Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition Hands-On

This Twisted collector's edition will surely appeal to your rotten sweet tooth.

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"In 2003, work began on Twisted Metal: Harbor City... But on March 13, 2005, six key members of the Harbor City team were killed when their plane crashed following a celebratory skiing trip in Colorado...

On March 13th, 2007, two years to the day of the plane crash, a note arrived at the offices of Sony Computer Entertainment...

The note pleaded with Sony to allow the public to play the last works of the deceased team members. The note was signed with the names of the six deceased team members..."

So begin the lost levels from Twisted Metal: Black 2, found in the upcoming collector's cornucopia, Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition for the Sony PlayStation 2. Maybe the story is true, and maybe it's Scooby-Doo, but either way, it's about time our PlayStation 2s played host to another haunting from Twisted Metal. Boo!

Okay, enough with the rhymes. Here are the details. For 20 bucks this February 5, you'll be able to purchase a port of Twisted Metal: Head On (originally for the PSP) that contains several "lost" levels from Twisted Metal: Black 2; a lengthy and awesome developer documentary featuring the entire history of the Twisted Metal series as told by David Jaffe, Scott Campbell, and other team members; a crazy minigame in which you run through a madhouse as Sweet Tooth while collecting bits of trivia and concept art; as well as all of the live-action endings of the original Twisted Metal (which have never been seen before), and finally, with a little unlocking, you'll be able to discover the identity of the next project from this illustrious team. Will it be Twisted Metal 3 for the PlayStation 3? Only time, and the Internet, will tell.

Oh yeah, did we mention this was all on one disc for 20 dollars? Aside from all of the crazy extras that alone make this game worth buying, the best part of this Extra Twisted package is that, like a haunting ghost-written letter, it reminds you of how awesome Twisted Metal is. Seriously, when was the last time you thought about this series? Do you remember flipping 180-degree turns and firing off perfectly timed rockets into your rivals' windshields? Do you remember freezing enemy cars and then dumping gallon after gallon of napalm on them as if you were God and they were Gomorrah? What about the intricate level designs, with their giant, destructible set pieces and crazy jumps? Do you remember this? How could you have forgotten?

Are you ready, Grasshopper, for this dangerous journey?
Are you ready, Grasshopper, for this dangerous journey?

Let us jog your memory. Twisted Metal: Head On was a short but sweet dose of car carnage for the Sony PSP. Like Twisted Metal: Black before it, this game was one of the most anticipated and celebrated launch games for a Sony system. Not only did it feature the high-octane vehicular manslaughter that the series is famous for, but it was also the first Twisted Metal playable online. When you see Head On running on the PS2, you'll wonder what the heck Sony was thinking in porting this game up; it looks awful. But after just a few minutes of play, you won't simply understand; you'll wonder why they waited this long. Hopefully, the answer is that they're teasing our sweet teeth and priming us for a new Twisted Metal for the PS3.

In the meantime, Head On and the lost Black levels will provide hours of thrilling entertainment. Though the Black levels look much better, we actually favor Head On due to the higher concentrations of weapons in the various stages. Then again, the set pieces and explosions in the Black levels are much more spectacular.

In addition to all that gameplay, which we understand will eventually unlock some awesome secrets, you can also play the Sweet Tooth level. Evidently, there would've been levels in Twisted Metal: Black 2 where you could run around as Sweet Tooth himself, causing who knows what havoc. In Extra Twisted, you'll simply collect pieces of interesting trivia (did you know Twisted Metal 2 was originally planned as a hovercar game?) as well as concept art. This is definitely worth a quick look.

This is why people are afraid of clowns.
This is why people are afraid of clowns.

Then there's the video documentary that really outlines exactly how the series came together (the idea occurred to the developers when they were sitting in LA traffic). This is a surprisingly well-done video feature, and worth watching even if you aren't a diehard Twisted Metal fan. Finally, there are the cut endings. According to the video documentary, Jaffe was an aspiring filmmaker before he became a game developer, and these endings represented his opportunity to fuse the two passions into several sick cinematics. Unfortunately, they were deemed too crude and rude by the dev team in Utah (pansies!), so they were left on the cutting-room floor.

That's a shame, because they're awesomely bad. They're like short Troma films with less oozing puss, more bikinis, and porno-quality acting. They aren't remotely worth the 20 dollar price tag by themselves, but they're some of the best (and worst) bonus material we've ever seen.

So what are you waiting for? Oh, that's right, you're waiting for Twisted Metal: Head On: Extra Twisted Edition to crash into store shelves on February 5.

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