<center><font size=+2>Ramparoony! by EmceeMart
Note: I started this review in January but just finished it up so I could finally get it off my desktop (as well as collect my money from Cope, who paid me to write this so he could slack off).
I'll tell you what, after the long absence it's great to see another track from our old buddy EmceeMart. He has apparently been making tracks for 4x4 Evolution 1 and 2
over the years but in his newest Monster Truck Madness 2
track (the first of many we should hope) he has created a bowl shaped open-air arena with a cloverleaf layout that focuses on a crossroads in the center. This center is a platform with ramps on all four sides, which makes it nothing less than a ramparoony
(quite possibly a little known geometric shape).
Overall you'll experience lots of two way traffic and see plenty of T-bone and head on collisions if you're not careful enough. Playing offline with a full fleet of computer trucks and giving them time to get scattered around the track is a must, and while this is not a situation for logging fast laps it should proove to be a bit of fun. The computer trucks act as unpredictable moving obstacles that add a lot of spice to an otherwise simple layout. Relative simplicity mixed with danger is what this track is all about, but how well it works in a multiplayer setting I couldn't say. Nevertheless, the ramparoony (that quad vector polyhedra of doom) in the center of the track provides for some fun, challenge and disasterous crashes. Approaching the jump and having four trucks suddenly flying straight at you, or over your head, or flying across the path in front of you definitely kicks it up a notch.
The overall atmosphere of this track is the sort of thing seen only in the wild world of video games, and along with that there's plenty of attention to detail. You'll find carefully placed fencing, signs and trees, as well as grandstands that line the straightaways leading to the crossroads (with continuous sounds of cheering coming from them), while overhead is an elevated bridge that carries a moving train through the center of the arena. Now on the negative side I must note that the density of scenery objects combined with the presence of multiple trucks can strain the framerate on computers at the low end of the spectrum, and the directional signs resting on the road itself seem a bit out of place.
It's not particularly explorable outside of the arena but there are some goodies out there. Off in the corner of the world you'll find a large collection of extra textures laid out which comprise the bulk of the custom set made for the track. The zip itself contains a Traxx project file and ready to use texture patterns, presumably for other track makers to make easy use of the materials. Among the textures is a full set of asphalt/tarmac roads bordered by sand and surrounded by grass, a secondary set of sand/dirt roads embedded in grass, and some supplementary sets of pale cobblestone and a sort of red clay (which was used on the race course itself). Finally: I recommend checking out the readme and perhaps even the <a href=http://forum.mtm2.com/viewtopic.php?t=3926 target=beta>beta thread</a> for some additional information.