Big Mutha Truckers 2 Review

Sometimes you really have to wonder what some people in the gaming industry are on.  Some games get made and are really…not too great, but still manage to make a sequel.  In those times, my general reaction is, “Whahuh?”  This happens to be one of those times.

For those behind the times, Big Mutha Truckers came out in 2003 as a budget title.  My immediate thoughts, considering I’m from Texas, was that 1) this was a total hack job rife with redneck stereotypes and 2) what the heck were they thinking, anyway?

Apparently, I was one of the only ones thinking this, as the first game seems to have sold enough to earn a sequel.  With that in mind, I went into this game hoping for two things:  First, that it would make me laugh more than groan, and second that it’d be a fun game.  Let’s see if I was right, shall we?

Being that this is a budget title, not much was expected from the graphics, and the game holds up its end of the bargain.  The graphics are for the most part rather uninspired.  Granted, there’s enough detail to tell the differences between each character and the landscapes are nicely animated.  It’s just that the little things fail to impress.  Characters bodies don’t quite move naturally from time to time, hands aren’t really detailed or animated properly. 

Beyond that, there’s just not a lot of variety in the graphics.  It seems like there are only a small variety of vehicles on the road and a number of the characters look the same.  Specifically, it appears that every girl in this game is huge-chested.  Again, variety is what seems to be missing in the game. 

Up front, the music in the game is quite nice, heavy on the southern rock, even going so far as to have “All Right Now” by Free as the title track.  Unfortunately, again, variety is the key and there’s simply not enough of that in the various radio stations.  Things tend to repeat every twenty to thirty minutes, and the radio actually pauses when you stop at any of the locations in the game, resuming when you get back in your truck. 

The sounds of the vehicles and background noises are all decent, but again there’s just something lacking about everything, not really pulling the player into the game as much as it might.

The character’s voices have to be noted, especially the fact that some of the voices don’t match the character that speaks them.  One example is that of an Asian girl named Suki having the voice of a girl from ‘Joisey’ (New Jersey) while a nudist character sounds very much like a Valley Girl.  While the game is steeped with stereotypes, at times it goes too far with them.

It’s odd, seeing a driving game with big rigs where speed is key.  The problem, of course, is that a 18 wheeler doesn’t control any better than a brick.  This is carried over as your rig handles poorly in general, but especially at the beginning of the game.  Backing up is difficult, stopping easily is difficult, doing just about anything other than tooling down a straight road is difficult. 

The controls themselves are very basic.  The left analog stick controls left and right motion while the right one controls acceleration and braking, as does X and Square buttons.  Circle is your horn and Triangle changes radio stations.  L1 and R1 swing your trailer left and right respectively while R2 is rear view, L2 is nitro and select changes the camera. 

Unfortunately, there’s not much of a sense of speed in the game.  Even at 120 miles an hour, it doesn’t feel like you’re going any faster than 40 or 50.  Hitting the nitro nudges the speed up to 140, but it doesn’t feel much faster.  Swinging your trailer is difficult unless you’re taking a turn at the same time. 

At least the controls mimic how an actual rig would feel.  They both control like bricks.

While the game plays out like a driving game, at its core Big Mutha Truckers 2 is nothing more than a simple cargo transport game.  You buy items low at one place, deliver them to another to sell them at a profit.  Wash, rinse and repeat.  Sure, there are missions here and there are challenges along the way, but in a nutshell the game consists of that major element.

This game picks up right where Big Mutha Truckers left off, with Ma Jackson being arrested for numerous counts of tax evasion as well as other crimes.  The authorities confiscated all of the money won in the first game as evidence.  So now Ma’s family are sent out to earn enough money to bribe the jurors to see that Ma is found guilty.

The problem is that with the gameplay being so simplistic it dosen’t take very long for the game to become very boring.  The only real twist to the gameplay is at the end where you’re given one final mission to complete.  Outside of that, the entire game is running back and forth buying low and selling high to amass enough money to pay off all of the jurors.  It’s honestly almost not worth completing the game.

Outside of the main game (Trial by Trucking), there’s Mission Mode, where you can play the missions unlocked in the main mode, your options and a gallery of unlockable items.  That’s really it here.

First off, it’s a good thing that this game is only $20.  As a budget title, expectations aren’t quite as high as if it was a $50 game.  Unfortunately, the game barely manages to meet those lowered expectations.  The gameplay is methodic and mind-numbingly boring.  The graphics don’t pass muster, the animation is spotty and the game really isn’t very much fun.  As far as unlockables, most of them are concept art and videos, nothing really worth unlocking.  The outtakes are nice, but not really worth banging your head against the wall to unlock.

I have to admit, I didn’t really like the concept of this game, but I was willing to give it a chance.  It just seemed that the game conspired to suck all the fun out of it.  As stated before, the gameplay is very basic and not exciting at all.  While I was able to complete the game, it definitely felt like a chore at times, and I didn’t bother unlocking everything. 

At $20, the game is barely worth it.  It’s more likely to be worth it to pick it up used for $10-15, or even better, just get the first game if you really want something along these lines.

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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