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Monster Madness: Grave Danger - hands-on

When it first came to Xbox Live Arcade, Monster Madness received a modestly positive response, but many felt it had some real problems. A difficult camera, poor aiming, and nearly identical characters were just a few of the most common complaints. Now Monster Madness is gearing up for another go on the PS3 with the subtitle Grave Danger. Since it is no longer a downloadable title, the game is going to have to bring a lot more with it than just the simple fun of running around and killing zombies. Fortunately, that's what developer, SouthPeak Interactive plans on doing.

First of all, GD does include a slightly enhanced main game, which still stars the four teenage stereotypes running around, decapitating zombies, aliens, and dead Native Americans. But some work has been done on the camera and it now feels easier to keep track of your character. Also, each of the four main teens can now purchase character specific equipment, which enhances their stats, such as a chemistry kit for the nerd, or a teddy bear for the popular girl.

On top of the tweaks to the core story mode and adding co-op support for both online and local play, the devs also added 25 new challenges. These minigames may add to the game’s longevity. We only played two of them, but they were fun in their own way.

The first was UFO Shooter, a top down, vertically scrolling game that played like the twin stick shooters that are currently in vogue (Geometry Wars and its progeny). It was interesting and lasted a while. In fact, in one play through, we lost before seeing the end after going pretty far. The other new challenge we got to sample was Zombie Cats, which was pretty short comparatively. The point is to roast as many (zombie) cats as you can with a flamethrower in 30 seconds. It was shallow, but undeniably fun in its simplicity.

If the other 23 challenges wind up being as short but sweet as those two, Grave Danger may have something to offer that’ll be worth your while. But we still wonder if the new challenges and tweaks justify the cost of a whole new game, even at its value price. PS3 owners can find out in late May of this year, when this zombie infested game lumbers over to a mall near you.

Apr 24, 2008

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