Pin It
Favorite

The Player 

by Marty Demarest & r & & r & Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia & r & & r & Rated Teen; Xbox 360, Windows & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & here are players who -- for reasons known only to them -- will want to earn the "Maniac!" achievement in Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia. To do that, they will need to kill 10,000 monsters. That means I-don't-know-how-many trips through the game's spindly, Nickelodeon network-looking levels. Because Monster Madness, unlike other action games (or zombie games in general), doesn't throw hordes of enemies at players. Instead, the game has a predetermined number of zombies, undead dogs, etc., that will appear per level, and once they've been dispatched, that's it. Killing 10,000 beasts seems insurmountable.





The premise of Monster Madness is as old as videogames, and I would have thought they'd have worked out the kinks by now. Players -- as many as four at the same time -- run around a television screen-sized arena filled with monsters. Cluttered around the arena are household objects like chairs and vases (if the setting is a home), or car tires and picnic tables (if it's somewhere in suburban sprawl). These objects can be picked up and thrown or swung by players and zombies, and the result should be an onscreen brawl.





In reality, all of the objects in Monster Madness's levels jostle around like plastic balls in a child's play pool. Motorcycles can be kicked ahead of me like soccer balls. Hibachis skate ahead of me like ripples in a pond. The monsters themselves are barely visible -- partly because everything onscreen is so small, and partly because the monsters have been designed with the same, slightly groovy cartoon appearance that distinguishes the players' characters. The result is a screen full of hectic monotony.





"Stop that!" One of the game's characters yells to monsters as they bombard him with green goo. I understand his frustration. In the midst of a world full of malfunctioning physics, Monster Madness wants me to run around trying to collect spare parts. These parts lie scattered around the arenas, usually in hard-to-reach places. And so the game becomes less about killing monsters and more about jumping from rooftop to rooftop, car hood to car hood, like a giant game of Don't Touch the Ground. Killing monsters quickly becomes the last thing I'm trying to accomplish.





THE GOOD: The game's claim of letting players use everything for a weapon is almost true. At one point I grabbed a pair of rolled-up newspapers. "May the pain be with you," my character shouted as he waved them in front of an explosive zombie's face just before the zombie exploded and killed us both.





THE BAD: Monster Madness not only features some wretched voice acting -- imagine old ladies trying to sound like what they wish little kids sounded like -- but it also has some of videogaming's worst sound editing. Each time I collect an item of junk, the game emits a corresponding tinkle of sound: metal for nails, a rip of rubber for duct tape. These pile up on each other while I'm collecting the objects quickly, punctuating the game's discount Danny Elfman soundtrack with a ridiculous smorgasbord of overlapping noises and dialogue.





THE BOTTOM LINE: Why bother saving the suburbs when they're only full of featherweight household furnishings and brawlers with bad voice acting?


??


1/5 Stars

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Reunited We Stand
  • Reunited We Stand

    With major provisions of Trump's executive order put on temporary hold, 11 Iraqi refugees reunite with their families in Spokane
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Working Blue
  • Working Blue

    Spokane police officer under fire for profanity; plus, Tomi Lahren — and her opinions — are coming to town
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'
  • 'Cautiously Optimistic'

    Spokane Public Schools has seen improvement since committing to reducing suspensions, but the hardest part is yet to come
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Homeless School
  • Homeless School

    As the number of homeless students in Spokane County keeps climbing, schools unite with nonprofits to seek solutions
    • Nov 12, 2015

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
A Little Night Music

A Little Night Music @ Spokane Civic Theatre

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through March 5

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Bowe's Aim
  • Bowe's Aim

    As a military officer recommends against jail for former Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl, more info about why he left has been revealed
    • Oct 15, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation