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Monster Truck Madness

Nintendo 64

Price: $13.99

Available in stores:

Council Bluffs - Council Bluffs, IA
Seneca - Wichita, KS

Standard Shipping: $4.00 (Free on orders of $50 or more)


n64Review Playing Monster Truck Madness 64 is like driving a lemon: You really want to get somewhere with it, but something's sure to break down along the way. After checking under this game's hood, it's easy to pinpoint the problems: frustrating control, questionable gameplay, and subpar graphics and features. Despite some fairly creative extras, this title screams for six more months in the tune-up shop before hitting the streets. Monster Truck Madness is essentially an arcade off-road racing game. However, instead of rally cars, the game employs 20 huge trucks with balloon tires. The trucks compete on fictional tracks littered with weapons to pick up, such as oil slicks and missiles. Placing first on a track unlocks additional tracks (up to ten total, depending on the difficulty level). The tracks are designed with plenty of jumps and hills, which makes for some fairly rough-and-tumble racing. At least, that's what you would expect - until you pick up the controller. For those who've enjoyed off-road arcade racers such as Sega Rally Championship, this game hardly measures up to those standards. A key factor in off-road games is the ability to powerslide: After braking into a turn to point sideways, you can feather the acceleration button to keep your speed as you slide through. One would figure that with heavier trucks and bigger tires, this would be possible to some extent. Sadly, the game's control can't mimic that "feel" accurately. When you brake into a turn to initiate a powerslide, the truck stops abruptly rather than sliding in the mud - it won't carry your momentum. However, if you merely try to turn early and feather the acceleration through a turn, the truck becomes an ice skate and you overshoot the turn. The physics between the two scenarios don't match up - stop on mud one way, but slide the other - which makes powersliding difficult. Instead, you wind up driving slowly through turns, which lets computer trucks catch up. Compounding that control problem is questionable gameplay. When trucks jostle for position, it's easy to get caught sideways. That's the kiss of death, because a broadside collision can send you literally flying off the track. However, the same doesn't apply to computer trucks: They merely block you from moving ahead. In addition, when collisions cause your truck to tip over, the animation occurs in excruciatingly slow motion, which gives extra time for computer trucks to rush ahead. The same goes if you run down a slope, as the truck tips over at the same slow-motion speed whether you hit it at five or 50 miles per hour. The game doesn't even have the decency to face you forward again after a flip - you have to do it yourself. Plus, the computer seems to relish nudging you into obstacles that stop trucks dead in their tracks, such as pillars or checkpoints, which can easily knock you out of contention. Presumably, the power-ups are the key to even the odds stacked against you. Problem is, half the power-ups help opponents more than they hurt them. Turbos and superjump power-ups often send you off track or force you to flip over. A force-field power-up, intended to knock players off track, often sends them flying ahead of you rather than off to the side. Since you must race flawlessly to finish first (at the normal difficulty), one mistake means you're better off restarting the race than trying to finish - that gets lame very quickly. Graphically, the game sports first-generation textures and graphics, which look drab and plain by today's standards - at least the game adds nice touches when it comes to weather effects, such as fog or snow. What hurts the game's looks more than the graphics is the game's speed. The speedometer may read 100-plus miles per hour, but the trucks move as if grannies are behind the wheels, so there's no "rush" because the trucks seem to move so slow. As for the sound, a grating announcer serves up inane, smart-ass comments that make you glad he can be turned off - a

Product Details


UPC Number: 71042524027

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