Monster Jam Steel Titans (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Racing
Developer: Rainbow Studios
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Tested on: Switch

Monster Jam Steel Titans (Switch) – Review

Site Score
4.0
Good: The closest you'll get to driving a monster truck
Bad: Controls, Physics, No difference between cars except for their appearance
User Score
1.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (4 votes cast)

Back in July, THQ Nordic provided us with a PlayStation 4 copy of their latest racing adventure, Monster Jam Steel Titans. Many of us know these gigantic Monster Trucks from the TV show that’s also called Monster Jam. We concluded that the game was a bit steep in price, had dodgy mechanics, forced you to grind a lot to actually unlock new trucks and overall felt dated for a next-gen game. This time the game has been ported to the Switch, which has far inferior hardware compared to the PlayStation 4, thus it made us curious to see if this game fared better on the Nintendo Switch, with the developers having to do many cutbacks from an already unimpressive title.

Story

Once again, there is no story to be found in this ported version of Monster Jam Steel Titans. The game does have a sandbox portion in which you can drive around freely, and new parts will unlock as you progress in the career mode. There is nothing all too special when roaming around the overworld, but it can be fun to try out new slopes to see how well you can control your monster truck.

Graphics

As the Switch has a lot less graphical power than Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, there were some cutbacks to make the game run on the Nintendo Switch. You’ll notice that the environment textures have been toned down a lot to make sure the game could be handled by the Switch. Other than that, the details of the trucks have been lowered as well, but we have to admit that the trucks actually look quite good for Nintendo’s hybrid console. Sadly, you won’t be kicking up nice-looking gravel particles or there are no proper damage visuals for your car, to make everything a bit more realistic. Also, when driving with several cars on one screen, the game has difficulties to run everything smoothly, so there are a lot of frame drops present. The frame drops become even worse when you attempt to play the game in split-screen. In some segments it’s hardly playable due to the limited frames per second.

Sound

The sound design of Steel Titans is somewhat mediocre, but it does what it sets out to do. The cars sound like the part, and the background music is okay-ish for a game such as this. There is nothing too special about the actual soundtrack, but it isn’t overly dull either. Overall we can conclude that the sound department of this game suffices, but could have been a lot more if they spiced things up a little bit.

Gameplay

Monster Jam Steel Titans is a racing game all about monster trucks. There will be different disciplines that you’ll have to handle, but they are more than often just races in different formats. Other than that, there are events in which you’ll have to show off your best moves, which can prove to be problematic with the game’s controls. While the game feels a bit more controlled than the PS4 version, things have not really improved.

As mentioned before, we notice the game is a bit tighter in its controls, but this does not mean you’re actually in control. More than often you’ll have problems steering through the different corners of the tracks, and even though you’re driving an enormous off-road machine, you’ll be punished for leaving the track, even if it’s only with one of your tires. Most of the time, the game will wrongfully reset you on the track, costing you some precious seconds. We do feel that the AI is programmed as if you’re not driving on the track. If you’re in their way, they will drive right through you (not literally) and they are not prone to making mistakes. They still drive in specific formations and they still instantly recover when you drive into them.

One thing that seemingly improved is the amount of cash you get and the speed at which other cars unlock. We noticed that we already unlocked a set of cars after the first few events, which was a lot quicker than we unlocked them on the PS4 version of the game. This creates a bigger incentive to keep playing, even though you’ll have to upgrade these cars from scratch as well, while they have no noticeable differences.

Conclusion

It’s not uncommon that games don’t get better when they are ported to a different platform. In many scenarios, the original product actually becomes worse, and more than often it feels like a quick cash-grab from the developers. For some reason, we believe that this port actually received some love, but there are still too many problems to make the game an enjoyable piece of entertainment. There are too many frame drops, the physics still don’t make that much sense and the AI is poorly programmed, making for a very messy experience. The grind seems to be reduced, as we unlocked some cars faster, but even then, it doesn’t make up for all the poor elements the game throws at you.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Monster Jam Steel Titans (Switch) – Review, 1.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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