Twisted Metal is Sony’s longest-running PlayStation video game franchise and has spanned over 8 games and 4 PlayStation consoles (PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3). 5 if you count the PlayStation 4 and 5 versions of Twisted Metal: Black and the recently released PS Plus versions of Twisted Metal 1 and 2! Each and every step of the way Twisted Metal was joined by the iconic killer clown, Needles Kane. AKA Sweet Tooth.
Twisted Metal has evolved, changed, and taken on many different forms, from being a semi-grounded car combat title in Twisted Metal 1 to becoming a silly caricature of itself in Twisted Metal 3 and 4 before moving into darker waters with the brooding horror fest of Twisted Metal: Black then followed by the playful and charming Small Brawl until finally settled on a combination of everything with Twisted Metal: Head On and the 2012 reboot, but through every iteration of this weird and wacky series, Sweet Tooth was evolving and changing right along with it.
Sweet Tooth is one of three characters that has appeared in every release of Twisted Metal alongside Warthog and Grimm. Unlike those two, however, Mr. Tooth is the only one to be featured on the cover of every game. Without a doubt, he’s the face of the franchise and remains the most significant contribution to gaming and pop culture that Twisted Metal has ever spawned.
To this day, if you bring up Twisted Metal to someone who is only vaguely aware of what it is, more often than not they’ll ask “is that the game with the ice cream truck clown?” They may not have any concept of any other aspect of Twisted Metal, but good golly do they have this weirdo etched into their brain.
So what I want to do today is take a look at Sweet Tooth and how he and his ice cream truck have adapted over the course of every Twisted Metal game.
Starting with Twisted Metal 1 all the way through to the 2012 reboot, I’ll play each version of Sweet Tooth and see how far I can get before I game over, all the while doing my best to break down his place in this franchise and how he has evolved through each game. It’ll be exciting to see how the concept of Sweet Tooth expresses itself across all the games, because I think his character and vehicle represents each game it appears in perfectly. As goes Sweet Tooth, so goes the rest of Twisted Metal. And vice verse or whatever.
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