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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: June 2, 1998
So you like driving big trucks? If so, Microsoft has released the sequel to their Monster Truck series, Monster Truck Madness 2. Instead of taking a simple step forward over the last release, Microsoft was actually able to take a leap forward with this sequel!
Typically, in a sequel the developers spice up the graphics, add a few new features and ship the game. This is true for Monster Truck Madness 2, but taken to a completely new level. Every aspect of the game has been enhanced, from the 3Dfx graphics right down to the incredible gameplay.
At the heart of Monster Truck Madness 2 is an off-road racing fan’s dream, the ability to drive anywhere on the course to win. The game allows players complete freedom to drive around and find shortcuts and faster ways to complete each track. The only challenge is not getting lost or rolling your truck.
Monster Truck Madness 2 comes with 20 custom trucks and 10 new tracks to test every driver’s skill. The 10 tracks that come with the game are broken down into three categories. There are the multiplayer tracks or arenas, the circuit tracks, and the rally tracks. Scoring is kept while racing circuit and rally races, and a Hall of Fame shows the best scores for each track. Scoring is based on different factors, such as having the lead through checkpoints and finishing first in a race. The tracks in the game vary as to what setting they take place in. You will find tracks like Farm Road, which has cows to run over, or tracks like the Graveyard, complete with lightning and tombstones. All the tracks in the game contain numerous shortcuts, and some of those shortcuts require some skill or a certain car setup to use them. For example, you may have to complete an extremely large jump to make a shortcut. A normal truck setup will not make it, but, if you change your gear ratios to make your truck much faster, you can make certain jumps more easily.
All of the trucks in Monster Truck Madness 2 are modeled after their real-life counterparts. You can get a historical rundown of every truck in the game through the on-line help. People familiar with the sport will see the likes of Bigfoot, Carolina Crusher, and the Executioner. You will see all the detailed paint jobs for every truck while racing around the tracks. Before you enter into a race, you have the option to take your truck to the garage for tune-ups. You can modify gear ratios to make trades between acceleration and top speed; change settings for tire cut, giving you more traction at the cost of speed; or set up your suspension to be either soft or hard. By giving gamers the chance to change these setting you can have a virtually unlimited variety of trucks in Monster Truck Madness 2.
Once you have chosen your truck, made your modifications (if any), picked a track and set your weather conditions (fog, rain, snow, cloudy, night, dusk, etc.), you are ready to race. When you get on the track you will first notice how the trucks are controlled. Because the game takes into account all the physics involved with a multi-ton vehicle, you will have to get used to how the truck reacts to your controls. When you hit jumps or navigate your truck through rough terrain, you will be able to watch the truck sway and bounce on its shock absorbers. Another added bonus for those in possession of a force feedback joystick will be the thrill of feeling every bounce and sliding turn.
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