Published on August 2nd, 2012 | by Russ Greeno0
Who Wants to be a Millionaire: Special Editions Review
To say that Who Wants to be a Millionaire is big success would be an understatement. It is generally considered to be the biggest TV show of all time and has been screened in over 100 of the 196 countries of the world.
The show was so popular that it soon crossed over into everyday life. Do you remember how everyone was making the same ‘Would you like to phone a friend’ joke for months? Oh and how can I forget Chris Tarrant’s notorious long pauses, they’ve made their way onto every quiz and reality show ever since.
Back in the year 2000 I purchased the original PC release of WWTBAM and as expected, it was played quite a few times over the Christmas holiday. The game was fun for everyone in the family because everyone watched the show. No one in their right frame of mind would miss the chance to win a (virtual) million pounds.
Now the game looked pretty good, had the original music and even featured voice over from Mr Tarrant himself, what let it down was the small number of questions. There were just one thousand of them and they repeated so often that it just got a bit silly.
That’s enough of talking about the past, let’s jump back to 2012!
Last year Deep Silver published a brand new Who Wants to be a Millionaire title on the Xbox 360 Arcade and the PlayStation Network. The goal was to make it the definitive version and make you feel that you were in the hotseat, something that has been a bit lacking in other iterations of the franchise. To that end, they’ve also been releasing regular DLC add-on packs to keep things fresh. Firstly I’m going to quickly cover the game itself and then some of the extra content.
Who Wants to be a Millionaire; Special Editions, really is the best gaming rendition of the TV show I have ever played. It looks, feels and plays as close as to the actual show as physically possible. Everything from the set, lighting, music cues and audience seating has been recreated perfectly. At first glance I promise you will think it’s the TV show. It features 1200 general knowledge questions and should keep you going for a while.
Now you all know how the game works, so we will not go too in-depth on the specifics. As the game is suitable for 1-4 players, the first thing that you’ll do is compete in a ‘Fastest Finger’ round that determines the player order. You’ll do this even in single player which keeps things authentic, but unlike on TV, you’ll go through to the quiz even if you get all the answers wrong.
Next you move into the main quiz where your goal is to answer up to fifteen questions that will hopefully win you the jackpot. Fans of the show may notice that the game uses the traditional fifteen question format rather than the newer twelve question variety.
The three famous ‘Lifelines’ are present and correct. At any time you can ‘Phone a Friend’ for virtual assistance, use ‘50/50’ to remove two wrong answers, and ‘Ask the Audience’ for help. Aside from phoning a friend, they work identically to the real show. Sadly the game can’t really telephone your friends via Xbox Live, instead prerecorded voices Um and Ah for a few seconds before giving you an answer. Now this may sound like cheating but let me point out that I have on occasion been given the wrong answer from a ‘friend’ as well as the audience, this adds to the realism greatly. You can’t use a lifeline and actually always expect it to help you, it could hinder you.
So yeah, as I said before it’s just like the TV show…!
The virtual presenter has been very nicely created and is one of the best features of the game. He looks almost human (apart from his HUGE hands) but isn’t what you’d call photorealistic, not by a long way, I think he’s based on Chris Tarrant but has been given his own unique style. He’s well animated and has plenty of spoken phrases, you’ll hear them a lot but his delivery is so authentic that it doesn’t really get stale.
At 800 points for the main download I think the game is worth it, before downloading any DLC I played the game with my girlfriend for weeks and we only ever encountered one repeat question. The game intelligently keeps track of what it has asked you to try and keep it as new as possible at all times. Of course at some point you’ll have seen every question, that’s why they’re extra packs for sale and I’ve already picked up a few of them myself.
- Who Wants to be a Movie Millionaire? 600 extra questions solely on Movies and Film
- Who Wants to be a Music Millionaire? Another 600 questions solely on Music
- Trivia Booster adds 600 new general knowledge questions
- Who Wants to be a Sport Millionaire? 500 exclusive sport questions
- Who Wants to be a Football Millionaire? 600 Football/Soccer questions
- Who wants to be a Video Game Millionaire? 500 questions all about Games
I purchased Movies, Music and Trivia Booster for 240 MSpoints each and I’m quite happy with the quality of questions and the price. I’ve not had a repeat question on these packs yet and the ability to Mix and Match questions really spices things up.
Now I was fortunate enough to be given a review code for the Who Wants to be a Video Game Millionaire DLC the other week and I’ve had so much fun with it. Having spent around twenty six years of my precious life gaming, I couldn’t wait to test my knowledge and finally snag that Million pound jackpot, (the closest I previously got was £250,000).
But guess what happened? After getting to the £500,000 question in the Video Game category I unlocked an achievement, nice you may think and you’d be right. But then I was immediately returned to the game menu. A pop up said a ‘Sign In change had occurred’ (which of course, hadn’t), but that didn’t stop me getting very upset. I thought I was finally going to get the top prize but fate; or more specifically a game bug, stopped me. I’ve not managed to get to the same point since but I suspect the bug will not arise again as that achievement is now unlocked and can no longer do any harm. I should note that no other achievement unlock caused this to happen in the game previously.
One final set of additions to the game are special bonus themes that can be purchased, these are more expensive but provide much more than just new questions. They feature bonus material, special characters, voice clips and many extra goodies. I’ve not purchased either of them yet but I think I will soon. Take a look at the trailers for the special Star Trek and South Park DLC packs and tell me they’re not cool looking.
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Summary: To sum up, I really enjoy Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Yes it’s more of a casual game but it’s good to be able to have a game you can play with the rest of the family from time to time. The DLC packs add extra challenge and are decently enough priced too. The only low points for me are the lack of online play and no xbox avatar support, but these are very minor in the scheme of things considering how fun the game is to play.