Dear Ubisoft –
It’s with a heavy heart that I must write this letter to you. You see, today is the day I’ve lost all faith in you. The reason? Monster 4×4 World Circuit, a malodorous excuse for a game that frankly says “you’ve lost it” to me in regards to your choice of titles to publish. Here’s a simple enough concept – racing big bouncy trucks around some wild and wooly courses while earning points for big airs and smashing up the competition (and a few strategically placed columns of cars.) Sure it’s simple, but that’s the problem – you managed to botch a really simple concept by treating it as if it’s a Nintendo 64 title. See, back in the days of N64, you could sometimes get away with generic racing games with ugly graphics, so-so physics and lackluster AI. But this is the next generation, mes amis, and you blew it on every count.
I’d like to think that although I’m not cool enough to have purchased an Xbox 360 yet, you’d still treat me with a little respect, after all, you should see the amount of money I’ve sunk into your Xbox titles, and a few of your PS2 ports. Heck, I even buy your GBA games (ahh..sweet, wonderful Rayman). But alas, looking at everything you’ve released recently for Xbox, I’d swear you were showing me the big French middle finger for my lack of next-generation hipness. Maybe Monster 4×4 was for kids, maybe that’s the argument…
But when I look at this game, it’s just plain insulting, even to the under 12 set, who’ll usually let graphics slide, if you provide some decent gameplay. But your basic “point stick, hit nitro, jump and smash” gameplay, can’t possibly even earn their forgiveness. Seriously, you apparently fired all the guys who knew how to engineer a fun game, or did EA hire them all away?
Now, I’ve seen what you can do with the Xbox hardware, after all, I worshiped at the throne of Splinter Cell’s glorious lighting effects. Yet, here I am, stuck looking at jaggy, pop-up laden graphics that nobody, not even a kid who says “well, I bought it cheap” would excuse. It’s ugly and silly.
Lastly, did you guys hire someone to do the music, or did Tom from accounting get a shot at showing off his Casio skills? Ugh, and the engine sounds? “Nintendo 64-grade” is being kind.
So Ubi, I’d like to let you know that you’ve done a great job alienating a once ravenous fan. You know, the guy who thought you could do no wrong with Splinter Cell (then you released Essentials for PSP), had perfected the Rainbow Six formula on consoles (then barfed on it with Lockdown and Critical Hour) and brought Ghost Recon back to its former glory (well, it was great on the 360, but a toad on the Xbox.) If you’re trying to tell us that next-gen is the only way to go, how about you just cover each current-gen game box with stickers to that effect and save us wasting time and money.
Much (lost) love,
P.S. If I was to give this game a score, it’d get a 4. Pre-teen kids *might* be forgiving enough to slip you a 6, but only if you include a rare Pokemon card in the game box.