May 10, 2012
Four games into this feature and I may have found another decent title for the Game.com. I initially believed that Lights Out would be the only worthwhile game on the system, especially after realizing anything with motion would be heavily disadvantaged. It’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie, it’s Jeopardy!
Based off of the television game show, Jeopardy! the game is a fun test of random knowledge. The questions present weren’t skewed towards a younger crowd and I appreciated that. They covered a range of topics and in the few rounds I played, I didn’t encounter duplicates, although I’m sure the library of questions is small.
Thanks to the Game.com’s touch screen, inputting answers wasn’t as difficult as it’d be on a rival system like the Game Boy. Still, the poor image quality of the screen coupled with its small size and lack of backlighting made it a chore to read questions and type in answers.
I had peculiar trouble getting it to play when another cartridge was inserted into the system. In this situation the game would hang on the start screen until I acted like I was going to back out to the system menu and cancel, at which point it’d operate just fine.
I got the most fun from reading the hilarious wrong answers the computer would give occasionally, but all things considered, it still represents the game show accurately and it’s not terrible.
August 5, 2011
Hey guess what? I have another version of Wheel of Fortune that I’m going to talk about. This time it’s Wheel of Fortune for the Sega CD. It was developed by Absolute Entertainment and published by Sony Imagesoft in 1994. The format is standard Wheel of Fortune fare but this version has the inclusion of video footage!
Wheel of Fortune for the Sega CD played identically to Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition for the Super Nintendo, the game I wrote about a week or two ago. My friend and I played through three rounds attempting to solve puzzles with the most amount of money, and the winner of these rounds proceeded to a bonus round.
This version boasted more puzzles than the Super Nintendo version, but the few my friend and I came across didn’t seem well known. The one that sticks out in my mind was “pooped out to lunch”. I understand what it means, but I’ve never heard anyone phrase it that way.
The real reason to play the Sega CD version however is the inclusion of video footage. Vanna White is featured prominently in the game, and there is a little video footage of each contestant too. The video quality is very poor however (typical of Sega CD games) and it really slows the pace of the game. Vanna would announce whose turn it was, each time using the same line and this got old fast. Once we learned we could skip this we did. There was plenty more video footage of Vanna too, but it grew old fast as well.
This version was again a competent recreation of the TV show, and the rivalry between my friend and I was still there, but the puzzles didn’t seem great. The video footage included was entertaining, aka laughably bad, but it really slowed down the pace of the game. It was fun to play to see the video, but for just wanting to compete, Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition is a better choice.
July 29, 2011
Continuing on with game show video games for the Super Nintendo, my friend and I popped in Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition. It was developed by Imagitec Design and published by GameTek in 1994 and I came away with the same feelings as I did with Family Feud. It was a competent recreation of the TV show and we enjoyed playing it, but there are probably newer, better versions out there.
My friend and I entered in our names and chose to be one of six characters. We played through the game in four rounds and a speed-up round, and finally the winner would play a bonus round. Like Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition did a good job of recreating the TV show, albeit within the abilities of the SNES.
When it was our turn, we could spin the wheel, buy a vowel, or attempt to solve the puzzle. When spinning the wheel we’d land on a slot (hopefully not bankrupt or lose a turn) and then pick a consonant and win money depending on how many of that letter were in the puzzle. We could also buy vowels, and lastly attempt to solve the puzzle. If we were right, we’d win the money we had accumulated in that round. The winner after four normal rounds and the speed-up round would continue into the bonus round. Here the winner would pick three consonants and one vowel, and then attempt to guess the puzzle.
I feel practically the same about Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition as I did about Family Feud on the SNES. My friend and I both had a good time playing it, but there is probably a newer, better version available.
July 29, 2011
Having not played anything multiplayer on my Super Nintendo Entertainment System in a long time, my friend and I decided to hook it up. The first game we decided to play was Family Feud. It was developed by Imagineering and published by GameTek in 1993. The game recreated the TV show well and my friend and I had a good time playing it, but there are probably newer, better video game versions of the TV show.
After giving our families obscenity-ridden names we played the bull’s-eye round. The host asked us questions (five total, one for each family member) and we had to buzz in and guess the number one answer and whoever got it right won money. This round acted to boost our winnings, which only mattered if we wrote down the code at the end of the game to keep playing with the winning family, a neat feature.
After the bull’s-eye round, we played the main rounds of Family Feud. The host asked us a question and we had to guess what the top answers were, just like the TV show. The game continued this way until one of us had surpassed three hundred points, thereby defeating the other team and continuing into the final round, the fast money round.
In this round, two of the winning family’s members had to answer specific questions, aiming to reach a total of two hundred points, and winning the fast money round. If they didn’t crack two hundred points, they would be awarded five dollars for each point.
Family Feud on the SNES recreated the show well, but being nearly twenty years old now, it probably isn’t the ideal version to play. There wasn’t a lot going on graphically; the interface looked fine and was understandable, but the animation for the contestants was terrible. Answering required my friend and I to spell out our answer using an alphabet box, and this worked fine. We only played one game so we didn’t play through many questions, but some of the answers were not that obvious. We had a fun time playing Family Feud, chastising each other’s answers and just horsing around, and are up for playing it again.
April 27, 2011
The past couple of times I’ve browsed through the game departments of Best Buy and Target, I’ve noticed a plethora of copies of Truth or Lies, and to my surprise Target had a pile of them on clearance for five dollars. I decided to take a shot in the dark with the game and pick it up after seeing if a friend would be interested in playing it as well. Truth or Lies was developed by Australian based Big Ant Studios, known for some Rugby and World of Outlaws games as well as a few ports. Truth or Lies is a party game that asks players questions that they then must answer truthfully to score the most points possible. A microphone is required to play the game but one was not packed in.
Truth or Lies asks players questions and the object is answer each question truthfully. The object is to ultimately win, after all this is a video game, and answering questions truthfully will net you more points. But what if an embarrassing question comes up? Then one would lie, but do so convincingly enough to trick the game.
Before my friend and I began, we each created a profile for the game. The game gave us a few questions and asked us to answer them truthfully or dishonestly, presumably to hear what we sound like in each scenario. Once our profiles were set up we jumped into the game proper. We picked a two person match and the game then asked how long the match should be; seeking the largest amount of achievements possible, we chose the longest match and it then asked us who was playing, kids, adults, etc.
Okay, now we were into the match. The questions we were asked were dumb. Even after selecting questions for adults, a lot of the questions seemed naïve. And most of the questions seemed uninspired, I mean on the front of the box one of the example questions asked what you would do if you had twenty-four hours to live? How would the game really know if someone was telling the truth anyways, it only gives you ten seconds to answer, and even then, my friend and I could’ve just horsed around when we were setting up our profiles? That said, we didn’t horse around when we set up our profiles and the game seemed to be fairly accurate when judging whether we were truthful or not.
The match we played was very long, about a half hour, and ultimately very boring. The format was similar throughout, all I remember is a lot of dull questions. Neither of us had any interest to play more of the game afterwards. We did check out the Hot Seat mode where we got to take turns asking each other questions, and that was pretty cool, but not enough to make us want to play more.
Truth or Lies boasts that it has over three thousand questions, thought-provoking ones no less, but the majority of the ones I saw were either naïve or just uninspired. After a match, I’d seen all of Truth or Lies that I needed to see. That’s not to say I didn’t have fun with the game, no, but the fun I garnered from the experience came from the dumb answers my friend and I gave, which became more absurd as the match continued. I would not recommend Truth or Lies.
Bonus: Check out the video tab on the Truth or Lies website (hyperlink) and watch some of the worst promotional videos for a video game ever. It seems like they were going for a sitcom vibe but they gave me serious wahjah.
February 25, 2011
For a series that was at one point as prominent as You Don’t Know Jack was, I’ve had little experience with it. The series debuted in 1995 and there have been many releases since then. Of the games released, I’ve only played the PlayStation version of the first game. I bought the PlayStation version a couple years back and a friend and I play it every now and then. It’s a great game to turn to when we’re in the mood for some trivia, or just something to laugh at. The newly released You Don’t Know Jack, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and DS, and of course the PC, has brought the experience back to consoles, and it’s a welcome return, although not much has changed.
You Don’t Know Jack is broken down into episodes, with each episode containing ten questions. The questions are often humorously written while maintaining a clear enough tone to know what’s being asked, mostly. Occasionally, it’s confusing to figure out what the question is asking for, as if the writer got too caught up in attempting to make a joke, instead of maintaining a balance between humor and understandability. The topics vary greatly, from scientific lingo to questions about recent pop culture; throughout our play session my friend and I were equally knowledgeable and lucky in our answers and saw a wide variety of topics.
The episodes contain ten questions along with a minigame or two and each episode ends with a Jack Attack. Episodes are not randomly put together so once an episode is completed, there isn’t much point in returning to it. Each episode begins with the host mentioning the sponsored wrong answer; as the episode proceeds, if you find an answer that relates to the sponsor somehow, pick it, you’ll get the question wrong, but for finding the sponsored wrong answer, you’ll receive a prize and some bonus cash. Before playing each person must create a profile, each person’s profile shows their stats and the prizes they’ve found, the prizes are something to replay older episodes for, but collecting them seems like pretty minor bragging rights.
Besides the sponsored wrong answer, there are a few other unique aspects to the game flow. At some point, the person with the lowest score will get to attempt a Dis or Dat. In Dis or Dat, the player with lowest score is given keywords and picks whether that keyword falls into one of the two categories, or occasionally both. The Dis or Dat that sticks out in my mind was the first one my friend and I got. We had to pick whether the words given were the names of Popes, or the names of Britney Spears songs, this example shows what the developers mean when they call You Don’t Know Jack a blend of high culture and pop culture.
The Jack Attacks play out similarly. The host gives a clue as to what the players are looking for, and they must match the two words that fit the best. In the center of the screen is one large keyword that is coming towards the players. While it’s onscreen, smaller keywords are flashing around, and if the connection between these two keywords is what was asked for, the players buzz in. The person who gets it the fastest gets four thousand dollars, but, if you buzz in on the wrong answer, you lose four thousand dollars. The Jack Attacks gave a chance for those who didn’t do well throughout the course of the game to have a final chance, but in my experience with the game so far, if you did well throughout the game, you’d likely do well during the Jack Attack.
You Don’t Know Jack is a blast, especially for thirty dollars. I haven’t tried the online, and the single player is a quick way to experience the game’s humor but for me, local multiplayer is the only way to play You Don’t Know Jack. With seventy-three episodes, it’ll be a while before I’ve experienced everything You Don’t Know Jack has to offer, and if I’m still left wanting more at that point, I’ll pick up one of the downloadable content packs, not that that’ll happen anytime soon.