Reviewed: January 15, 2005
Released: October 8, 2004
“It’s a Trivia Party”, or so the box proclaims for Digital Leisure’s latest DVDi offering that asks, Are You All That?. For those that don’t know what a DVDi is, that is a game that is basically a interactive DVD that you can play on any conventional DVD player, which just so happens to include the PS2 and the Xbox, provided you have the DVD playback kit.
Are You All That? is a trivia game for 1-4 players or teams if you have a huge crowd gathered around your TV, although this game is likely to clear the room in short order. You pick an icon to represent yourself choosing from quirky characters like Lil’ Choo (a disco train), or Axe (a heavy metal guitar) then you pick a bonus category, hopefully something you excel in, that will reward you with bonus points during the game.
Then it’s off for a few mind-numbing minutes (or hours) of trivia with games based on a set number of questions that you determine. There are 1,500 available questions in six categories and I will admit the questions are challenging, some are downright hard as hell, but the game simply has no presentation value, and while it attempts to offer a “hip style” it simply comes across as laughable.
A sample game might go something like this. Actually it goes exactly like this. Dr. Brown, janitor turned MC, announces the current player who then takes possession of the DVD remote (or PS2 controller) and waits for their questions. You are then given multiple choice answers and 60 seconds to pick the right one. If you get it right you move on and if you get it wrong you pass the remote to the next player. Whenever your bonus category comes up you have the opportunity to earn double-points.
Now while all this is good in theory, the game simply has no substance. Trivial Pursuit has a board that you move around and is a lot more interactive. The Guy Game has naked coeds to reward your trivia knowledge. Chef’s Luv Shack has Eric Cartman getting an anal probe if you miss a question. Are You All That? is about as fun and interactive as taking the driving test at the BMV.
“Bare bones” probably best describes this game. Even in The Guy Game when you get a question right or wrong the host gives you some bonus info about the topic so you come away learning something other than the answer. And even though there are 1,500 questions, they are not flagged after being asked so you essential have a 1/1500 chance of getting the same question twice in a single game. The chances increase if you pick a lengthy game.
The questions are really tough and many are likely going to sail right over the heads of a lot of younger gamers. The game almost seems targeted toward the thirty-something crowd but would likely lose that audience with the excessive hipster lingo.
I just came off an 80-hour session of GTA: San Andreas so I know what ghetto slang is all about. The incessant ramblings of Doc Brown are enough to make Undercover Brother rethink his heritage. Don’t get me wrong – we had some good laughs, but it was AT the game and not because of it.
Graphics in the game consist mainly of title cards, question cards, result cards, and a whole lot of funky kaleidoscope screensaver animation that is apparently trying to hypnotize you into liking this game.
Considering the nature of the game, being on a DVD and all, I was disappointing in the lack of multimedia questions. With dozens of new trivia games flooding the market capitalizing on film clips and sound bytes, this game just seems way too uninspired.
A little bit of retro game show-style music and a whole lot of slang-speak make up the majority of the audio package. It’s funny at first but gets old really fast.
If you are sitting on $20 and want to get a trivia game for your PS2 or Xbox you can probably find any of the games I have already mentioned or go get a real box set of Trivial Pursuit (the new 90’s and SNL versions are really good). I promise you, your friends will thank you.
If a DVD player is your only gaming system then you “might” get $20 worth of diversion out of this title and pick up a few interesting facts along the way. Just don’t pick the 250-question marathon game or the funky animations will cause you to go blind. Digital Leisure claims it could take up to 300 hours before you might see every last question. If you have that kind of time to waste on trivia you need to be auditioning for Jeopardy.
Yes, I’ve been unduly hard on Are You All That?, but there are only so many gaming hours in the day and I’ve wasted too many on this title when I could have been playing something better. And that’s just not me talking – I’m the consummate party animal and I laid this out for my buds to play one weekend. I can’t even repeat their comments in this family-friendly review.
Just avoid this game. Seriously, move along…nothing to see here.