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Fuzion Frenzy 2 for Xbox 360

01 Mar 07

Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Party Games
Developer: Hudson
Publisher: Microsoft

Summary: Not the most memorable game for the Xbox 360 and not quite as much fun as its predecessor, but with a  price tag of around $50 it’s cheap, casual entertainment for the kids.

The story according to Hudson and Microsoft is that contrary to what doomsayers and the Armageddon Clock are  predicting, Earth of the future is a prosperous, technologically advanced planet populated by wealthy, liberated (and  extremely bored) people. Catering to a global audience seeking increasingly stimulating forms of entertainment is an  interplanetary tournament known as Fuzion Frenzy 2. The popular show is broadcast live all over the world and  features non-stop, frenetic action as contestants battle it out over dozens of mini-games, set across seven different  planets.

There are two modes of play in the game: Main Battle and Online Battle. Within both modes lie three further options  which pit you against other players or, for the single player, AI opponents. Of course, one benefit of playing online is  that you can compete in tournaments for World Rankings. Another is that you can talk to – or taunt - your opponents  while you’re playing.

The most involved of the three options, Tournament involves a bit of strategy as well as a certain degree of skill and  luck. Play takes place across a predetermined number of planets, and the idea is to win the most points in a series of  minigames on each planet. The player who dominates the most planets by the end of the tournament is the overall  winner. Bonus cards and power-ups are thrown into the mix to change the flow of play and keep things interesting. For  instance, you could use a 6x Points card to increase your score at the end of a game, only to have your hard  earned points snatched by another player using the Steal Point Effect card.

The Mini-game Frenzy is a ‘quick fix’ option, which allows you to play any of the available mini-games. This is just the  ticket for those times when you have ten minutes to kill, or want to practice some of the trickier games.

The Custom option allows you to build your own tournament, with your choice of three different types of victory  criteria. This option is best used once you are familiar with the mini-games, and can sort the wheat from the chaff.

The mini-games are basically variations on several themes; collecting coins or other items, pounding the snot out of your  opponents (bloodlessly, of course… this is a family show, after all), pushing a sequence of buttons faster than everyone else, or outlasting your opponents in some survival-based exercise. There are more than 40 mini-games to  plough through - which is a fair whack, plus six games to unlock by winning tournaments.

The individual games are brief in duration and the action is usually fast and frenzied, and increasing in difficulty the  longer you remain in play. This ups the ante and excitement level for those playing and watching. On the whole, controls  for all of the mini-games are uncomplicated and easy to implement, and prior to each game you are given an  explanation of the rules as well as the chance to practice before going at it for real. However some games proved more  frustrating than fun – even after several practice sessions, with on-screen movement not corresponding to the  controls as expected. Against human opponents, this is not too much of a problem since everyone is in the same boat;  however AI opponents usually seem to know what they’re doing – even on the easiest difficulty level.

The sound and graphics are nothing out of the ordinary, but they’re not bad either. Volume options allow you to turn  down the DJ’s annoying commentary, fiddle with the volume balance of the music and FX, and switch subtitles on or off. You can even independently listen to all of the tracks in the game, should you feel like some high tempo ‘housework’ music!

The original Fuzion Frenzy was not the most memorable title for the Xbox, and history has repeated itself here. Adult  gamers looking for entertainment of the party game variety could – and should - opt for something with a little more  depth and replay value. However the younger set will undoubtedly enjoy exploring the many fast-paced mini-games on  offer and for its $49.95 price tag, Fuzion Frenzy 2 represents good value for money. As the only surviving members of  an elite Special Forces unit, it’s up to you to find the secret underground lab. You can work alone or in cooperation  with a friend in two player mode.

This game is about fighting in 4 x 4 vehicles, in feverously fast speed boats or on foot. With the addition of plenty of  weapons from miniguns through to grenades and nukes, you have a fierce arsenal at your disposal. There are a number  of terrain options from the shore through to cities and the sea. Download via Xbox Live now and start preparing for  your enemies unrelenting attacks. But be warned: this neat game will become addictive.

Pros: More mini-games than you can shake a stick at; very simple to pick up, and playing against human opponents is  quite fun, actually.
Cons: Some mini-games are difficult to control; game play quickly becomes repetitive, and after ten minutes of glib  commentary you will want to shoot
the DJ