kill streaks that went against what previous iterations were all about (I'm looking at you, Uncharted 3), stay true to the level design and what the game is all about.

Kudos to ESP, Jaffe, Santa Monica Studio and of course, Sony for staying true to the roots of what makes this series great.



Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

dmiitrie
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 3:19:25 AM
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For whatever reason, I was never able to get into Twisted Metal, but I have to applaud Jaffe for putting fans of the series first and giving them a game that they can truly appreciate.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 6:25:34 AM
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Lets hope it gets decent sales - like one million - to prove to the dev community that staying to true to a franchises roots is a (finacially) viable option.

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jimmyhandsome
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 8:42:31 AM
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Twisted Metal 2 was my go to on PSX. I'm glad to hear that the PS3 version kept true to the winning formula. I missed out on playing the demo a few weeks ago, but I'm probably going to pick this up sometime in the near future.

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Dustinwp
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 10:00:00 AM
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Great piece! Couldn't agree more. Take note Yoichi Wada & company.

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TheCanadianGuy
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 5:41:12 PM
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someone email this to capcom with subject line "Resident Evil 6"

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kokoro
Friday, February 17, 2012 @ 8:16:59 PM
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Japanese game development is done for.

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