Posted by: Tha Square | September 24, 2008

The Price is Right Review

The Price is Right is one of those TV shows everyone wants to be on. Screw “American Idol”; offer the public the chance to win a ceiling fan and a toaster oven and they’ll line up half a mile to grab a seat. Bob Barker made his legacy on this seemingly simple past time and has entertained millions in the process. Now this afternoon delight has ditched the soap operas and talk shows to leave its mark on the gaming world for the umpteenth time. A new video game has taken up the reigns and allows you, your friends, and even your grandma the chance to “come on down”. The question still remains, however, is the price in fact right?

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Watching The Price is Right is like an unspoken rule for all sick days. You stay home from work; you tune in to see rabid elderly women swoon over Bob Barker. You skip school; you watch Drew Carey give away free cars. You break your leg; you scream guesses at the TV because you know if you were there, you would have shown them all up. We know how it is.

The show’s video game namesake allows you to partake in all the price tag guessing you can withstand. However, it lacks a few major aspects one would think would be shoe-ins. Bob Barker and Drew Carey, the hosts of the beloved program, are completely absent. The entire game is narrated by Rich Fields, the show’s actual announcer, and Barker’s Beauties do make cameos in real cut scenes but it doesn’t make up for the fact that one of the main reasons people tune in (to see their favorite host) isn’t included. The animations for each contestant are minimal, the prizes run out a bit quickly, most of the controls don’t require much in the motion department, and many more problems cripple this game. My biggest complaint is the fact that there aren’t even half of the games available that are in the famed TV show.

The Price is Right has over 70 games in its current rotation and nearly 30 retired ones to boot. So why is it that this Wii title only has 16? It does have some of the fan favorites including Plinko, Cliff Hangers, and Punch a Bunch but those alone don’t make up for the fact that over 75% of the lineup is missing. Seriously, it’s not like the disc was lacking any space for more as most hardly use complicated controls at all.

And speaking of controls, you won’t find anything extraordinary here… or ordinary for that matter. Most of the games use little more than point and click mechanics. The most complicated thing you’ll use your Wii remote’s technology for is spinning the wheel in the Showcase Showdown and that, too, is kind of screwed up. You can simply lay your cursor over the wheel and press A to make it spin. It’s not much fun to say the least. Plus, you’d think they’d actually make this game a bit more competitive. Maybe they could have thrown in the ability to look to the audience for answers by shaking the remote and the opposing players could mess with the rest of the audience to call out the wrong numbers. Even if they had included that, it’d still be a rather dull experience… and I think the in-game counterparts know it.

Each of the eight playable characters shows very little emotion throughout the entire game. The most you’ll see them doing is craning and turning their heads. When they finally do show some sort of reaction it’s so mechanical and unrealistic that it’s almost comical to watch. A big item gets wheeled out on stage… “It’s a new CAR!” what does your character do? Nothing. “It’s a trip to luxurious… PARIS!” Nada. To be fair, the character models are pretty good; it’s just too bad they’re limited to so few expressions.

The gameplay is also fairly limited. There is Three Strikes Mode, Classic Mode, and Party Mode. In Three Strikes, You play the usual rounds of The Price is Right except you continue to play until you collect three strikes. In Classic Mode, you have five chances to pass Contestant’s Row before the game ends. After that, you play through a regular game of The Price is Right and it concludes when the Showcase ends. Party Mode allows up to four players to play. There is only one bout in Contestant’s Row and each player only gets to play one pricing game. The winner of that round gets to choose their favored minigame out of the four predetermined ones first and the rest get to choose out of the remaining three. There is one round of the Showcase Showdown followed by a Spin Off between the remaining players that didn’t win the first round. You’re also able to play each minigame by itself if you unlock it first. Still, all the modes are short lived and rather boring.

Overall, it’s a shallow, lackluster game. A poor display in content and controls, it’s hardly worth a rent. Even for the diehard Price is Right fan, the entertainment this game rewards you with doesn’t hold a candle to what the hour long TV show brings to the table. So to answer the age old question, the price is most definitely wrong.

Graphics – 50/100 – The game does look pretty good; the set is well made and the real life items and presentations are a nice touch. The fact that the character animation sucks deals a big blow.

Audio – 50/100 – The show’s actual announcer narrates the entire game and all the theme music is in there.

Gameplay – 25/100 – The controls are rather lame plus the mediocre modes of play hinder much of the fun and excitement the real deal offers.

Plot – 20/100 – It’s one of the best game shows of all time. It just sucks they didn’t try anything new.

Barker Factor – 45/100 – Fans of the show will probably like this game a whole lot more than others. It’s missing Bob Barker and Drew Carey though so maybe not.

Lasting Appeal – 25/100 – It stops being fun quite quickly and there aren’t many new items to unearth. I think I’ve won a Toyota Corolla 10 times now.

Overall – 35/100 – The game is disappointing to say the least. Even for a budget priced new release, it doesn’t deserve the tag. Spend that $40 on something else.


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