Who Wants to Play a Stupid Game?
Hello everybody! This is your host, Johnny Liu. Let's get right into this, shall
we? Someone here, yes perhaps you, friend, reading these very words, has the chance
to play a boring game. You might be saying, "Noooooooooo - that's not possible!"
Let me tell you, it is. And as your host, I must warn you to keep away from it.
But time is short, what with all the commercials we're selling, so let's begin.
Why do people watch the television show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
A> Because it's high quality
entertainment, with a depth that whups even top notch literary works 10 times
B> For Regis. Oh, that sassy Regis.
C> Because no one cares about those people stuck on the island. Hope they all
die, I do.
D> Money, money, money.
Yes folks, the final answer is D. Money. Scrilla. Cheddar. Dolla' bills,
y'all. Greed is good, remember? In this age of a tripped out economy and ne'er
do well dot-coms, it feels like the dream of success is at arms length. A show
like Millionaire lets people live vicariously - the questions are easy
enough, allowing the viewing audience to believe that they too have a shot at
riches and glory.
So, it's a ratings winner. Not because it's deep, provocative, or has an iota
of meaning, but because it's about one million dollars on the line. Next question:
Why was this game made?
A> To create the first true
work that would signify the stepping stone between gaming and high art.
B> For Regis. Oh, that artsy Regis.
C> Why, to get the very first Game Revolution A+, of course!
D> To prey on fans of the show, playing them off as suckers.
Screw the poll - it's D again.
The original game show has a single player in the hot seat. Regis asks them
questions. Each succeeding question nets more money, but becomes increasingly
harder. There are three lifelines that can be used when a question stumps you:
polling the audience, removing two choices, and calling a friend.
The game version has a single player answering a succession of questions with
increasing difficulty. The three lifelines are still there, with a virtual friend
of Regis offering the phone-a-friend support.
an attempt to simulate the overblown suspense of the TV show, with drawn out
pauses and the ever annoying "Is that yer final answer?" Makes for good television,
but it only manages to stall and slow down the game.
Between questions, there are some low key, uninspired graphics. Just sparkly
color whirls and cheesy CG of the Millionaire set. They've modeled the
chair and monitors of the show, and then just track the camera around it every
which way. Way to go for effort, people.
What really cracks me up is the cover of the game, touting "More Regis."
More Regis? What masochist out there wants more Regis, with his un-witty bantering
in his uniquely shrill voice and the constant arm gesturing? In the game, you
will get enough Regis solely with his voice reading all the questions. More
Regis is NOT a good thing.
On my first try, I won half a million, easy. I was rewarded with a check
on my TV screen. Getting that half mil wasn't fun. Everything I won after
that continued to be not fun.
So, what does a non-gamer think of Millionaire? For that, I turned
to my mom. She doesn't play games. She's watched the show a few times but isn't
a big fan. And as someone with the perspective of complete newbie, she still
doesn't like it. It just isn't fun to get boring, seemingly easy question after
boring, seemingly easy question.
The only thing redeemable about the game is a little joke between me and Reeg.
If you enter your name as "Regis," the one true Regis says, "Ya' liar.
There only one Regis!" Man, that guy gives me the creeps. Chalk one point up
for the only shard of creativity in this trivia wasteland.
When it comes to quiz show games, You
Don't Know Jack has always been my favorite. You'll find plenty of originality,
personality, and difficulty. Millionaire has none of those things. It
didn't have those things when it was a TV show, and it doesn't have those things
as a game. Jack had competition between two to four players. In Millionaire,
their idea of two player interactivity is one answering the questions while
the other sits slack jawed on his ass doing nothing.
In fairness, Millionaire the game does duplicate Millionaire
the show, except for one very significant factor. The money. That's all the
show is really about, and as a game with nothing on the line, it feels so pointless.
Some things simply don't translate into games. What'll be next? A Survivor
game? A Real World game?
Final Question. What does this game get?
Omigosh, it's a D, once again! And that, friends, is my final answer.