|Playstation > Whats New > PlayStation Reviews > Staff Review|
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|Game Type:||Game Show Simulation||Memory Card|
|Review Date:||December 1998||Analog Compatible|
Setting the Scene
Hello ladies and gentlemen, it's once again time to test your knowledge in a game of Jeopardy! With your host Alex Trebeck and game/category announcer Johnny Olsen to help guide things along. Have you ever sat at home and participated in the game show Jeopardy? You know, when you are watching it on TV and yell out the answers and get all smug and stuff...all the while thinking to yourself, hey I should be on there. I would make a killing against those idiots! Well, now all you armchair would-be Jeopardy experts have got your chance. Hasbro has brought this wonderfully intelligent game home to your Playstation game consoles and it just dares you to go in and kick some intellectual ass!
Jeopardy is a unique game show that requires players to provide their answers in the form of a question. The answers are actually given out and the first player to ring in and correctly phrase the proper question for that answer gets the points.
Not really much is going on here at all. I mean, all the game has to reproduce is a series of monitors that display the categories and answers. It does however do this very well and mimics the TV show appropriately. There is also a cute little attempt at some minor lens flaring to mimic the glare of the lights reflecting off of the display monitors. I know it's rather trivial, but I thought it was a nice touch and shows the programmers where paying attention to detail. There is also the three contestant booths that are displayed...alas there are no contestants though filling the seats, just the names that each player puts in. Alex makes full motion video appearances throughout the game providing the answers and nudging the players to proceed. It all works out very well and does what it needs to do to get you immersed in the gameplay.
Sounds and Effects
If you have ever seen the show, all I can say is that all of the sounds are in the game. You start off with Johnny Olsen introducing the contestants, then jump to Alex firing up the game amidst a rumbling audience in the background. The ambience it creates is perfect! Other sounds include the neat little bleeps that ensue when you jump around the categories, the Double Jeopardy alarm and the depressing buzz of a wrong question. The music is all Jeopardy as well with the addicting theme song and the soothing interludes...it's just like playing in the real game. It's also a good thing that they got Johnny to do the categories and Alex to host the show... their witticisms and trademark comments are an absolute requirement for this game.
The first thing I thought about before even starting to play was how the hell were they going to set things up so you can spell out the questions? I mean, we have no keyboard or magic pens here ya know. Well the game starts out by letting players write in their own names by using either the digital pad or the analog thumbsticks...oh no, I thought to myself - maybe that is how we will have to enter all of the questions as well! Sure hope the program has a damn good interpreter cause my joystick handwriting skill sucks! Luckily, this is not the case and there is quite an ingenious interface that has been developed to take care of all your question inputs...anyway, I'll get to all this in a moment but right now let me describe the game. Jeopardy is a game that consists of two main rounds and a final Jeopardy answer. Each of the two main rounds starts with six categories, each having 5 answers to them. In the first round, each answer is hidden behind a dollar amount that starts out at $100 for the first answer and progresses to $500 for the last answer in increments of $100. You can pick any category and any dollar amount that you like, but normally the higher the amount, the more difficult the answer will be. Once you select the dollar amount under whatever category you choose, the question is read off and the first of the three players to chime in gets to try their shot at the question. If you are right, you get the bucks if you are wrong you lose that amount of money and the other two players can try their luck at it. There is also a Double Jeopardy answer hidden somewhere on the board and whomever picks it, must correctly question that answer or lose whatever they have chosen to wager. The second round is virtually identical to the first except that the stakes are now a bit higher as the categories start at $200 and progress to $1000 in increments of $200. There is also two Double Jeopardy answers hidden in there as well...one of them usually being a Video Double Jeopardy, where you are given the picture of the person that the answer is about. The Final Jeopardy answer allows players to wager everything they have won up to this point on a single correct question. Depending on where you are in regards to the other players, there is a good deal of strategy that can go into that bet. Once you chime in to give your question, you are presented with a wheel of the alphabet that you toggle through using the directional pad. Use the "X" button to input the letter you like and proceed to the next. While you are doing this, the game prints out what it thinks you are trying to spell, if it is correct you can simply press the shoulder button and then the triangle and the proper question is put out there. Here is an example...let's say the answer is "What is the greatest Playstation website on the planet?" As you begin to put in the first word "Abso" the game will probably already guess that you wanted to say Absolute and would have that word printed out. You then hit the square button for a space and begin typing "Pl" by that time it has it already figured out that you are probably trying to say Playstation. Confirm that and it will already have the next word "International" thrown out there for you. It really saves time and effort on your part! Of course most of the answers are not that simple or obvious (hehehe). There are a ton of different categories from religion to cities to foreign countries to modern music. Guaranteed there is at least one category that will appeal to each individual. I found most of the categories to be rather difficult and thus further proving that I am indeed not a Rhodes scholar...hell, I didn't even know some of my own countries presidents or cities! Of course I excelled at all of the dumbf*%@ categories like "music of the '80's" or "Science Fiction movies"...just goes to show that I am indeed a wealth of useless knowledge...errrrrr. The amount of categories contained in this game is rather impressive...my partner and I spent a good 20 or so games before we started to see repeats. Not too bad. I do however strongly urge you to use a memory card with this game. It not only saves all of you high scores but also keeps track of the categories that you have already played, so it will hold off duplicating them until the last possible category has been utilized. There is also a nice little single player game thrown in called "Speed Jeopardy" where one player continues to get as many correct questions as possible for each game. The high scores are then recorded for future posterity. Overall, I found this be a very playable version of the game show for two people. It absolutely excels as a party though. Get a nice crowd of people together, pop this game in and you can kiss a few hours goodbye as everybody tries to get into the action.
Value for Money
A double-edged sword really...On one side, you have this infinitely playable and enjoyable game that can (and will) sap hours of your life away questioning the myriad of answers. On the other side though, you have some very finite gameplay here. Once you go through all of the categories, you will really not want to hang in there much longer to continue playing through the same stuff over and over again. It's a good ride though until you get there, and it does make one of the better party games out there to be sure.
very good translation of the TV game show. I found it to mimic the game
in every aspect...right down to the amount of time it takes to finish
it...about 24 minutes or so.
The categories are diverse and quite challenging with enough stuff thrown in to please even the most sheltered person. Heck you may even end up learning something about history or religion by playing the game!
The big downside is that once you are through all of the categories it will probably not hold your interest for much longer...the upside though is that it will take you a lot of games before you get to that point. It also makes a splendid party game!