Twisted Metal (PS3)
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    Twisted Metal was released today on the PS3 and, after a bit of play, figured i would speak a bit about it.

    It's been 11 years since we last had seen Sweettooth, Babydoll and company on a game system in a new game and it has been worth the wait! The main single player takes you through the story of three characters (Sweettooth, Babydoll and Mr. Grimm), each trying to win Calypso's prize of their greatest wish granted. The game includes some suitably cheesy live action cutscenes (think Grindhouse and Machete and you have a pretty good idea) that tell some extra backstory.

    Each character has 8 stages to them with a mix of deathmatches against multiple opponents and some boss battles.In a change from past games, characters are not tied to a particular vehicle. Want to have Grimm riding in Axel's twin wheels? Done! Each vehicle has their own special weapon along with an alternate fire version that regenerates over time- the more powerful the weapon, the longer it takes to build up after it runs out. Of course, there are a number of other weapon power ups to collect such as homing missiles, exploding RC cars, swarmer missiles, napalm,etc.- quite a few to choose from. You also get some extra bits of offense/ defense with some toys mapped to the D-Pad. Up fires an EMP blast that can home in and freeze an opponent for a short time- great for setting up for that big hit. Right gives you a shield that will protect you for a few seconds and left lets you drop mines. This isn't unlimited, though- there is a power gauge for this that has to regenerate if you run out as well.

    More emphasis has been put into multiplayer with several modes to be had. Besides the usual death match and team death match there is Hunted (first to score a kill becomes "the hunted", you earn points while taking players out as this but the others will come for you to get the title and be able to score), Last man Standing (self explanatory I'd think) and Nuke (capture the other team's boss to sacrifice to a nuclear missile launcher targeting a large avatar of the opposing team's leader, first to destroy the avatar wins).

    Another first in the series is air vehicles. A heicopter named Talon is available. While this may seem unfair this is balanced out as the talon can easily be targeted by an EMP blast to bring it down to the ground. Also, a sniper can (with enough patience and time) take it out with one shot by targeting the driver. Each vehicle has its own rankings in terms of speed, armor, control and turbo boost. You'll find some rigs like Sweettooth's ice cream truck is a pig to steer but, with time, can be very dangerous in battle.

    In a nice bonus, the first run of the game also includes a download code for the PS2 entry of the series (Twisted Metal: Black). Overall, I'm finding this to be a great game that should be checked out by all!

    As you may have guessed, I'm digging the game. Let's hear your thoughts!