I know nothing about cars, apart from that they come in different colours and sizes, and some have less doors that others. However, despite my lack of automotive knowledge, there’s one important fact that I’m aware of: monster trucks are awesome. That’s surely good news for Monster Jam, a game that offers 27 trucks to control, 26 urban racetracks, 22 stadium events, 12 skill competitions and split-screen multiplayer.
The race events are fairly self explanatory, while the skill events consist of driving around destroying stuff and making your monster truck of choice do stunts, such as wheelies, barrel rolls and flat spins. There’s also a small selection of mini-games to play if you get bored of the main attraction.
Being a Wii game, there are the obligatory motion controls; in this case, you hold the Wii Remote horizontally, and tilt it like a steering wheel. This a fairly standard control scheme for driving games on the Nintendo console, and generally it’s a system that works well. However, Monster Jam manages to screw it up completely, with unresponsive steering that feels more akin to driving a shopping trolley than a four-wheel-drive smashing machine.
Things improve slightly if you opt for the Remote and Nunchuk combination, but the game is still too flawed to be enjoyable. For a start, the trucks all seem to be exactly the same apart from minute physical differences. Not that it matters, though, because even with the Nunchuk, it still feels like you’re driving through treacle.
On the positive side, the Skill Jump event (in which you drive up a ramp and try to land in one of several rings, each coming with its own points reward) is fun for at least two attempts. Also, the graphics aren’t completely rubbish, but just a bit rubbish. If driving through poorly rendered streets is your thing, you might also get a buzz from the urban levels.
If, however, you’re more demanding than that, you’ll probably wish you had a real monster truck, so you could crush every single copy of this awful game.