Anyone who watches the Game Show Network (now known only by the initials GSN… whose bright idea was that?) as much as I do will have seen countless episodes of most of the shows these games are based on. I’m sure there must be some among you who, like me, spend days at a time on the couch watching nothing but Richard Dawson and Charles Nelson Riley yucking it up on the Match Game. I’m also sure that there are some out there who say that all games based on game shows a crappy. To those people, I say: “Oh YEAH?? Well your FACE is crappy!!!”. There are many titles based on game shows in my massive collection, and rather than do a Jeopardy! vs. Family Feud feature (as was my original intention), I thought I’d take a page out of Kevin Leacock’s playbook and just pit them all against one another to see which is the best. So here we go!
Jeopardy! (NES) vs. Jeopardy! 25th Anniversary Edition (NES)
vs. Jeopardy! Junior (NES) vs. Talking Super Jeopardy! (NES)
vs. Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition vs. Win, Lose, or Draw (NES)
vs. MTV Remote Control (NES) vs. Family Feud (SNES) vs. Jeopardy! (PS2)
Jeopardy! (NES): I already covered this game in a recent review, and I’m SURE all of you have read it, so there’s not much of a point in writing about it again. I’d just quote from my review and call it a day on this game, but that’s cheating. Of all the games I’m covering today, this one almost has the worst graphics, but it excels in every other category imaginable. Except sound. It’s the only one of these games that I play regularly, and have played regularly for the past decade.
Jeopardy! 25th Anniversary Edition (NES): It’s actually (much to the surprise of everyone!!) pretty much the same as Jeopardy!, except with different character models and questions. Yet, for some reason, I’ve yet to get into it as I have with Jeopardy!. Perhaps the game employs a new shade of blue that is unfamiliar and shocking to me, I’m not sure. Ah well, it’s still spiffy — just not spiffy enough.
Jeopardy! Junior (NES): This is the Jeopardy! that has come close to dethroning the original as the game I most make my friends play against their will. This, like 25th Anniversary, is Jeopardy! with new character models and questions.. except this time the characters are little kids, and the questions are a whole lot easier. A good self esteem booster this game is. Anyone who can’t answer 95% of its questions probably isn’t old enough to even know what an original Nintendo is.
Talking Super Jeopardy! (NES): We go from a great adaptation of the original to one that’s horrible. It seems as though everything was stripped away from this title in order to make room for a screeching synthesized voice that says “Let’s play Jeopardy” and “The categories are”. If it says anything else, I didn’t notice because I was too busy searching for the mute button on my remote. If you’re going to play one Jeopardy! and base your judgment of all Jeopardies! one Jeopardy!, don’t make it this Jeopardy!.
Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition (NES): When you get tired of playing Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition makes for a refreshing break. It’s everything you’d expect from a game based on WoF — word puzzles, wheel spinning, bankruptcy, the works. I’m surprised there aren’t as many of these as there are of Jeopardy!.
Win, Lose, or Draw (NES): This one’s a bit interesting, if for no other reason than a lot of people might not even know what it is. Basically, the computer draws stuff, and you have to guess what it’s drawing. It’s terribly easy, and the computer doesn’t seem to have many drawings programmed into itself, so you’ll beat it in no time. It’s like a crappy version of InkLink or iSketch.
MTV Remote Control (NES): Long-time readers of GameCola will remember my reviewing this in the very second issue of our newsletter. My review sucked, and so does this game. I can’t even be like “well at least fans of the game show itself might appreciate it”, because I don’t know if such people exist. The show’s been off the air for years, and I don’t even know if anyone watched it when it was. Avoid unless you like trying to pick a category without knowing what the category is, and then getting killed by lightning at random.
Family Feud (SNES): This game is way too hard for one person to play by himself. Have you ever seen Family Feud? They have five people trying to guess at the most given responses to a statement (such as “Name a game show video game whose license far surpasses it”), and usually they have to guess seven or eight responses without making three mistakes. Trust me, it’s a lot harder than it sounds, and it translates poorly into a video game.
Jeopardy! (PS2): You didn’t think we’d left this one for good, did you? Aside from some annoying nits to pick (like how there’s a huge pause between the showing of the name of a category, and Alex Trebek’s reading of that name), this game is a successful adaptation of Jeopardy!. Plus, unlike the original, where if you want to play a three player game, two people have to share a controller, each player can actually have his own controller. Plus there’s some tournaments and champions modes in there, but I haven’t played them yet because I haven’t won enough in regular mode.
And now, I give you the winners of various categories, as per tradition in these super Versus Modes:
Best Graphics: Hands down, Jeopardy! on PlayStation 2. It’d be insane to pick anything else.
Best Audio: I’d give the nod to the winner of “Best Graphics”, but that category reading thing really bothers me. So I’m gonna go with Family Feud for digitizing the game shows nifty theme song.
Easiest: No doubt, this one goes to Win, Lose, or Draw, because with all the other games, I actually have to try a little bit.
Most Impressive Ruination of a Good Game: This one goes to Talking Super Jeopardy, for its inclusion of the talking.
Most Innovative Control Scheme: Well, since I made up this category just to give it to the original Jeopardy! for it’s having two people share one controller, I guess I’d best give it to that.
Most Annoying Host: That guy from MTV Remote Control. I can’t stand him and his horrible jokes. Good thing I don’t have Hollywood Squares, so there’s not much competition for him.
Most Fun: Contrary to intuition, the original Jeopardy! is still the most fun out of all these, though Jeopardy! Junior is not far behind.
Best Use of a Drawing Tool This Side of Magic Pengel: Win, Lose, or Draw. I think this one speaks for itself.
Best Use of an Exclamation Point: I’d say this one goes to all the Jeopardies!. Except Talking Super Jeopardy!, because it doesn’t deserve the exclamation.
Game Most Likely to Still be at My Ex-Girlfriend’s House Even Though I’ve Asked for it Back Multiple Times: I wonder what happened to it. Jeopardy! Junior.
Best Overall Game: Jeopardy! (NES)
Come on, you read my review. You should have seen that one coming.