Have you ever had a game that you bought and played a few times, and just couldn't get anywhere with it and didn't like it. But then, a long time after, sometimes years later, you pick it back up, and end up loving it?
It's actually happened to me a lot of times. And it just happened again. Except this time, it was probably the longest time span. I bought Twisted Metal Black about 5 years ago, give or take. Although I had been slowly collecting games for several years before then, this is when I was really starting to consider myself a PS2 collector. As such, I gravitated toward the more heavily hyped games first.
Twisted Metal Black got a 9.5 at Gamespot, and that was when they didn't round up scores to the nearest .5. It also had a huge following on the internet, with people saying it was one of the best PS2 games you can get your hands on. Naturally, hearing all that, I went out and bought it.
I don't know what it was. The controls seemed weird to me. Using the left analog stick for steering while using the right analog stick for the throttle/reverse, it was a little too much of a departure from other driving games I had played. Also, the difficulty of the game put me off. It's a very hard game. Other than Twisted Metal Black, the only two vehicular combat games I've played were Vigilante 8 and WWE Crush Hour, both of which I find much more forgiving than Twisted Metal Black.
So I put it on my shelf, and that's where it sat. For, like I said, about 5 years. I tried it a few more times, but ultimately I still couldn't get into it. Twisted Metal Black became an example I used when thinking about giving in to hype. It got to the point where I thought the game would sit on my shelf forever.
As a PS2 collector, I never get rid of any games. I never sell them, trade them, or anything. Usually, after I beat a game, I go back through my library and try to find games that I've given up on in the past and pop them back in, just to see if my feelings on the game would change.
As I said in my last blog, I beat Ratchet: Deadlocked a few nights ago. So, I had a list of about 5 games that have sat on my shelf for a while, that I planned to play again today. But, in the end, I was only able to play one of them. Because the first game I tried out, ended up spinning in my PS2 for the entire rest of the day. It was Twisted Metal Black.
I don't know what was my problem with the controls before. The controls in Twisted Metal Black, while a bit strange at first, are just, genius. It makes it so that you never need to move the position of your fingers. That allows you to focus every second on the action. After a while, I didn't even think about the controller. It just became natural.
I still find it to be a hard game. However, it's not as hard as I once thought it was. That's probably because I'm constantly refining my skills as a gamer. Games that once struck me as impossible aren't as difficult to me now.
It's a long more strategic than other games in its genre. If you just try to use brute force, you'll get killed very quickly. You need to fully exploit the weapons in the level and the health power-ups, and have good timing in order to win.
The battles are very long and drawn out. That's because you have to kill either 7 or 8 enemies depending on the level. They can take a lot of damage, and since the levels are huge, it can take a while just to find enemies sometimes.
As great as the gameplay is, it's the atmosphere of the game that makes it amazing. It has this dark, brutal atmosphere that's just crazy. I would argue that Twisted Metal Black is the most mature game on the PS2. Even though games like Grand Theft Auto have more graphic violence, it's all wrapped up in this sense of humor that ultimately makes it less brutal.
Twisted Metal on the other hand, has no sense of humor. It's just, insanity. I see this game legitimately giving kids nightmares. Even though it's not really a horror game per se, I'd say Twisted Metal Black has given more kids nightmares than any survival horror game you can find.
Also, for Coulrophobics, Sweet Tooth is your worst nightmare. Heh.
I'd say my favorite character to play is Mr. Grimm, because his speed makes the game very exciting. Story-wise, my favorite would probably be Junkyard Dog.
Anyway, enough rambling. Basically, I played the game all day. I never thought I'd ever get into this game, but I think it will end up being one of my favorite PS2 games of all time.
I wasn't expecting to fall in love today. It just kind of happened...