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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Party Game

 

Publisher

Microsoft Game Studios

 

Developer

Hudson

 

ESRB

E+10 (Everyone)

 

Released

January 30, 2007

 

 

- Easy Achievements

- Online play when you aren't having people over

 

 

- The most annoying host in a game, on any platform

- So-so controls mated with poor visibility can mean a lot of frustrating battles

- Most of the mini-games are rehashes and with only about 40 of them, variety is lacking

 

 

Review: Fuzion Frenzy (XB)

Review: Mario Party 6 (GC)

Review: WarioWare Smooth Moves (Wii)

Review: Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

 

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Fuzion Frenzy 2

Score: 4.5 / 10

 

Did anyone ask for a follow-up to the poorly received Fuzion Frenzy, which launched alongside the original Xbox?  Especially now, five years after the fact?  I only bring those questions up after subjecting myself to Fuzion Frenzy 2 – a rabble of mini-games, lumped together to form a poor excuse for a party game.  (Unless of course, it’s a party for people you really don’t care for.)

 

fuzion fenzy 2          fuzion frenzy 2

 

Fuzion Frenzy 2’s problems start with the host – a fashion disaster, even in video game terms – who does not shut-up.  And the lines are delivered with such lack of joie de vie, that he comes as sarcastic.  “I’ve never seen a battle as frenzied as this,” he spouts out mid-battle when absolutely nothing is happening.  As a result this single line sums up the experience of Fuzion Frenzy 2 – just imagine the line is being delivered by Steve Martin at his sarcastic best.

 

The game tries to emulate a gameshow sensibility but it fails miserably.  A planet is chosen, the ship zips over there, and you play through a series of battles 

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specific to that planet.  There’s not much difference between planets though, except for their environments (fire, ice, industrial, etc.) – the battles all feel similar.

 

And between each battle there’s a lot of dialogue from the host, which obliterates any momentum the game otherwise might build.

 

Each short battle arena has its own objectives –

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collect coins, eliminate your opponents, avoid the lasers, etc. – but the controls and viewpoint often conspire to make Fuzion Frenzy an exercise in frustration.  Most of the time the action is panned out so far that it’s difficult to keep an eye on your character and when precise control is necessary, well, it’s just not there.  You’d think with those two things working against each other would make the game more difficult but it’s actually easy to win.

 

Throughout the course of each round of battles, players are awarded various bonus cards, which can multiply your score at the end of the battle.  For example, if you win and you earn 10 points but you’ve plunked down a 4X multiplier before the battle you’re awarded 40 points.  This means that even if you finish second you can still eek out more points than the player that comes in first.

 

fuzion fenzy 2          fuzion fenzy 2

 

After winning two series in a row – with different characters to get some easy Achievements – I took my skills online.  Then I just decided to turn it off.  There aren’t a lot of people online to play against and when there is… out of my first five games I played, three disconnected.  It didn’t get better over time either.  And trying to get a party atmosphere going around my house, even my wife and kids didn’t want to play. (After the first match your wife says, “Let’s play Wii Sports,” well, it doesn’t bode well for the shelf life of the title.)

 

My last complaint is that the characters have no personality.  They all look different but because the volume level of their voices is so low at the end of the battle when the winner quips in it’s hard to even hear what they’re saying.  Truth is once you hear what they’re saying, you kinda wish they’d just left it out.

 

If you’re looking for an Xbox 360 party game, may I suggest Gears of War – the split screen co-op may not be kid friendly but you’ll definitely have more fun with friends.  Fuzion Frenzy 2 was never asked for and if there’s ever plans for a third edition the game will need a complete gutting before it can be stitched into something that people will want to play.

 

- Omni

(February 16, 2007)

 

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