Monday, November 21, 2011

WTF PEOPLE!?! Gameshow Videogames

It's been a long friggin' time since I've done anything videogame related.  It is indeed a part of my roots obviously, and it wasn't my intention to abandon it for other ventures such as music, television, and other random stuff.  Even though those things are indeed awesome, I digress.  I want to get back to the root of why I started to blog.  I wanted to present an obscure look into videogames and other subsets as well.  And what better way to do that than to bring back an old classic, the WTF's.  Now the last What The Phuck was not an official WTF PEOPLE!?!, so this is bringing it back with a vengeance.  So that's why I'm bringing to the table a view on videogames that I feel that have been lacking by most people and professional reviewers, the gameshow genre.

I know, I've done a Gameshow Month earlier this year, and well, this is not something that I forgot to include with that.  This is indeed something in relation to my choice of videogames that I play and, well, it's just damn good, so deal with it.  So without further ado, here is my rant of all things gameshows to ever graced upon home consoles.

Of course you know about my obsession with gameshows if you follow me at all (BTW, happy belated 7,500th. episode to The Price is Right) but when it enters in a home in any other way besides the television set, the end result is questionable at best.  Board games aside, you have to also look into the main heart of what gets my attention; an interactive method where I become part of the show instead of a houseparty rendering when we don't want to break out Scrabble or Monopoly (both of which gameshows that did not live a long as they should've) is the ticket.  And what better way to become interactive with a gameshow outside of being a friggin' contestant is to play it's videogame.  But there's some flaws in such, and sure as hell, I'm here to exploit them.  Not to be a complete douche (which I can be), but to make the experience better for the end user at the end.  One main culprit is the Merv Griffin duet of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.  It does bring the table the richness of it's game, weather it is questioning an answer or buying a vowel, it's no different than it's board game doppelgangers.   It just allows an error-proofing method with having a virtual host be a proxy between the player and the game's objective.  I remember the first Jeopardy! game for the NES way back in '87 or '88.  I played the begeezus out of that as a youth because I was a fan and a trivia whore.  My friends had Wheel of Fortune for the Genesis and N64 when we wanted to take a break from Mortal Kombat and Madden.  It was fun to a point.  

With these types of games the only flaw, which is a big one,  is that once you're done with all the questions they present to you, you know what to expect.  Like I said, I played the begeezus out of Jeopardy! for the NES, and played it enough that I could get close to $50,000 in a single game if I time my daily doubles correctly.  Even with the computer at Kamehameha-Hard mode, I buzzed in within seconds of the question entering it in and keying it with my controller to become the Ken Jennings of the cartridge before there was even a Ken Jennings.  Ok I lied, there's a second flaw to this debauchery.  Keying in the friggin' answers are a pain the ass at best, especially on an NES controller, and with NES's limitations.  It pissed me off to no end playing my copy of it that the game's letter layout is alphanumerically listed and not QWERTY based.  It was even more of a pain because of system limitations (even stemming up to playing Wheel of Fortune on the N64) that the letter-selector-thingy wouldn't let you go to the other side once you're on the edge of a row of letters.  Obviously these games would be great for individual use on a PC or hell, even throw up a LAN party and play the hell out of that, of course if you were a bad ass back in the days of LAN parties, you were probably playing Unreal Tournament and I can see your point not picking up that.  I just know that with word games like these, a keyboard is a helluva good way to play it.

Now I bring to the table other gameshows that have entered into the realm of videogames.  The prize shows, most famously noted by that long running gem of a show, The Price is Right.  I grew up with the show, one of my earliest memories is watching this at my baby sitters while my parents were at work (said that watching the big wheel and screaming out "ONE DOLLAR" is a childhood memory of mine, but that's just me).  And since I never gotten to play the Atari version of the game I was crushed because there was not a console release of it for me to play, otherwise I would've done it in my youth.  Luckily when I bought my Wii about 3 years ago, one of the first games I got for it was The Price Is Right.  I was in Nerdtopia with I thought was the most original console out in the market and my most cherished gameshow that I watched for all my life in all of it's home console glory.  I spun the Big Wheel, I won both Showcases, I bid one dollar and won a chance to play, I played Plinko dammit, PLINKO!!!  The only thing missing was Bob Barker kicking the living crap out of Adam Sandler in tournament fight mode, but I digress.  It does have it advantages being the age of easter-eggs and all where if you unlock something you get to see an epic classic clip of the show.  Alas, it to fell to the monotany of once you've played everything, it doesn't present new stuff, just recycle the old prizes, hell, even the prize amounts are the same so I could get $65,000+ on a single game if the cards were right (I usually average around $32,000 if I make it past the Big Wheel).  And other games like that also fell to this trap like Press Your Luck and Family Feud, pretty much anything owned by Fremantle Media in this current age of gameshows.  It's not expansive.  Which is why probably the only app I play on a social network outside of Words with Friends is the Price is Right app on Facebook.  It's online, so there's always room for expansion.  

There's just need to be a way, and I'm pretty damn sure they could but either the game developers or the game producers don't want to include it, but have it so that if people want, they could pay for updated content.  In an age where gamers are on Steam to get new mods and there's an expansion pack for an MMORPG every friggin' week, what is stopping them to add such a thing on.  Hell, I would love to pay five bucks to get online expansion content on my game console for Jeopardy! or The Price is Right until the next version of the game comes out.  I'm sure that there's a lot of game junkies that would love to have that fix.  In an age where gameshows are interactive in the fact that they have play at home contents where people could call or text for a chance to win a prize or free third party advertising crap, why the hell not incorporate it for downloadable content on my PS3 so that I can beat Ken Jennings or play the accordion with Drew Carey on set with the Price is Right models.  Why deny us unsung sect of gamers that joy.  I think it's because the producers of the show don't give a damn about anything else but the show and just think that they could get a few bucks with a cheap-ass game.  That's a whole load of bullshit, and I don't care for it all that much.  Jeopardy! and Sony have a marriage on how it looks on set, they blatantly make sure that Sony is a presence on the show.  Why not bring a game and give me content to update via the Playstation Network, how friggin' ingenious!  But that would be logical, and we live in a would where videogames about gameshows are completely for the illogical, and that's just bullshit in my book.  In short, I do recommend that you at least try and pick up the games and play them.  I just with that there were more content to offer than what was, and that there was more of a following than just me and a bunch of desperate housewifes that watch nothing but soaps and GSN all the time.  So I'm just gonna leave you with that thought while I bring up my Price is Right mobile app and see if I can make it to the Showcase.  That and this following youtube video because it's funny and it's about gameshows.

BootLeG sampler.. signing out...

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