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Monster 4x4: World Circuit

Score: 65%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer: Ubisoft Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Racing

Graphics & Sound:

Pork rinds and hot sauce, check. Red label beverage of choice, check. White T-shirt, check. Racing gloves from Walmart, check. Alright, I'm all geared up for some in your face, mud spitting, car crunching action from Monster 4x4: World Circuit. Well, at least I thought I was.

The graphics are not going to make you get off of your seat and scream, Yeah! They aren't even going to get your attention. In today's age of diposable meshes and bump mapping, having static racing games where your cars don't take any damage or show any change at all is almost unacceptable. The race tracks themselves show very little diversity or imagination. Every now and then, you run over small objects that look like cars, but that is as close as you come. One neat graphical thing is the tire tracks you leave behind. They are well done and are actually useful for following a racer who may have gotten out of sight.

The music loop could cause a saint to contemplate suicide. High energy guitar rifts forever! Long live metal guitar! Yeah, rock on! Any way. I will give it this, the music fits the theme, I mean what else could you do? But, the constant, unoriginal repetition gets old really fast.


Monster 4x4: World Circuit plays like a typical, late 80's racing game. You race monster trucks around closed tracks while collecting points for damaging obstacles. These obstacles consist of oddly placed groups of tires, sand bags, boxes, and sometimes the occasional water tower. There are triggers on the track that will release traps which are usually some form of flame device that will slow down your opponents. There are flaming barrels around most turns that will take off like rockets and strike the person in front of you, if you have a straight shot. When you get hit with a flaming barrel or run into a trap, your wheels catch on fire and you are slowed down. If you head for water, it will put them out; however, keep in mind, that most water hazards will slow you down as well.

There are three types of racing. There is, of course, the quick race where you pick a car and track and go. There is a multiplayer mode that allows you to race your friends or play mini-games. Mini-games are actually the most fun there is to be had with this title. There are two mini-games, Monster Combat and Monster Soccer. Monster Combat is what it sounds like, strike the other opponents with flaming barrels for points. Monster Soccer is my favorite. Driving around a soccer field pushing a giant soccer ball into the goal. Very fun. There are two more mini-games, but you will have to unlock them for yourselves. And then lastly there is the World Circuit. The more you win, the more races become available to you.


In Monster 4x4: World Circuit, you are going to be hard pressed to find much difficulty out of the game. Your friends and family are going to be the more difficult obstacles in the game. Of course, there is always that sensation that computer-controlled cars are magically faster, and that may be the case, but nothing out of the ordinary for a racing game. I found that after my first or second run on a track, I was coming in first place every single time.

There are a few different types of races. There is your standard race with all of the traps and toys. There are dual races, just you and one other racer, and there is "pure" racing with none of the traps or shortcuts.

Game Mechanics:

Don't expect real time physics out of Monster 4x4: World Circuit, as the game play is very arcade-like. You have the ability to turn during mid-flight. Items struck by the car break apart and disappear in cartoon-like fashion. You take weird bounces off of the wall, and the smallest item can stop your momentum in a heartbeat.

There is a stunt feature set up in the game that allows you to pull stunts for more points. You also collect points when you hit items and break up obstacles. These points translate into upgrades for your car. You can apply these points in the garage. You can increase any of the attributes, but some vehicles have more values inside of the attribute to change than others. You can also earn decals to decorate your vehicle with. There are 14 vehicles, six of them are available from the beginning, and the rest you will have to earn.

After many hard days of racing, I find myself really wanting more out of this game. It is a very simple game, and that can make it appealing to a younger audience. But, I believe that even a younger audience will become quickly bored with the monotony and put down the controller.

-WUMPUSJAGGER, GameVortex Communications
AKA Bryon Lloyd

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