XBOX REVIEW: BIG MUTHA TRUCKERS 2

To get the most out of Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder, you have to take things at face value. Chances are that you could probably guess from the title that this isn't the classiest videogame on the market. Frankly, it's got the class of a beer fart and that pretty much sums up the style of low brow humor that you'll be exposed to. Don't expect much more than a cheesy hillbilly romp through the rural roads of America. But then again, what more could one want?

Every once in a while it's fun to play a game that doesn't take itself too seriously - while poking fun at American stereotypes. I've spent a lot of time on the road in my day and I've met characters like these more times than I care to admit. They do exist. Many of them live in my neighborhood.

Based on the successful arcade game, 18 Wheeler, which featured a large steering wheel, Big Mutha Truckers introduced an infamous cast of white trash characters and a storyline that centered around the ruthless Ma Jackson who forces truckers to do her bidding. In this version, Ma has been thrown in the Big House for tax evasion and through the use of her cell phone, orders her crew to locate all of the jury members and bribe them so she can beat the rap.

With more missions, more roads, more cargo, more characters and more alternate routes, Big Mutha Truckers 2 fails to take the gameplay in any new direction. It's as though the original formula was so great that it doesn't need fixing. Well, if anyone loved the original they probably don't have enough taste to find fault with this version. While I do admit that it's fun, it's still just a novelty and not the kind of game that you would get a lot of serious replay value out of. Kids would probably really love it but due to the language and suggestive situations this is strictly an adult game. They don't need to know how immature most American adults really are.

Characters such as Cletus, Earl and Rawkins are back and will interact with large breasted broads; battle it out on the highway with cops in hot pursuit; pick up and deliver illegal contraband, and race aliens to the nearest town.

Making money is your first priority. You'll need it to bribe the jurors with. Purchasing merchandise in one town and selling it in another for the most profit requires the use of a map which will show you what town is willing to pay the most money for your goods. Illegal goods will cost you the most but will also pay off handsomely if you can deliver them without incident. Before you begin your mission you can choose among Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty. The harder the mission the more rewards you will receive. If you complete your mission within the time limit you will be eligible for a bonus mini-game.

All along the way you will be confronted by cops, dogged by obstacles and hazards such as falling rocks, and tormented by bikers that want to steal your load. Your rig never goes fast enough to consider this a race. Just keeping the big truck on the road is your greatest challenge. The trucks are not what you would call responsive. Even though the controls are forgiving the trucks are slow and require a large radius to turn. Take a corner too sharp and you're likely to flip it. What you lack in finesse you can make up in sheer aggressiveness as you can wipe most smaller vehicles right off the road.

This version looks better than the original but not by much. It's got a kind of cartoonish realism to it that really suits the content but the PS2 version suffers from alaising and weak textures. It would have been nice to have different upgradable trucks that might have a more refined control system as well as faster speeds.

With John Fogarty and Willie Nelson comprising parts of the soundtrack you can't complain about the tunes. The voiceovers are cornball but they elicit some straight-from-the-gut howls with the ignorance that bubbles forth.

Big Mutha Truckers 2 is available at a bargain price of under twenty bucks. Chances are many trailer park hillbillies will pick it up from the bargain bin at Wal-Mart and think it's a documentary.

Preview by Devin

Just like death or taxes, sequels are inevitable. In 2003, THQ released a cross platform joke about a video game based on truck driving and the hicks who love it. Unfortunately there was on problem, the joke was a moderate hit! So much a hit that THQ felt compelled to continue the joke with Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder. So grab your mesh cap and a Miller High Life to practice your CB Radio skills as Big Mutha Truckers 2 is going to drive you mad.

In Big Mutha Truckers 2, you'll have one of four truck drivers to choose from. The drivers are the children of Ma Jackson who runs a trucking company. It seems Ma has run into some legal problems and is about to lose her company. This is where you, her offspring, come in. In order to save the family business you'll need to hire a lawyer and six easily persuaded jurors to decide in Ma's favor. However being the slacker children you are, you have no money.

Imagine the timed racing missions of Grand Theft Auto, except you're in an 18 Wheeler which just so happens to be the most unresponsive vehicle on this planet next to the Bullet Train. That's the gist of the game, race from town to town selling your payload and buying more freight to deliver to the next town.

No driver seems to possess any advantage over the other, with the exception of the daughter Bobbie-Sue (whom I affectionately confused with Sally Mae, notice how the hick stereotypes settle in so fast?) When not picking up or dropping off cargo, you'll be spending time in the different towns either upgrading your truck (for special cargo) or visiting the bars. The bars are where you're going to find your jurors. You'll have to offer them money, and persuade them to vote in your mother's favor. Bobbie-Sue has a slight physical advantage, so she'll be able to persuade the men a bit easier. How cute.

I'm not too keen on racing games, but that doesn't mean I have a biased opinion on the title. It does offer a heavy metal country fusion soundtrack, but that sounds about as delicious as the peanut butter that came with jelly already mixed in. So horrid soundtracks and 18 wheeler racers aren't exactly my cup of tea, but there must be some sort of demand for the game. Why else would you devote a good portion of your life developing a game that's about as pointless as delivering newspapers?

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System: PS2 (shown), X
Dev: Eutechnyx
Pub: THQ
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.5
GRAPHICS
3.5
CONTROL
3.5
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
2.0