Every so often, we get a good racing title on the Game Boy Advance. And come to find out, a lot of them are coming from THQ. The GT ADVANCE series has been good mainstay on the system, as has MOTO GP. This time around, we're getting monster trucks in MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS.
As the title obviously states, MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS deals with those big monster trucks, big rigs, trucks and vans put on huge sets of tires that race around in arenas and now the country. Names like the "Grave Digger" will ring a bell for anyone familiar with the events, and there are 10 trucks selectable in all. And while some of the events do take place indoors in the huge, cramped arenas, most of the games 30 courses are set on circuits and back-roads, all of which are huge. The courses are long and are filled with twists and turns, and each lap will normally take a couple of minutes to complete.
The game handles really nicely. MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS comes with exactly what you would expect from a game involving monster trucks. The vehicles are bouncy and prone to skids, something fans of the events know is true about the vehicles. There will be lots of debris on the road, vehicles, crates and other stuff, but remember: you're in a monster truck. You can go right through it! Unfortunately, you can't plow right on through your competition and the only way to win the race is by going fast enough.
The main thing that separates MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS from most of the other racing games on the Game Boy Advance is the graphics engine. To be perfectly honest, this is one of the best looking Game Boy Advance games on the market. Developer Tantalus has performed a spectacle by developing this game. I mean, seriously, this game could pass as a Playstation game. Each course has its own set of twists, turns, hills and bends, all having different steepness and banks. When you drive over dirt or mud, your vehicle will get dirty (hey, it's nothing but detail on the surface, but it looks cool). My only problem with the graphics is some of the backgrounds are kind of stale.
The main drawback of MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS is that the game is only single player there is no link-up capabilities, which is really a shame. While the computer will give you a decent race, your opponents will race in the same way they normally do, never changing things up as a human opponent would.
Even with the lack of multiplayer, MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS is one of the best arcade style racers on the Game Boy Advance. If you're looking for a fun single player game for those long road trips, look no further.