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Developer Hasbro Options
Distributer Hasbro 4-Player alternating mode
Game Type Board Game Mem. Card
Review Date January 1998  ?
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Setting the Scene
Wow, an ancient board game brought back to life on the PlayStation. Monopoly, for those of you that have never heard of the game before is a board game that was released for public consumption way back in 1935. It is a game based on real estate wheeling and dealing in which it uses post depression Atlantic City as it's backdrop.

The game is basically timeless in nature and has been converted to numerous platform systems in the past as well as having many different PC versions released. The game has also been modified to use different locations and street names, just to give it a different flavour.

Well now the PlayStation gets it's very own version that is sure to bring back some pleasant memories from all of you old timers out there, and create some lasting impressions on those new to this game. If you have ever had a fantasy of being a real estate mogul, get ready because the granddaddy of real estate games is back again!

Monopoly is basically a Real Estate board game that involves landing on property and buying it or paying a current owner rent. The intent is to bankrupt all of the other players and win, win, win!
The graphics in Monopoly are very tastefully executed. The board layout is nicely represented from a quasi ¾ view that rotates in 90-degree increments to follow your game piece around the surface. Additionally there is a smaller window that pops up and gives you a magnified view of your game piece in regards to it's location on the board. This view is from the back of the object and is completed animated. Depending upon which object you want to use in the game, you get to see a car cruising around the track, or a dog running or a train chugging for instance. As the piece rounds one of the four corners of the board it slips and slides around the bend in an amusing fashion.

The board is accurately represented and puts you right in the game. The best part of the graphics though is when you land on one of the properties… Each lot pops up in a mini-window and shows a nice little picture of what the real estate looks like. Some of the lots are very humorous. I especially like the picture for Oriental Gardens, featuring withered old dead trees and toxic barrels strew across the landscape. Yeah, now that's some property that I simple must purchase! Of course, Boardwalk and Park Place are depicted as your swanky, out of reach mansions.

Don't get me wrong here, while I truly do like the graphics in this game it is after all just a board game translated to a console. There is none of that incredible Playstation light-sourcing or high-speed 3D rendering being done here… just a nice little board game with very nicely done graphic touches. It works wonderfully.

Sounds and Effects
Not much is going on in the sound department. Besides the specific sounds your game pieces make while they are motoring around the board there isn't much else to grab ones attention. The dice make a nice little dice sound when rolled, and the pop-up windows have their own associated sounds to them (blip, blip)

The music is nicely orchestrated and completely non-intrusive as it plays over and over in the background during game play. You have a choice of four music tracks to play during the game. The one I kinda stuck with has a nice little short-shuffle beat that compliments the action quite nicely. I can't quite place the music, but it had a familiar ring to it.

The music and sound F.X volume can be adjusted separately.
For those of you that have ever played and liked Monopoly before, the console version will not disappoint you. It strictly adheres to the Monopoly rulebook and will not let players cheat! There are however options to customize the rules to your liking, but more on that in a bit.

The game plays out pretty much like having the board game right in front you. Some of you might be saying "well then why not just play the board game?" Good question! I can come up with a few reasons right off the top of my head. I guess the best reason is that you don't need to count up and divvy all the money at the beginning or during game play, the console does all of that for you. You also don't have to physically throw the dice or move your game piece around the board, it's now done electronically. All real estate assets and transactions are handled at the click of a button. Oh, and finally it's the novelty of the whole thing!

In one player mode you have the option of selecting from several different computer opponents ranging in intelligence and risk taking abilities. This is a nice way of adjusting the challenge for new or experienced players. Of course the most fun though is playing against a few friends and trying to bankrupt them!

The game moves you along at a decent clip and keeps you into the game for the most part. I found it a bit boring navigating through some of the menu screens, but this was a necessary evil to get to certain areas of the game for trading and raising money.

The most amazing part is that the game still retains the same amount of anxiety for me when I am rounding the bend to boardwalk and someone has a stack of houses or a hotel sitting there. I just know that I will end up landing on that damn piece of property!!! Oh, the childhood fears… the irony…

Without going into all of the rules for the game (there are a lot!), you always have the option of going in and customizing the game. In addition to the "long game" version you can also opt to play the short game. In the short game you already start out the game of two property cards. Money can be collecting if you land on Free Parking and only three houses need to be built on a property before throwing up your hotel.

You can also set the game to double your bonus if you land on Go, you have the option to pass on buying the property you land on and you can elect to give a person immunity to paying rent on your property.

There are also International options that allow you to play the game with some of the European rules turned on such as not having to pay the 10% property taxes… but the Luxury tax goes up from $75 to $100.

Overall, this is a very good version of Monopoly and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes this game and is interested in playing it on a console. Each game can be quite long, depending on which options you've elected to play with but the game is enjoyable and a good way to kill a few hours.
Value for Money
This is a very good conversion of a board game to console format. The game is different each and every time you play it and involves different strategies as well. The computer plays a good, challenging game and the multi-player support is super.

If you like Monopoly even a little, for the price it's a good buy. If you've never played the game before you might want to rent it first… it's an acquired taste.
GRAPHICS: Good The game is a timeless classic. It plays out very well on the Playstation and hasn't lost its lustre over the years. The game is easy to customize depending on your mood (and time!) and has a good selection of computer opponents - from extremely stupid on up to real estate moguls.

It's actually a pretty good real estate simulation made easier to play thanks to the PlayStation. You don't have to dig around for the play money any more or bother setting up the board… just pop in the CD turn on your PSX and it's off to old Atlantic City to buy up some property!
SOUND: Average
VALUE: Very Good

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