Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: Party Games
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