Car-on-car violence didn’t begin with this PlayStation launch title, but it sure as hell rocketed to new levels of popularity after thousands of gamers led explosive auto-assaults through domed arenas, suburban sprawls and even across dizzying LA rooftops. Whereas Mario Kart allowed some kindergarten laughs with banana peels and turtle shells, Twisted Metal ignored racing altogether and pitted you against up to eight cars and trucks loaded with military-grade weaponry. One wish will be granted to the victor, all you have to do is level most of the planet.
Above: And boy it still looks great
Granted the visuals are super-early PlayStation, so they’re bound to be rough. But you can actually watch the textures warp and distort as you drive, or even see them split and tear while taking a slow 90 degree turn. It’s sloppy, ugly and not at all a good way to wean new players into the once-proud world of Twisted Metal. The last time this series mattered was 2001’s Twisted Metal Black, which is still sitting a right pretty 91/100 Metacritic average. It’s clear there’s a strong idea here, and since 2001 online multiplayer has become a standard, even demanded feature in just about every major release. This series, redone in HD with killer online options, would undoubtedly become a huge hit.
Above: Just maybe lose the live actors next time
As with Twin Snakes, we’d like to see the original Twisted Metal return with the same cast and levels, but with all the tweaks that made part two the superior game. The Street Fighter-esque button combos for ice beams and hydraulic leaps made Metal 2 a faster, wrist-breakingly intense sequel. Rather than start with the second game and likely confuse newcomers (“What’s Twisted Metal 2? Where’s the first one?”), just fix up this old clunker and parade it around as a PSN exclusive while we wait for Jaffe’s inevitable PS3 debut.
A long time ago, in this very galaxy, PC gamers and Star Wars fans had an excellent reason to keep their flight stick plugged in at all times. Star Wars: X-Wing, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, and all the expansions that followed represented the first and last time gamers got a real taste of what it felt like to be an ace pilot in the Star Wars universe. The controls were amazing and fit perfectly with a keyboard and flight stick setup. With a few key taps, you could quickly reconfigure your engine’s power on the fly to focus on regenerating shields, increase laser power or boost your speed.
Above: You can almost tell what’s happening
If you haven’t led an assault on an Imperial capital ship or defended a convoy of Calamari Cruisers from waves of TIE Bombers, you haven’t truly lived. For us, flight games just haven’t been the same since the salad days of this classic series.
Above: 10 minutes of ugly-ass bliss
Unfortunately, the game’s jaggy polygons, crude MIDI soundtrack and hand drawn HUD have seen better days. That’s why we think an HD facelift is just what this title needs. At its core, the game’s still perfect. But with a visual and audio makeover, LucasArts could easily reintroduce this thrilling experience to a new generation of fans who grew up with the console Rogue Leader series, and missed out on X-Wing’s original DOS debut.