Top Critic Average
I had a blast playing, both single player and multiplayer. If you're looking for an unconventional racer/combat game, you could do way worse than this, especially for the price it goes for.
Cel Damage HD is a decent game, but one for fans of the original only, it is unlikely to bring new fans, nor change the minds of those who may not have enjoyed it way back when. For a HD remake it is slap bang in the middle of a lazy upgrade and an excellent one and at the end of the day will always feel like a missed opportunity. But for fans there is fun to bed had.
Remakes of games are tough to score. Without major changes, a remake of a mediocre game is only going to score so well. The source material being what it is, Finish Line has done well.
The days of Twisted Metal are long gone (even with the reboot), but vehicular combat still holds a special place in my heart. Even though Cel Damage HD doesn't excel in any particular area, it has its fair share of fun moments. The lack of content and limited attempts at personality hinder those moments, but at the end of the day Cel Damage HD is a solid update of a mostly forgotten 13-year-old game.
Cel Damage HD isn't going to rocket to the top of the eShop charts and become the kind of unit-selling monster that publishers only dream of, but that doesn't mean it should be passed up if you're a brand new player. As a local multiplayer affair, its vehicular combat is bombastic and silly in a way that makes for countless rewarding matches. It's still too easy to unlock every new weapon and arena in a couple of hours, but with full support for four-player multiplayer, this cartoonish caper finally gets the handheld iteration it deserved all along.
Cel Damage HD is not going to blow anyone away, but it is a solid weekend romp. It has aged well over the past decade, and for anyone who has never played it, it is a nice change of pace. Still, without online and a severe lack of modes the fun wears thin quickly. This is one to wait for a sale to snatch up. [OpenCritic note: Ken McKown separately reviewed the XB1 (6) and PS4 (6) versions.]
There's a small shimmer of something fun and interesting under the 13 years of rust that coats Cel Damage HD. While certain areas show potential, others show the age of the game. If you're itching for local multiplayer car combat, Cel Damage HD may whet your appetite. This isn't a game that I absolutely don't want to play at all, but it's not going to be anywhere close to the top of the list of things I decide to pull out and play, especially given the massive selection out there. Cel Damage HD is like re releasing a mediocre car from a decade ago and only giving it a fresh coat of paint. Without any significantly new content added to this year's model, consider this a 13 year late mixed review of the original.
Cel Damage has a great core concept that would be great to see explored further, but that glorious promise just makes it more of a shame that Finish Line Games for whatever reason couldn't take it to that next step. As it is, Cel Damage is a hard sell to those without a strong core group of people to play locally.
In conclusion, if you have three friends who come to your house to play games, or a number of siblings, then Cel Damage HD is a fun game, whose shortcomings can be overlooked. However, for the single player, this is sadly a game where the frustrations outweigh the good points. There is fun to be had for sure, and the achievements are easy to pick up, but ultimately this is a game that despite the graphical overhaul is showing its age and just isn't as good as the premise would lead you to believe.
Finish Line Games has attempted to inject some colour into the car combat genre with Cel Damage HD, and there is some reasonably entertaining action on display here. Sadly, while the cartoony visuals and creative power-ups are a highlight, the lack of replay value will soon put an end to your enjoyment. This is fun for an evening if you've got some buddies nearby, but without an online option and with a pretty tiring cast, you'll quickly tire of this comic book clash.
Cel Damage HD is too basic, limited and generally frustrating to recommend. It looks relatively nice in HD, but its gameplay will only appeal to those with nostalgia for its original version.