There haven’t been nearly enough zombie games on the Xbox 360. The last time we touched a rotting corpse was with Dead Rising, and was easily one of the best zombie games ever made.
So when Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia came out I was intrigued. Like Dead Rising, it allows you to use every object available in the game as a weapon, which led to some of the most creative gameplay yet. Monster Madness is built to be a top-down arcade brawler supporting up to four players, much like Gauntlet. Now I was really intrigued.
The characters are a mix of stereotypical teenagers in a B-movie horror flick. You have the Goth Chick, the blonde Valley Gurl type, the Skater-Boi and the Weird Kid. The character art is actually very good, although the voice acting isn’t. Although any object is available as a weapon, certain characters will do better with some weapons than others.
My expectations started to sink as I started to experience some of the worst controls on any game. The control scheme is just counter-intuitive and overly complicated for a simple top-down shooter. You must manipulate three different controls to fire a weapon in theh right direction, and click the right thumbstick to jump. I can get used to it, but it never feels completely natural. The fun is completely sucked out of wonderfully grusome weapons because they are a chore to use…
Adding to the frustration is the fact that you can’t see anything that’s going on. The top-down idea is a nice novelty, but everything is so small that you can’t see yourself, where the enemies are, which way you’re facing, or where the weapons are. I was playing this game on a 60″ HDTV, so I pity the fool playing this on a standard television. Zombies aren’t really scary when they look like toy soldiers.