OOER! Must be good! If it's got the word grand in the title. Sounds jolly impressive. And then there's the slam bit, very violent and exciting. Not forgetting the monster element. Oh yes, this does sound interesting, grand, slam and cosmopolitan.
Well it isn't. After Denaris, who would have thought that Rainbow Arts could have fallen so low. Let me explain.
Grand Monster Slam is a game about a medieval tournament for trolls, orcs, goblins, minotaurs and sundry other creatures. According to the impressively badly translated manual - Rainbow Arts being West German of course - you play a dwarf with a mission, a mission to win the tournament or be labeled as the king's fool for a year.
After sitting through an impressive loading screen, which promises things the program doesn't deliver, and an equally impressive piece of music, the options menu arrives, complete with quivering beloms. What's a belom, I hear you cry. I'm psychic you see.
A belom is something small and furry, roughly the shape and size of a football and somewhat reminiscent of the Tribbles in Star Trek. Yes, you kick the hell out of them.
At the menu, then, you can either check out the high score table, practice belom punting, practice kicking beloms into faulton's mouths - faulton's are things on sticks that you kick beloms into - or play in the tournament.
Practice a bit first, because no matter what the briefing says, when you start the tournament and get drawn against your first round opponent, it isn't easy.
The first section is the main game and consists of you standing, facing your foe, on a line, kicking beloms over to the other side. The first to kick his beloms over to the other side - plus any that have been kicked by the opponents to their side - and runs across the pitch, is the winner.
Knocking your foes over by kicking beloms at them is entirely legal and rather necessary. Should a belom be lofted into the audience a foul is given and a penalty of up to three beloms may be incurred. I won't bore you with the details of this because it's just too tedious. Suffice to say it involves your right foot and a duck's backside.
If you survive the first round you switch to an overhead view and have to fend off eight attacking beloms with a pole. Otherwise they trample you. This section only nets or loses you points. It doesn't hinder your progress in the game.
Should you manage to beat all the opponents in the first part of the game, you can go on to kick a belom into a faulton's mouth stage. Hold the fire button down to gauge the strength of the shot and the chip the ball. Belom, I mean.
Ahh, the thrill of it all.
The writers of the game and manual claim that the entire concept was developed from a fantasy role
Yes, the music is nice, the graphics are reasonable and the animation and elements of humour are good, but where's the game? Can you imagine a sp[orts game with only three events? Yawn City folks.
Grand Monster Slam isn't a particularly bad game, it's just that there is nowhere near enough of it. It isn't coherent enough and doesn't have the surface gloss to cover over its shortcomings.