I've been playing this game lately, and I've thought that either the game is really hard, or Brimstone just sucks. :P
Twisted Metal: Black is a terrific game in every respect.
Longtime fans of the Twisted Metal series almost universally cite the second game in the series as their favorite. It picked up where the first game left off and really brought a lot to the series, as well as the genre. After the second game, development of the series was turned over to a different development team, and as a result, TM3 and TM4 were extremely weak games. Twisted Metal: Black gets the series back on track, as development has been given to a team partially composed of the group that worked on the first two games. The resulting game is not only the best in the series, but it also manages to be the best car combat game ever created and one of the best PlayStation 2 games currently available.
Black sticks to the basic premise that has driven the entire series. A mysterious man of the underworld by the name of Calypso has sought out the craziest inmates from a local mental hospital to compete in a car combat tournament called Twisted Metal. Calypso attracts everyone by promising to deliver each individual what he wants the most. For some it's revenge, for others redemption--but each has a desire that Calypso says he can deliver. In all, TMB contains 15 characters, ten playable from the start and five that you have to find to unlock. The roster includes favorites from the series such as Sweet Tooth, Axel, Shadow, Spectre, and Mr. Grimm.
The gameplay and setup are fairly straightforward. Each level consists of a certain number of enemies, usually seven or eight, whom you must defeat to advance to the next stage. Once you do, you're sometimes given a choice between two levels. Successfully clearing all the enemies out of a level requires a lot of skill and, in the later stages, a little luck. You're given only two lives in each level, but you can refill your energy twice, which, if done correctly, amounts to having four lives. Locating key weapons, health, and weapon power-ups, all of which are scattered through out the levels, is essential to winning.
The controls in TMB are set up extremely well. You have several control configurations to choose from, and the default is well thought out. The left analog stick steers your vehicle, while the right controls its speed. The shoulder buttons on top of the controller handle firing and cycling through your weapons. This setup lets you control every aspect of the game without ever lifting a finger to press another button, which is helpful since the game moves at an incredibly fast pace. The controls are incredibly responsive and take a bit of time to get used to, but once you get used to them, they control just as well, if not better, as those in the first Twisted Metal games.
The difficulty balance and the AI of the normal setting in TMB are almost perfect for someone who is looking for a real challenge. The game is neither easy nor impossible, but it does have that perfect blend of having to overcome the failure of completing a level a few times and having to learn from your mistakes. If you've ever played the first two games, you'll have a slight advantage. It takes time to get a feel for the speed and, subsequently, the controls of the game. But once you do, you'll be good until about the fifth or sixth level, which is when the AI gets a bit steeper and a little frustrating. You'll have an easier time getting through the game with certain characters, so the level of difficulty will vary for all depending on which character and style of play you use. Every character has a certain style--for instance, Sweet Tooth and Warthog will come right at you and try to take you out in one ferocious attack, while others will choose to send homing missiles and other projectiles from afar.
I got this game with the new TM. While it hasn't aged perfectly, I prefer the tone of the setting and the story quite a bit more than the new one.
Always looked for this game on the PS2 but never found it. But now I finally have a chance to play it with Twisted Metal for PS3!
This game is awesome! Great vehicle combat game play! Amazing stories; especially Sweetooth's and Preacher's.