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Monster Madness - updated impressions

In addition to the multiplayer Adventure mode, there is plenty of competitive Versus action available here. Maps allow up to sixteen players over Xbox Live, with playable characters including the four protagonists - Nerdy guy, Goth girl, Skater dude, Posh chick - as well as a bevy of unlockable monsters. Unlockable content also includes different character outfits and more powerful weapons, and is doled out, along with Achievements, based on your in-game performance (level completion time, monsters killed, etc.).

The aforementioned items are integral to one of the Monster Madness' more appealing elements. By collecting different combinations of sundries - duct tape, fan blades, bolts - and taking them to a burly mechanic named Larry, you can end up with a staggering array of improvised anti-zombie firepower. These weapons are clever and upgradeable - a CD launcher can increase its ammo capacity by implementing a 6-disc changer in place of a single CD tray. We often resorted to searching a level for a few extra bits and pieces in order to meet Larry's requirements. Replayability, thy name is pipe shotgun.



Maps mimic to same madness as the Adventure mode and incorporate most of the weapons and power-ups you can find therein. Monster amulets temporarily transform you into werewolves, vampires, zombies and the like, and grant you special powers, like the ability to summon your fellow zombies to fight alongside you. There are vehicles available as well, like the UFO, the souped-up go-kart, or the swan boat. All fear the nautical avian transport!

Thus far, Monster Madness is frantic and enjoyable. Running around waxing demons with a friend or three is a good time, and the item system adds an entertaining extra facet. The characters regular exclamations ("Sushi!") might get a bit old after a while, and the game sometimes toes the line between "good frantic" and "too frantic," but there is definitely a bunch of fun to be had here. We're looking forward to playing the final version of the game and seeing how it all comes together. Keep your attentions here for more Monster Madness content in the future, and remember to keep some extra kite string on hand. Just in case.

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