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Monster Madness: Grave Danger review

Submitted by on Thursday, 23 October 20085 Comments

“Zombies have invaded your suburban sanctuary, and you have to take them out”.

I had the chance to sit down and give Monster Madness quite a lot of time before writing this review, having already played the demo before the arrival of the full version. I played the demo in both single player and co-op mode until I’d finish several times and I was looking forward to trying out the finished product.

Here follows a tale of how I went through a whole gambit of emotions; from hopeful to desperate and then coming to the insight that all is not as it seems in suburban zombie hell. 

As most of you will be aware a Monster Madness game was released for the Xbox360 and PC last year. It had some glaring faults, especially concerning the control scheme. The good news? These seem to have been fixed in the PS3 iteration of the game. The controls are straightforward and easy to learn. You move with the left stick and shoot with the right stick in whichever direction you might want. The shoulder buttons are used for changing weapons and chucking explosives.

You start the game as one of 4 stereotypical teenagers (Slacker, Geek, Goth girl or Cheerleader). The game starts out in the suburban home of the geek where he is trying to confess to his feelings towards the goth girl. He is interrupted by the slacker and then the cheerleader. On the third and final knocking of the door he finds that zombies have decided to crash his suburban home (and neighbourhood). You are then thrown into the action and you have to battle your way through hordes of zombies, spiders, clowns and many other manifestations of evil.

Monster Madness: Grave Danger is pretty much a standard hack´n´slash game from this point forwards. The objective of every level is to get from A to B with some side quests in between.

Shortly after starting the game you are introduced to Larry Tools who seems to know quite a bit about this zombie infestation.

Larry can build weapons and vehicles for the gang from his tricked out trailer. He also offers gadgets, equipment and ammunition, all designed to help you dispatch your monster foes as swiftly as possible. In order to buy and upgrade weapons you need to collect bolts, screws and other bits of machinery from red tool boxes scattered across the different levels.

Everyone in the group can buy their own personalised stuff from Larry.

The geek can buy a “Belt of role-playing might” and the goth girl can buy “Steel capped boots” and “Black Mascara” to mention a few stereotypical things. These items definitely drew a smile from me as I scrolled through to see what was available. The story itself is presented in a comic strip fashion but frankly it’s not the most exciting treatment I could have been presented with.

But for a game like Monster Madness you don´t need anything more elegant; the story is fine the way it is, and the comic strip did have some pretty funny moments.

Overall I found the game to be a bit too long for its premise. It is a game that you can easily kill some time with, especially if you have some friends over and you’re all feeling like clobbering some zombies. Jumping into a swan-shaped paddling boat that has been tricked out with rocket launchers is always fun, especially when zombie pirates await you.

Unfortunately the game (as with many hack´n´slash games before it) gets rather tedious after a while.

Monster Madness is a game that’s easy to get into and you can definitely waste a few hours with your friends. The story has its fun moments and the vast array of weapons makes it fun to play through until you have collected all of them.

The game is unfortunately a bit tedious after a while and it suffers from severe frame rate drops (especially later in the game). The fact that you resurrect on the spot every time you are killed leaves little incentive for trying to stay alive. I would recommend it if you really, really like the hack´n´slash genre and you have some friends to play with.