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Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia

Monster Madness Battle For Suburbia
Company:
SouthPeak Interactive
Website: Official Site
Estimated Street Price: $39.99/£39.99
Review By:
Byron Hinson

Features

Monster Madness has been a while coming, some top down action in the style of gauntlet and other games of that genre have been a long time coming to next generation consoles. 

Four friends get together for a party while the parents are away, but somebody ... or something, is about to crash the party. In four-player melee action, you will fight off the monster invasion in this top-down action/shooting game. Customize and build your own weapons by grabbing parts from the house and town to create more powerful attack tools, and find rare parts to build some ultimate weapons. Jack abandoned vehicles and deck them out with weapons to ride through the terrain and take out creatures. Visit five locations, including the suburban town, the high school, and the "Shopping Maul." The use of the Ageia NovodeX Physics platform allows you to interact with the environments physics to give yourself an advantage, such as creating barrides or throwing large objects, while the visual system uses the advanced Unreal 3 Engine.

  • 4 player co-op or 16 player capture the flag mode

  • Use the environment: dynamic objects, destroyable architecture, and devious physical traps can all be manipulated to your advantage.

  • Intense top down shooter combat with a wide array of over 40 unique monsters

  • Drivable vehicles for 1-4 players. Including: Go-Kart; Hovercraft; Mechwalker; UFO and more! They can be acquired for bonus use during regular missions, and certain missions focus exclusively on vehicular combat.

  • 5 unique environments with 6 gigantic levels each: Suburban Nightmare; High School Hell; The Shopping Mall; Cemetary Scary; and the Dark Castle.

How Does It play

Review Quotes
"Online is ok once more, but the lack of a co-op online campaign is a real let down. The online section does have king of the hill and capture the flag along with other basic online game modes to play with but the omission of the campaign online is a real shame."

Gameplay in Monster Madness is based around those old games released in early 1990, button mashers. There is nothing wrong with this as long as the main design of the game is good and this is where things become a let down in Monster Madness. The game has a limited story which is told to you through animated comic strips. They tell the story of four different characters, a geek, a normal one a cheerleader and a goth who find themselves battling zombies.

The game doesn't just have you taking apart zombies though, there are vampires, ufo's, spiders, clowns and a whole lot more, all of which you have to take down either by yourself or with a group of friends. The first level is set in Zach's house which is filled with items and traps which you can use by picking them up with the X button. Things like kitchen knives and and lamps can be used to throw at the oncoming hoards before reaching the main boss at the end of the level.

Each level plays out just the same though on a slightly broader scale. Hundreds of items are scattered around the levels for you pick up and then trade in at Larry Tools trailer a mobile shop which lets you buy weapons as well as bullets and health. Controlling the game is awkward, clicking on the right stick allows you to jump which is very weird considering you need to look around as you are playing. The two trigger buttons are used for primary and secondary weapons. The strange thing isn't that there are no auto-lock on features in the game, which means that while you are shooting at enemies who are coming thick and fast it just becomes frustrating trying to hit specific ones.

Aiming is made worse when other players drop into your game, as the camera has to go into different directions based on where other players are moving to. The difficulty gets harder and harder as the game goes on meaning there will be many a frustrated player out there. This is made worse due to the lack of decent save points spread through the game, reaching checkpoints doesn't allow you to save the game though, so when playing through a level that can take over half an hour to complete you need to remember this because quitting means you have to start all the way back at the beginning.

Online is ok once more, but the lack of a co-op online campaign is a real let down. The online section does have king of the hill and capture the flag along with other basic online game modes to play with but the omission of the campaign online is a real shame.

Graphics and Sound

Not everything is bad though as the animation and character designs are very good, with some excellent looking creatures and enemies on show in the game. There is some slow down in the game when there is a mass of creatures running around which is a shame considering this game needs lots on the screen at one time. As I've just mentioned, on the whole the game does a good job with masses of enemies on screen at one time and 95% of the time the engine manages to keep up with things well. The game also has loads of stuff happening on the screen in terms of explosions and items flying around.

Sound work isn't bad either with some good music and sound effects, but character voice over work just becomes both repetitive and annoying very early on, especially with the low quality script on show, the voice work is also strangly very high in volume which means even turning them down doesn't completely get rid of them.

Final Comments


Byron's Gamertag

Overall Monster Madness Battle for Suburbia is a bit of a let down, graphically it isn't bad but the game play is too repetitive and the lack of decent saves is a big problem for a game that has long levels. It is more fun when a group of people are playing together but again online there is no campaign option which will disappoint more than a few people.

 
Specs & Package
Overall Score 70%
Version Reviewed Monster Madness Battle for Suburbia (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 Monster Madness Battle for Suburbia (PAL) DVD-ROM
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Decent Graphics
Some cool designs
Decent levels
The Bad Points Repetitive
Annoying voice work
HD Resolutions 480p
720p
1080i
1080p


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