Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams
Monopoly is a game which allows players to combine business savvy with luck to bankrupt your friends (or foes) on your way from rags to riches. Quick thinking and the ability to wheel and deal will be crucial elements in determining success or failure in this game. With a roll of the dice, you can go from being in the company of millionaires to being kicked to the curb like a gutter rat. As they say though, fortune favors the bold.
With Monopoly, Hasbro Interactive continues its resurrection and remake of classic games. Following on the success of Frogger, Hasbro now brings back Uncle Pennybags and the classic board game Monopoly in a fresh new animated format. All the fun of the original board game has now been compressed into a CD worthy to be treasured (no pun intended).
This version of Monopoly is just like the board game except that the computer moves for you and also acts as your broker. By broker I mean that rent and other costs incurred during the course of the game are automatically deducted from your assets. The only reason to count your money is to show off how rich you are. The board fares well in the transition from real life to animation as did the tokens. Everything is as it should be with regards to the game format, but there is also a new twist. When you land on an available property, an animation pops up that shows how the ramshackle ruins can be converted into a glorious property. This movie option can be turned off for the sake of expediency, but I think it is a nice touch.
Monopoly for the Playstation is not a passive affair. When it is your turn to move, a sound distinct to each token will sound to urge you forward (horn for the car, foghorn for the battleship etc.). Whenever any money changes hands, whether it be through rent or passing Go and collecting $200, there is that ever pleasant sound of a cash register ringing (which is much more pleasant if you are on the receiving end of the transaction). Also, when you go to jail, you will know it by the sound of your jail cell door slamming shut. Never before did you hear the sound of Monopoly, but with this new and improved yet classic version, your game of Monopoly will come to life in an explosion of sound and animation. Okay, maybe not explosion, but still a pretty big bang for your buck.
The best part about Monopoly has to be the deals you can make, and this tradition is preserved in the video game version. Nothing beats the high of holding the fate of a fellow man in the palm of your hand. There is nothing sweeter than crushing the hope of a supplicant who has come to you for aid. And there is nothing greater than getting rich at the expense of the less fortunate. This version lets you wheel and deal to your heart's content. If someone can't pay you the rent, then seize his property. If someone is in jail, sell him a get out of jail free card. If you need to raise money, mortgage a property. The game allows for the aforementioned possibilities and much more. Also, the game rules can be set to your liking. Whether you play by International rules or good ol' domestic rules, the game can be customized to a format with which you are familiar. For example, rewards can be doled out for landing on Free Parking and the Go square, while punishments for such things as landing on luxury tax or income tax can be made stricter or more lenient. Hasbro's Monopoly is done your way right away.
Monopoly is a game best played in the company of others. The best games are the ones in which you can gouge your friends and bleed them for all they're worth. However, for those of you that live in solitude take heart, for the game comes with 10 built in artificially intelligent players who can cater to your skill level. From the most cautious and least intelligent Dana to the most greedy and wily Zanthia (?!?) and everyone in between, you will never be without an opponent to suit your tastes. One bad thing that has been carried over from the board game is the overwhelming length of it all. Even with the Short Game option on, expect to be playing for awhile. There is no such thing as a "quick" game of Monopoly.
Hasbro definitely has a winner here. By making an already popular board game come to life with sound and graphics, Hasbro has created a game that is sure to be fun for all. While not particularly 'new' or 'revolutionary,' this is still a solid title.