Monster 4×4: Masters of Metal Review

Developer: Ubisoft Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: November 25, 2003 Available On: GCN and PS2

Monster trucks never appealed to me. Being in the “rust belt� as I guess you would call it, Indiana really doesn’t have the “hillbilly� default that it is made out to be. Actually, I don’t know any farmers or any hillbilly’s, but I know one thing, monster truck gaming is fun no matter what your economic, educational, or racial background is. The concept is simple enough, drive around a course or an open field, trying to get the best time possible. In exhibition levels, they give you a break from racing; this is where you will perform stunts for a crowd, such as a wheelie or donut.

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In stadium mode, you are placed in a bracket of eight racers. You compete in a stadium against one other racer, in a race consisting of three laps. The winners move on to the next round and of course, the person to win all the rounds, wins the bracket and gets the most points. Points are used as a ranking system, by the way. In off-road races, you have a series of checkpoints. With five other opponents, things can get rough. Tires end up flying all over the place, due to the amount of times that you will crash into trees, buildings, and other trucks. In this mode, there are dollar signs littered throughout the courses, which you can pick up and get cash rewards.

The controls are simple to learn and the truck is fairly undemanding to maneuver. X is used to accelerate, square is used to brake and reverse, circle is turbo, and the truck is controlled with the left analog stick. The only minor problem here is, your truck seems to tilt to the right too much; it should be balanced. The main part of Monster 4×4 that sets it apart from other racers is the special abilities that each vehicle possesses. Special moves include spike tires for ice, a shield, nitro boost, and a jumping ability. The one thing not to expect is an overly realistic gaming experience, despite the incredible dirt and particle effects.

Monster 4×4 is not a bad game by any means, nor is it great; it is slightly above average. The game can get repetitive after hours of gameplay, and the AI, while competitive in off-road levels, really can’t compete in the stadium levels. For monster truck fans, this might not be the realistic title that you were looking for, but for people who like to take a trip away from the real world, Monster 4×4 is a delight.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 3
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 6.7
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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