Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

If the recent Need for Speed games are anything to go by, then the series looks to be returning to its roots. Announced at E3 2010 is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit. I am assuming that this is just a temporary title since “Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit” is also the name of the third game in the NFS series. This game will likely be named Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit III in time.

The police will obviously play a big part in this game, and hopefully there will be some rally exciting new features to hot pursuit mode itself.

The two cars that are visible in the trailer are the Lambourghini Murcielago and Bugatti Veyron. The Veyron is the police cruiser in the video, which leads me to believe that we’re going to be seeing some very fast cops in this game!

It is fantastic to see Need for Speed returning to the style of racing that made it so popular. The previous two Hot Pursuit titles (NFS3 and NFS6, respectively) are my two favourites in the series, and I appreciate them much more than the Underground series or the “sim” style NFS games such as Shift.

This is the real Need for Speed. Welcome back, baby!

Return to June 2010 Articles

Advertisements

Wheel of Fortune (Review)

“About as much fun to play as it is to land on the bankrupt piece in real life.”

After ruining Jeopardy on the Playstation 3, Sony Online Entertainment decided that this was not enough and that they had to destroy another game show. The only show that rivals Jeopardy in terms of popularity is Wheel of Fortune, so it only seemed natural for them to turn their gaze upon it.

Wheel of Fortune was released not long after the disaster that was Jeopardy, which makes me believe that Sony Online Entertainment was working on these two abortions at the same time. As was the case with Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune was priced very cheap. Price says a lot about a game, remember.

Yet again like Jeopardy, upon booting this game up, players are forced to listen to a repetitive looping theme song on all of the game’s menus. This will try your patience as you have to listen to it while you do everything from configure options to making your character.

Character creation is not anything worth mentioning, as it has few good points. Basically, you select a head (there are only a few, and they all represent different ethnic groups), a hair style, and a choice between one or two different shirts, pants, etc. It is very limitedm but this wouldn�t be so bad ifthe characters themselves actually looked alright. The male characters all look like scrawny child molesters, and the female characters all look like they are missing their brains as they stare off into space like idiots.

After creating your bizarrely perma-happy character, it’s time to take to the Wheel of Fortune studio itself, which is well represented except for the fact that there is no Pat Sajak. Hell, Vanna White isn’t even in it. Unforgivable. I can understand not having one of the two hosts in the game, but would really cost that much to obtain to right to feature even just one of them? Vanna White can’t even be that expensive. This is just further evidence that Sony Online Entertainment wanted to make this game as cheaply as they could, and they sacrificed authenticity and immersion by doing so.

Gameplay is a step up from Jeopardy and, aside from the horrible presentation, the game actually plays just like the real television show. Spin the wheel, select your letters, solve when you know what the puzzle is. Wheel of Fortune has been faithfully duplicated in this regard, and you cannot soar through the game using blind luck as you could in Jeopardy. You may still need to buzz in quickly though to beat the lightning quick AI.

The ridiculous cheer animations from Jeopardy are back, probably for the worse. Though the characters don’t engage in this awful cheer too much anymore, it is still around and is very depressing to watch.

As a whole, this is a step up from Jeopardy. Not a massive one, but the game actually models Wheel of Fortune pretty well. While the gameplay isn’t really too bad, everything else is just as lacking as it was in Jeopardy, making it quite hard to even sit through one full game of Wheel of Fortune.

Final Score

4.2/10

Jeopardy (Review)

“The only thing in jeopardy here is this game’s entertainment value.”

Every now and then, I like to review something that I know I can’t be nice to. Jeopardy, by Sony Online Entertainment, is the lucky game to receive this treatment today.

Jeopardy was released last year on the Playstation Store around September of last year. There was absolutely no build up to the game’s release, and the fact that the game’s price would have put it in the bargain bin at Walmart told everybody exactly what they needed to know, that this was a game that probably had very little effort put into it.

Anyway, upon buying this dirt cheap game and booting it up, players are treated to a repetitive looping theme song on all of the menus. This becomes very frustrating to listen to after several minutes of setting the options and creating your character.

Character creation is not anything worth mentioning, as it has few good points. Basically, you select a head (there are only a few, and they all represent different ethnic groups), a hair style, and a choice between one or two different shirts, pants, etc. It is very limited, but this wouldn’t be so bad if the characters themselves actually looked alright. The male characters all look like scrawny child molesters, and the female characters all look like they are missing their brains as they stare off into space like idiots.

So after creating your character, it’s time to get to the part of the game that you’ve been wanting to play, the game show portion. The actual game of Jeopardy is pretty unimpressive. The first thing that you’ll notice is that there is no Alex Trebek. How can you have Jeopardy without Alex Trebek? This is the equivalent playing a Star Trek game that does not have Kirk in it and having the crew of the Enterprise pretend that he never even existed in the first place. All shots of the bridge would cleverly show everything except the captain’s seat, and any dialogue that should be spoken by Kirk would instead just appear in a text box of 12 size Times New Roman font near the bottom of the screen with no indication as to who is speaking the words. That is exactly what it is like in Jeopardy. There is no Alex Trebek, no host, no voicing. They may as well have just made this Jeopardy: The Text-Based Game Show.

Gameplay is ridiculous. You do not input your answers to questions. Instead, each question asked presents you with multiple choice answers, so you can basically win this game through luck just by selecting random answers. You may want to do this anyway, because by the time you read the questions as well as the answers, the AI opponents will have probably buzzed in and answered.

There is no challenge, no sense of immersion. You can get a few cheap laughs out of this game though, as whenever the game starts or your character triumphs, they will do this ridiculous little cheer. It’s an awful animation and when all three characters do it at the exact same time (which is a lot), it looks very awful and sloppy.

I really wish that I could say something good about this game. Gameplay is terrible and suited for borderline casual players, sound is irritating and repetitive, and the graphics leave a lot to be desired. At least the Jeopardy stage looks decent enough?

Final Score

3.7/10