More monster truck madness... and a whole lot
by Alan Zisman
(c) 1998. First
published in Vancouver Computes,
Microsoft Monster Truck Madness II
Created by Terminal Reality
Minimum requirements: P133, 16 megs RAM, 30-110 megs
Win95 or NT 4.0
Supports 3D accelerator cards
?Big wheels keep on turning??
No, this time we?re not talking about the Proud Mary?
instead, as announcer
Army Armitage might say, it?s Monster Truck Madness time, again. Yes,
game featuring those trucks with the impossibly big wheels, that was a
top-selling game of 1996 is back, complete with updated 3D, a whole new
set of tracks, multiplayer options, and a bunch of new trucks.
MTMII is a quick start?enter your name, pick one of
three skill levels,
one of 14 tracks, and your choice of 20 trucks, and you?re off and
If you want, you can fine tune the weather, your tires, gears and
but probably most of you will just want to get behind the wheel and go.
Tracks range from tropic island to desert to an eerie graveyard. Trucks
vary from real racing vehicles (like the Bigfoot favorite from MTMI) to
a new set of fantasy-based vehicles. New truck names, like Hoppywood
have been licensed from World Championship Wrestling, a sure indication
of the game?s intellectual aspersions. (No, I don?t consider this a bad
While the tracks either want you to run a fixed number
or a single long rally, you can go off the track?in fact, you really
plan on doing this, to take advantage of shortcuts. Just make sure you
pass through the checkpoints. This isn?t really cheating?if you don?t
the shortcuts, you?re sure to lose, since you know your competition
And the competition is fierce?they try to run you off the road, and
risks. But don?t worry, they can?t get away with anything more than you
New multiplayer modes support modem, local area
network, and Internet
play?8 players can content via the Internet Gaming Zone?three of the
are ?wrestling arenas? designed specifically for multiplayer modes. If
you?ve got a microphone connected to your sound card, you can use CB
transmitting your messages to all the other players. Be aware of some
complaints about bugginess in multiplay mode, however.
The game takes place in a richly detailed environment,
full of boulders,
traffic cones, signs, telephone poles?any of which you can crash into,
sending it flying. The crashes, along with the skids, jumps, and
feel right?especially if you?ve got a force-feedback joystick, allowing
you to feel every bump and swerve.
Great graphics?particularly using one of the supported
cards. Scenery and the trucks themselves are realistically rendered.
get the return of Army Armitage, with his very American-accented
along with CD audio, playing aggressive rock in the background. (Be
to have the video jump a bit when a new CD track comes on). If you
like the music, you can turn it off. Sound effects include tire squeals
and engines revving?yours and your competitors, letting you know when
else is coming up at you. You even get the sound of rain bouncing off
roof of your cab. Your horn plays ?Dixie?, and there?s a keystroke to
?Yeeeeehaaawww!? (And in multiplayer mode, the other players hear your
horn and shouts).
While I haven?t driven a monster truck in real life,
I?d expect it to
be a completely different driving experience from my Ford Escort.
true for the game as well?it?s not enough to point and go. Be prepared
to learn to anticipate what?s coming at you, or you?ll find these big
hard to turn or to slow down.
Did I mention that the game is a lot of fun? Perhaps
the best racing
Postscript: 19 March 2006:
I just happened across
your review of Monster Truck Madness 2, from
1998, in which you
finished off with the phrase: "Did I mention that
the game is a lot of
fun? Perhaps the best racing game ever."
In light of that final
phrase perhaps it won't surprise you that the
game still has an
active community surrounding it, the most notable
site devoted to it
New tracks and trucks
have continually been produced for it through
the years (thanks to
it's full editability combined with free and
easy to use tools),
with quality, complexity and creativity that
outshines what the game
shipped with. It's also still the focus of
racing and weekly tournaments.
Considering what has
developed over the years I thought it funny to
read your phrase of
praise, so I just had to fire off this note on
the off chance that you
had no idea what kind of monster MTM2 had
become (over 4000
tracks and almost 5000 trucks). I've authored a
handful of tracks
"Perhaps the best
racing game ever", perhaps not, but it will
certainly be one of the
longest lived, as the community still has
years of life and
devotion left in it. The game's editability,
accelerated 3D graphics
and solid physics engine have really given it
legs, not to mention
that it's still compatible with current hardware
and operating systems.
The only problem is that the game has been
abandoned by it's
publisher and is pretty much only available on eBay
now, though it's
continually available there.
I hope this has proved
amusing for you. :)