Monster Jam Maximum Destruction Review

 A recipe for maximum destruction includes taking the Twister Metal formula of picking up weapons and pitting monster trucks against each other in death arenas and that’s exactly what Inland Productions and Ubi Soft did when they teamed up and released Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY IT’S TIME FOR THE MONSTER JAM MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION REVIEW!

Monster Jam Maximum Destruction Plot:

No story here, just pick your favorite monster truck and select the game mode you want to participate in. 

Monster Jam Maximum Destruction Gameplay:

Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction offers 37 different trucks to choose from. The following are the trucks that you will be able to drive right from the start. 

  • Airborne Ranger
  • American Guardian
  • Avenger
  • Blacksmith
  • Blue Thunder
  • Bulldozer
  • Bustin’ Loose
  • The Destroyer
  • El Toro Loco
  • Eradicator
  • Goldberg
  • Grave Digger
  • Gunslinger
  • King Krunch 
  • Madusa
  • Mountaineer
  • Predator
  • Prowler
  • Reptoid
  • Spider-Man
  • Sting
  • Sudden Impact
  • Survivor
  • Thrasher
  • Wild Thang
  • Wolverine

You can unlock the following trucks through various ways which I did during my Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review: 

  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Inland Productions
  • 1983 Grave Digger
  • 20th Anniversary Grave Digger
  • Armored Force
  • Paddy Wagon
  • Hooch Wagon
  • Big Yellow
  • Rayman
  • Bulldog
  • Dog Pound

While that’s a huge selection, I was bummed during my Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review that my all-time favorite truck “Big Foot” was not playable or my second favorite “Bear Foot”. I picked to play as Goldberg as I liked the sleek design of the truck. 

When the game starts up, there’s no intro video which would have been a nice touch especially to kids who loved seeing monster trucks run over cars before the YouTube era. Anyway, the menu is very simple. With game mode, difficulty, and options. Let’s go over the six mini-games that Monster Jam offers. 

Stadium Freestyle – It’s not fun. The camera has a terrible angle and the lack of instructions makes this mini-game an instant fail. I think you are supposed to pull of tricks but it ends up being boring. 

Stadium Race – Wow, steering is super touchy in racing when I played this during my Monster Jame Maximum Destruction review. Your truck can spin out in midair making this race in a very small arena almost impossible to win. 

Lava Island – This was my favorite mini-game during my Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review. You and five other trucks are on top of a volcano with the object to knock each other off or damage each other until the truck is destroyed. The game goes quick lasting anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute. 

Canyon Race – It’s nothing special as the trucks race through a canyon with shortcuts. You’ll get bored of it after two or three races and once again the steering is so sensitive. 

Stadium Challenge – It’s a deathmatch in a stadium but the arena is too small for fun. It’s best to avoid everyone else as they destroy each other. 

Arena Challenge – Looks like a deathmatch in the Roman Coliseum. More or less the same as Stadium Challenge. 

Aside from the mini-games, there are three main modes as you compete in a “season” against other trucks. The only one worth your time is the deathmatch season. The other two are similar but you play to collect money or destroy objects, both are very boring. 

In deathmatch, you face off against several other trucks. The number depends on the difficulty you select. I was able to make it to arena three in “normal” mode during my Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review before quitting after failing to beat it a few times. In normal mode, there are five trucks aside from you, and in easy mode, there are three. It may look like a free-for-all but in reality, it’s you vs all other trucks as they team up against you. This is where Monster Jam suffers. If all the trucks were facing each other the game would be much more fun instead, they all target you. The arenas are explorable and you’ll find hidden passages and rooms to power up. You would think that if you left a room full of monster trucks they’d attack each other and beat each other up. Nope, that’s not the case. You come back to the room and they are just circling around like it’s a Sunday drive. If you play on normal mode there is a “boss truck” that has spiked wheels. They are tougher than the rest and can deal more damage. Oh, did I mention the other trucks cheat? As I said, there are hidden passages and secret rooms to access but to get to them you need to smash through walls. There were numerous times that I’d smash through a wall and enter a room with no other exits and see another truck in there already and making its way toward a valued weapon. Speaking of weapons, they are how you’ll deal the most damage to other trucks. They can be cool with lasers, machine guns, missiles, and other things to blow your opponents up. I didn’t expect this type of gameplay when I got the game and was confused to see weapons attached to monster trucks during my Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review. 

Damage is shown on the trucks with the body of the truck being smashed, dented, or completely removed. They did a good job of making the truck damage realistic but they did next to nothing for the cars you run over. As a kid, all I could dream about was running over cars and watching their windows break or metal crush beneath my tires. In Monster Jam, the cars just flatten. It’s very disappointing. 

After you beat the level, you’ll be taken to a “shop” screen where you can use the money and points you earned to upgrade your monster truck’s engine, driveshaft, shocks, transmission, tires, and supercharger. It’s pretty cool but I didn’t notice a difference in the way my truck handles or drives when I bought the high-end equipment. It’s necessary though as your truck wears down over time. 

There are seven different arenas that you’ll play through in season mode. Some of the arenas are awesome, like the hockey one, others are weird like the movie studios. The trucks look good but aside from them, you could tell me the rest of the graphics and environment was made from a PS1 game and I’d believe you. 

Once you win a season, the truck you drove with will be unlocked with a checkered flag hanging out the back and some added stats. Yippy. That’s literally it. No cut scene, no highlight reel of that truck in real life, just an unlocked version of that truck with a flag. 

Memories:

Okay, so let me make a confession. When I was a young child I was obsessed with monster trucks. I had a VHS tape that had some 80s monster truck racing and I probably watched it a million times. My parents would pop it in and I’d watch it for the next few hours. I still remember most of the trucks. Big Foot was my favorite and he ended up winning the competition but there was also Awesome Kong, Frankenstein, The Michigan Ice Monster, Rolling Thunder, and a few others. Man, I loved that VHS.  

Anyway, my love for monster trucks continued as my dad took me to two different monster trucks rallies and I loved watching them in person just as much as I loved that VHS. I was so stoked that a Monster Truck video game was coming out that I begged and begged my dad to buy it for me. I had my friend Justin over for the weekend and my dad left to go to the store saying he was going to buy the game for me. I vividly remember playing Ape Escape on the PS1 as we waited and about an hour later he came back acting all sad saying that the store was out. I was bummed but then five minutes later he pulled it out of his jacket and gave it to us. We went wild running around the room and instantly popped the game in my PS2.  

Monster Jam Maximum Destruction Review Score:

Poor controls, hit-or-miss arenas, and cheating A.I. makes Monster Jam Maximum Destruction a disappointing first entry in the monster truck series. It’s too bad because there is a lot of potential and things that Ubi Soft could have done with this game but chose to do none of it.  

Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction scores a 5.2 out of 10. 

What would you write in your Monster Jam Maximum Destruction review? Do you remember when Monster Jam: Maximum Destruction first came out? What was your favorite truck to play as? Did you beat the game on normal mode? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!  

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