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
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.