If the menu background is making things too slow or you just don't like the effect, you can change the values of the console variables menu-fog and menu-effect.
Setting menu-fog to zero will give you the blue, vertical menu effect. Fog mode one is the old-fashioned black smoke (renders a bit faster than the blue effect).
menu-effect 1 disables the menu type-in effect. menu-effect 2 disables the menu background entirely (use this if your video card is really slow).