Regardless of our own personal feelings about the proper use of monster trucks, Bold Games has conjured up Monster Trux: Offroad for Wii - a straightforward racer that contains about as much quality content as its moniker has class and respectability - that is, not much at all. Its rough-and-tumble racing experience might at first be likened to Nintendo's own Excite Truck, but with few opportunities for air, it's mostly just a low-key four-wheel racer.
Four whole courses (with night and reverse variations) are available for your perusal and the bland mountain/volcano/island settings offer little in the way of racing variety. Your race options are limited to single races, time trials, and a trio of four-race championship cups. While multiple speed and difficulty levels are available, the gameplay is too loose and unwieldy to really be enjoyable at the highest levels.
Oddly, the sloppy motion steering mechanics and occasionally bizarre physics make decent sense in Monster Trux, where spinning out and oversteering can simply be attributed to a high center of gravity. That doesn't make it right - or even much fun - but it makes shrugging off the game's sloppiness easier than it would be if these were meant to be go-karts or high performance speedsters, especially during split-screen play with a pal. Except for driving through walls - that never stops being lame.
The visual/audio presentation rarely transcends laughability. Ever seen a two-dimensional mid-air explosion in a 3D racer? It's really a sight to behold! Jagged environments, consistently poor texture work, and a way-too-close behind-the-truck viewpoint don't improve the situation, while the corny audio loops and sound effects were merely swiped from the publisher's other releases. No corners cut here!
We're still tempted to say that Monster Trux: Offroad is more than the sum of its parts, as it retains a base level of playability that is so often lacking from similar titles, but that's only because its myriad parts range from poor to horrifying in nature. Need we really say more?
Feb 19, 2008