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Monster Trucks DS Review - DS

3.5
Gameplay: 3 stars 3
Graphics: 5 stars 5
Audio: 2 stars 2
Multiplayer: 2 stars 2
Innovation: 2 stars 2
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Introduction



I have to admit, I wrote half of this review in a completely scathing tone, and then gave up with sentences in favour of dot points for the rest so as not to "waste my precious words". Then I decided that wasn't exactly fair. Sure, it's always just as much fun to rip on a game as it is to praise a good one - even more so - but after putting in a bit more playtime with Monster Trucks DS, I realised it didn't deserve that. Sure, it's a bad game, but not that truly awful.

In the vein of the recent Snakes On A Plane-induced surge of literal titles for things, Monster Trucks DS presents DS owners unlucky enough to stumble across this game, of all things, monster trucks. Don't get too excited though - it will be a while before you get racing. After starting up the game, you'll have to negotiate your way through the perilous realms of the MTDS menu screen. Seriously, this menu is the most unintuitive thing I've ever seen. You have four options - Quick Race, Play Multiplayer, Championship Season Racing or Practice.

Quick Race throws you straight into a random course, with a random car. Its value is unprecedented, mainly because getting to a real championship is so damn confusing. Practice does the same thing, except it gets rid of your rivals. Well, that's not quite true - if you hit the start button at the top centre of the screen, it will get you into the game straight away. The trouble comes with setting how you want to play. There are 'back' and 'next' buttons in each corner of the screen. After you've selected the championship racing in selector, you hit next. Then, you can select a car by scrolling through some arrows, and you hit 'a' to select (it does the same thing as clicking next).

Then you can pick a course from the excitingly named options of 'arena', 'country', 'swamp', 'lakes' or 'desert'. That's it. Once you've hit next from that screen, you're in to the track selectors - there are five tracks set in each theme. Some are locked. They all look the same, which brings up another issue I'll get to in a minute. After that, it'll tell you that you can hit select to save. So you do so. You hit next again, and it returns you to your choice of mode again - do you still want to play championship mode? It's actually just one big loop. To start the game, you have to hit the start button up the top. It might sound like a little thing, but after the gorgeous simplicity of Mario Kart, where A takes you a step closer to the race, and B takes you out a level, it's really frustrating. Just trying to find the option you want is infuriating.

The way that the courses work is that basically, there's one big overworld - the aforementioned ... (continued next page)