Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction
System: Playstation 2
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: Inland Productions
Released: June 2002
Capabilities: Memory Card, Vibration Function
Review Written: June 30, 2002
When I first heard the name of this game, I thought of a crappy cartoon show when I was a little kid. All memories aside, Monster Jam is just like Twisted Metal, but with Monster Trucks. I like the concept of this game. I hope its better then the crappy Monster Truck Rally on the NES or Monster Truck Madness on the N64. Lets get going to see if this game is more than just romping over cars.
The vehicle designs are well done, complete with all the designs we remember from such favorites as Grave Digger, and Wolverine. The levels look great too. You race in a wide range of environments such as a Roman Coliseum, and a larva pit. The game does a great job at detailing all your surroundings, and even make them interactive. All the animations are well done, with the huge trucks moving at their appropriate speeds. I didnt run into any slowdown in the game, and it appears the game runs at a slick 60 frames per second. The loading times are fast for all menus and games, with the longest loading times only being six or seven seconds long. The menu interface is simple, and youll be able to hop right into a game in no time. If there is only one drawback about the visuals, it is I get a strange sensation that Im playing a game on the old Playstation. Dont get me wrong, these graphics are PS2 calabur, but some strange sense tells me otherwise. I think youll get the same feeling too.
Theres a slight heavy metal tune thats in the background, but youll barely notice it with all the action going on. All the sound effects are what you expect them to be. All the engine revs and crashes sound like they do at an actual Monster Truck event. An announcer chimes in when youre about to destroy a rival truck, and at other random moments. Constant running lines of commentary wouldve been appreciated more. All together, the audio in the game is a decent effort, but couldve been much better.
The controls are a piece of cake to learn. X and Triangle operate as accelerate and reverse, respectively. Other functions are camera angle changes, and firing your weapon, and that about wraps it up. The game has this cool Monster Jam feature, where during game play, youll slowly raise this meter. Once it is filled up, your truck is dang near invincible for the next minute. Certain button combinations do moves to aid you in combat such as wheelies, spins, and jumps. Monster Jam controls much like Twisted Metal, but with Monster Trucks. Several machines are placed in an arena, and duke it out until the last man standing wins. To add more to this concept, you can interact with the environments by running through a wall into a new area of the stage. You can also gain power ups in the form of weapons to fire at opponents. This is a fresh take on the Monster Truck genre instead of the same old romp over cars approach.
Monster Jam has plenty of modes of play available to you. The main mode is Season play. After placing well after each duel, you get award money to upgrade parts on your truck, and get groups to sponsor your truck. You can play more seasons, and keep all your winnings, and unlock more hidden trucks by doing so. There are a few ways to play season mode. There is the standard death match. Next, is Cash Grab, where you gather as many power ups as you can. Finally, theres points play, where you get points by ruining the environment you race in. You can apply these special rules in multi player as well. If you get tired of all that, the game has several mini-games at your hands. They come in the form of racing, trick attacks, and battle royals. All of them are a blast to play. The one thing I didnt understand in the whole game engine is the name of the final opponent in Season mode. Its the witty named, The Boss Truck. Yeah, real clever Inland, you must of took hours to come up with that one.
Once you bore yourself to death with the single player modes, you can try most of the modes out with a friend in multi player mode. Too bad the game couldnt be four players, this wouldve made a great party game. Oh well, I always struggle getting that damn multi player adaptor to work properly. The mini games and season mode keep the lonely gamer attached to this game a bit longer. Youll also be sure to keep playing season until you unlock all the hidden trucks in the game.
+: Fresh concept to the Monster Truck genre, All the actual licensed trucks, extra mini-games
-: Graphics have a Playstation feel to them, Announcer couldve been much better, no four player options
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.3
Replay Value: 7.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7
This is a fresh concept to the world of Monster Trucks. A lot better than the old titles I mentioned. Some things need some retooling, but it appears a sequel is on the way. For die hard Monster Truck fans, this game is a must buy, but if you have to get a vehicle combat game on the PS2, I suggest Twisted Metal: Black, instead.
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