first thought, it would seem as though Monster Garage
might make a good videogame. The TV-based reality
show is all about creating custom vehicles from stock
vehicles and stock parts. With some ingenuity and
the help of a team of skilled professional customizers,
it's interesting to Jesse James rise to the challenge
of creating the perfect vehicle for its intended purpose.
Unfortunately Monster Garage: The Game fails to capture
the excitement of Monster Garage: The Series.
similar shows such as American Chopper and American
Hot Rod, a lot of the fun comes from watching the
pros pull ideas out of thin air but there can be little
argument that the most fun is generated by the arguments.
You have a roomful of know-it-alls and one boss. Things
are going to get heated. Monster Garage: The Game
fails to capture any human interaction at all.
in the series, you are given one week, three grand
and five professional assistants to help you create
a customized vehicle that must perform some bizarre
challenge at the end of the construction phase. You
might have to turn a Range Rover into a hot air balloon,
or perhaps make a lawn mover out of a Mustang GT.
Maybe you will have to find a way to turn a Ford Explorer
into a garbage truck or make an amphibious swamp vehicle
out of a Beetle.
James is the overseer. The only problem is that he
has little to oversee in this game. Of the five different
professionals that appear in each episode they just
appear in the game as icons. The interaction is relegated
to assigning them tasks. You don't even have to worry
about their area of expertise.
is reduced to trial and error. You don't actually
get to design anything, you simply select options
from the interface to see what they will do. Since
you don't really have a point of reference there's
not much else you can do within this format.
vehicle can be examined in 3D from any angle. You
can zoom into the problem area with ease and perform
a limited amount of tasks such as screwing, unscrewing,
bolting, unbolting and welding. Limited seems to be
the operative word. There are only a few limited designs
to choose from for each project and although there
may seem like a lot of options in the way of tires
and accessories, it's almost illusionary as they have
little affect in the vehicle's performance.
never feel as though you're right in on the designing
process. It kind of reminds me of a toy that was sold
years ago which featured a hard plastic statue that
was covered in less solid material that made it look
like a big glob. Using fake sculptor's tools like
a chisel and hammer, you chipped away at the material
until you uncovered the actual statue within. It's
this kind of hand holding that pervades the entire
Monster Garage game making one feel creatively impotent.
only good thing about the game is that you get to
play around with it at the end. The vehicles handle
fairly well and it's a bit of a challenge to get them
to do your bidding. There are eight different challenges
and all of them have appeared on the TV show. The
vehicles are fairly detailed but as a budget title
there's not much in the way of atmosphere. It would
have been great to include some kind of RPG character
interaction whereby the team earns experience points
based on good ideas or successful customization. There
should even be a moral meter in which certain events
cause the characters to work together or, heaven forbid,
fight among themselves.
Garage is a reality show - which is what is sorely
missing in this game. You'll have more fun watching
the actual show and pretending to string rows of popcorn
on a thread.