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Monster Jam: Path of Destruction (Xbox 360) Review

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In the world of sports, monster trucks can sometimes get overlooked. That’s no small feat when you consider the massive size of the vehicles involved. And while many people will try and separate the agile motorized behemoths from other “legitimized” competitive mediums like NASCAR and Indy, the fact is that the drivers who control these rigs are extremely talented and just as competitive. Thankfully not everyone has chosen to overlook the sport because there are a lot of gamers out there who love the idea of getting behind the wheel of a monster truck and taking to the dirt-filled arena. Activision has delivered unto the fans Monster Jam: Path of Destruction, the fourth entry in their Monster Jam series and easily the best so far.

Just like the sport this game is based on, Path of Destruction delivers a great deal of action with real stadiums, tons of events to play through, some of the biggest names in the sport including my personal favorite and the game’s cover star (athlete?) – Grave Digger. The stadiums cover ground from coast to coast including Qualcomm on the west coast and the Florida Citrus Bowl representing the east, among others. If you’ve never been to one of the actual Monster Jam events, you’re in for a surprise due to some of the parallels to other sports like professional wrestling. If you are familiar with the sport, then you’ll love the truck-specific intros and theatrics that fans expect. Everything is pretty precise and accurate showing that Activision did their homework.

Grind it up Grinder!

As mentioned above, there are over twenty-five (twenty-eight to be exact) of the biggest names in the sport perfectly recreated in the game so that fans can jump into the action right away with one of their favorites. If you are one of those gamers who has a little more patience or just prefer to zone out and customize things, you’ll love the ability to make your own truck. I found myself going back to this more than a couple times because it’s just more fun to have your own truck out there on the track and beating down the competition as you fly off ramps and over cars in hopes of landing in time to make the hundred and eighty degree turn to race back. Speaking of landings, they aren’t a cake-walk by any means. With a little practice though, you’ll be nailing tricks, turns, wheelies, and landings in no time. The learning curve can be a little frustrating at first, but controls are intuitive and tight once you get a feel for them.

Visually, this game looks nice. I honestly wasn’t walking into Path of Destruction expecting a beauty queen, but did end up pleasantly surprised. Each of the trucks, including originals made by the user, looks sharp. All of the animations are fluid. Intros are flashy and eye-catching enough to deliver a little bit of the real-life Monster Jam feel in the game, which is a difficult task, but pulled off nicely. The audio isn’t anything to go on about, but there are voice-overs included from the drivers and the commentary does a well enough job to support the action on the screen. Menus and navigation are simple enough and should be easy enough for even the youngest of virtual monster truck drivers to be able to maneuver.

The most shocking thing about this release is the bargain-bin price tag. This is no doubt an attempt to land in more stockings this holiday season and stand out from the rest of the pack. Surprisingly though, the lower price isn’t really needed since this turns out to be a nice release that would warrant a much heftier price. However, we never complain about a good deal. It doesn’t even really matter if you like monster trucks or not in this case as the customizable options and impressive racing mechanics combine with accurate physics to make this game worth picking up for anyone who likes over-top-action. If you’ve thought monster trucks belong only at fair grounds and as side-shows up until this point, this might be the game to open your mind. Monster Jam: Path of Destruction is available now and should be smashing up cars in your console today.









-1 #1 this isn't the fourth game it is the fifth..Charles Dehart 2010-11-25 09:34
I'm not sure how you get your info my friend but this isn't the fourth monster jam game to come out it is the fifth I happen to own the first four on ps2 and the latest on xbox360 i'll even name them all for you.

1. Monster Jam - Maximum Destruction

2. Monster 4x4 Masters Of Metal

3. Monster Jam

4. Monster Jam - Urban Assault

5. Monster Jam - Path Of Destruction

I do not wish to see a fellow gamer get harped on by anyone so you might want to change your review up a bit, take care....
#2 @ #1AcFreeze 2010-11-26 09:42
As a fan myself, I can confirm that Path of Destruction is the fourth Monster Jam from Activision. Maximum Destruction was from Ubisoft, as was Monster 4x4 which is also from Ubisoft.

Don't worry Chuck Dehart, you just need to read closer and maybe look into licensing and publishers so you don't look the fool again.

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