Review by scarlet_puppy
"Yet another poorly made licensed game."
can remember when I first bought this game. Around five or so years ago, I was just as big a fan of video games as I am today, only back then I was a lot younger and easier to please. Looking through the section of my local game store, I saw this game, and the price charged for it was a mere £2 (the average game where I live costs around £30). I also quite liked the game show at the time, so I decided to buy it. Five years later, I am now almost sixteen, and after playing this game again, I realise that I'd made a mistake in buying it.
I'm sure you've heard of the game show at some point. If you haven't, basically here's how it goes. You have seven players, and they all have to take turns answering questions to go up the money ladder, and if you get one wrong you have to start over. However, you can bank money to put it in the bank (or the kitty', as it was often called) and at the end of the round you vote for who you think is the weakest link (i.e. got the most questions wrong). Throughout the show, Anne Robinson also delivers many snide, sarcastic and rude comments to the contestants, which really is the main reason why the show is so memorable. In this sense, the game does quite well. It sticks to the show's formula, and it does so quite well, capturing the main feel of the show (to some extent, at least).
There are also a large variety of questions as well, in such topics as sport, history and entertainment. Just like on the show, the questions range from incredibly easy to incredibly difficult, and you'll rarely get asked the same question twice. In fact, you can even change the amount of questions you get in each subject. For example, if you love football but hate history, turn down the history questions and crank up the sports ones. All in all, the questions in this game are varied and well thought out.
OK, so now that I've gone through the game's two saving graces, let's take a look into its flaws. Perhaps one of the first flaws you'll notice is the game's atrocious graphics. Seriously, they're practically repulsive. All of the characters are blocky and undetailed, their faces look like someone smashed them with a hammer, there are some very noticeable edges, animations are limited and choppy and the background is completely flat and uninteresting. Now, obviously a game based on a quiz show isn't going to blow you away with its graphics, but come on. If this game had come out in 1995, these graphics would have been acceptable, but this game didn't come out in 1995; it came out in 2001. The only graphics in the game that I can stand to look at are the cutscenes from the show, and those are nothing special. Did the developers even try, for goodness' sake?
The sound of the game is taken straight from the show, as you would expect. The music from the show is still there, adding tension to the questions, and the sound effects come from the show too. However, once you get the voices things start to go wrong. The contestants' voices aren't too bad, but when you get to Anne Robinson, things get annoying quickly. The show is well known for her consistent insults to players, yet in this game her quip are nowhere near as cutting as they are on the show. To add to that, the voice clips often repeat themselves, so you'll find her saying the same thing five or six times in a game, and it gets irritating very quickly.
There are three modes in the game: single player, multiplayer and championship. In single player, you play a regular game of the Weakest Link, and in multiplayer it's identical, except that you play with more people. Then there's the championship mode. In a sense, it's basically loads of games of the Weakest Link put together. I never got far in it due to how repetitive and tedious it is, but one of the most annoying things about it is that its save system uses passwords. The Playstation has a perfectly functioning memory card; why doesn't the game utilise that? It just seems unusual.
By the way, when you play in the Weakest Link, you have the choice of two dozen or so different characters, but essentially they're all the same except for appearance. I have to say, one of the main things which ruins this game for me is the erratic AI this game possesses. One round the AI may be brilliant and get every question right, regardless of what those questions are, yet in the next round they get every single one wrong. And another problem with the AI is the way that it votes against you. Obviously, if you get questions wrong, they're right to vote you off, but they always seem to vote for you, regardless of how well you do. In fact, one time there were three contestants left, one of them being me of course, and I got every single question right. When it came to voting, they both voted against me. Their justification? That I was too good and they'd have a better chance beating the other opponent. I'd have probably found that funny if it weren't so incredibly frustrating. Essentially, regardless of what you do, everyone else is against you.
All in all, this game is not fun at all. It does stay true to the show's format, and it does have a nice selection of questions, but it gets hampered down by its tedious and unrewarding championship mode, complete lack of depth, poor AI and horrifically awful graphics. This game just isn't interesting in any way, which is a shame, because it could have been a decent game if a good amount of effort had been put into it. But this game has taught me one thing: just because a game is cheap doesn't necessarily mean its good value for money. I mean, with that £2 I spent on this game, I could have gotten myself a nice pair of socks instead; I'd have gotten a lot more use out of them in the long run.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/08/09
Game Release: The Weakest Link (EU, 09/28/01)
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