reviews\ Apr 29, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Monster Jam Maximum Destruction - GBA - Review

Monster Jam is all about motorized mayhem! Run over cars, collect power-ups to take out opponents, find coins and grab flags to be the last truck still running and win the game. Make sure you find the wrenches scattered about to make any repairs you need, and watch out for the other trucks, they're gunning for you!

There are basically two modes of play, arcade and championship. Arcade is a quickie game in one unlocked arena; championship mode involves longer term goals of winning the divisions. The gameplay is the same, though, which primarily involves keeping the power meter up, minimizing the damage done, while at the same time taking out the other three trucks. The championship circuit is the meat of the game, with cool accessories to add to the truck which will enhance the truck's endurance and speed.

While there are lots of trucks with different stats to choose from as they become unlocked, the differences are minute and most of the trucks look the same in the arenas. The graphics, while adequate, are dark and bland, making it hard to discern objects on the GBA's dark screen even with a light.

The controls take a little while getting used to, as the acceleration button is separate from the control pad. Many times the truck just spins around in circles if you keep your finger too long on one directional control. Also, the "L" button is for power ups, which can be a little tricky using while accelerating at the same time. However, players can practice in the easy mode until they get the hang of the control system. Once the controls are mastered, winning the game doesn't take very long.

While this is a fun, innocently destructive game which will amuse for short periods of time, the longevity is in question. There are only eight arenas, and the championship mode will only take a few hours to complete for most players. There is no multiplayer support, which is another drawback in this type of game. A big plus is all the neat stuff that will upgrade the trucks, but this will not lengthen the game any, which the addition of multiplayer support would have done.

Gameplay: 6.8
Fun but simple gameplay. Nothing overly involved, best for short diversions.

Graphics: 5.5 
The objects are hard to see against the backgrounds, and the colors are bland throughout.

Sound: 6
The music is upbeat and catchy, and matches the game's theme pretty well.

Difficulty: Easy
While the controls may throw some people at first, the gameplay itself isn't very hard, especially once the controls are mastered.

Concept: 6.5 
Monster trucks are great to smash things up with!

Overall: 6.7
While destroying and smashing things in a non-bloody way is always fun to do, this game doesn't offer much to keep players' attention in the long run. Since there are four trucks in play, not having multiplayer support is hard to understand, and is really a minus to the game. A good diversion for a few hours in the airport or the car, but nothing to keep people coming back.

Above Average

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