Thursday, September 8, 2005
THQ couldn't be more obvious with their target audience for Big Mutha Truckers 2. It's only $19.99, and filled with tons of (attempted) lowbrow humor and digital breasts to appeal to the lowest-common denominator gamer. Having worked at a videogame store for years, I can tell you right now who will buy this game. It's the 300-pound mother in the tobacco-stained Tweety Bird shirt who comes in with her three rat-tailed punk kids, looking for something cheap to shut them up for an afternoon. This game is clearly neither for anyone who knows anything about games nor anyone who would actually be reading a videogame review on a website.
On one hand, Big Mutha Truckers 2 is a terrible game. On the other, it's only $20, and it MIGHT be possible for someone to enjoy it. This is only possible if you loved Crazy Taxi, but wished they'd do away with any semblance of good gameplay or sense of speed. You start out with four typical redneck characters, and the differences between them are purely cosmetic. The objective is to free your mother from prison by making enough money to pay off six jurors. Your primary source of income is freighting various items around the small map of Hick State County. You'll go into a town and stock up on items like "Achy Breaky Brake Pads" and "Stinky Cheese". On each run, you're also allowed to carry 1 illegal item, which will usually net you some serious cash. After you fill your truck, you'll select a destination based on where you can make the most profit.
At this point, the actual driving starts, and the ennui begins. A time limit (usually about 1-2 minutes) is set, and you hit the road in an effort to gain as much bonus money as possible. These bonuses are acquired in several different ways. There's the basic speed bonus, and then there's more for picking up hobos, avoiding UFOs, and taking out biker gangs. None of these activities are particularly interesting, and they don't distract from the unoriginal and monotonous gameplay. One of my main complaints with the game is that it's a real radar-watcher. By this, I mean that you'll be staring at the map in the corner more than the actual road. Games like Midnight Club have remedied this problem by featuring beacons of light or similar symbols to direct you to the next checkpoint. Since BMT doesn't do this, you're forced to watch the radar to make sure you're still on track. At the end of the route, another bonus is available for parking your truck within the confines of a green box. That's pretty much the entire game: Buy some stuff at the store, drive it to a town, sell it, rinse and repeat.
Hick State County has to be the most varied place in the USA, as it includes cities based on both Vegas and D.C., as well as snowy locales and deserts all within 2 minutes of each other. Each of these cities features a store and a bar. These bars are where you'll meet the jurors, as well as bartenders who have some tips and occasional side-missions. Some of these missions will feature you driving vehicles other than the standard big rig, but the gameplay is all the same. One of the better aspects of the game is the in-bar casinos. They're all card-based, and you'll play games such as Video Poker and Hi-Lo. I can honestly say that I had far more fun playing Video Poker than driving the semi around, if that tells you anything.
BMT's gameplay simply doesn't have the sense of urgency of a game like Crazy Taxi. You never feel rushed, there's no sense of speed, and most of the time you're just holding X until you get to your destination. Sure, every once in a while you'll have to dodge a boulder or make a sharp turn, but never anything to really get you into the game. Background items react oddly as well, and it features some goofy physics. Every background item seems like it weighs about 2 pounds, regardless of size.
There's not too much to complain about in terms of graphics, other than the fact that they're entirely ordinary. It features nothing new, but it also avoids any glaring glitches outside of the occasional slowdown. Voiceover work is similarly average, but the dialogue and "humor" is terrible. Characters at bars and stores have a nasty habit of rambling on and on with completely unnecessary dialogue, which gets annoying quickly. The soundtrack starts off deceivingly solid, with Free's 1970 classic "All Right Now". Unfortunately, the rest of the songs sound like they were taken off of the BK Chicken Fries commercial.
If you enjoy games, don't get Big Mutha Truckers 2. Even at $19.99, it's by no means worth playing unless you're the type of person that finds Blue Collar TV hilarious.
First Play: D-
Last Play: D-
Overall: 62% D-