Publisher: Hasbro Interactive
Developer: Artech Studios
Genre: Puzzle (Game Show)
Capabilities: Memory Card & Dual Shock Analog (not vibration) Compatible, Multi Tap Compatible for up to 3 players
Based on the hit television show that has been on CBS network for decades, Jeopardy! finally comes home to the Playstation, courtesy of Hasbro Interactive, the folks who picked up the Jeopardy license shortly after GameTek (the previous publisher/developer who had the game show license to use in their games) went defunct in early 1998, shortly after releasing their N64 version of the game. Quickly, Hasbro bought off the Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune licenses, and within months after GameTeks last version of the game, it comes to the Playstation. Will this game do as good as the N64 version? Lets get onto the review and find out. Oh, yeah, and lets get one thing straight, in the world of Jeopardy! questions in the game are called answers, and vice versa. This is because if you watched the tv show, people answer in the form of a question (I. E.: What is Butter?) So dont get confused when reading the review, just a forewarning.
Fantastic, the video board, looks exactly like off the television show, and they even have a 3-D interactive studio, that looks great, except for the noticeable minuses being no audience whatsoever, and no contestants at the podiums (which is really odd, considering how all of the other versions of the game had it), one really unique addition in the visuals which I didnt expect at all, is the ability to write in your name on the podium using a generic type paint program, this can take a while to do, but it looks great, and gives a more realistic tone of you being in the game. The interface used to spell out your questions looked odd at first viewing, (where the letters you have to pick by rotating a circle, and your answer cue being displayed in the center but after a few minutes of using it, I started to prefer it way more over the old interface, because it seemed faster to type in your answer.
Also, another great unique addition to this game, is the addition of the Video Daily Doubles (based off a unique, recently, added feature to the tv show) where you get a picture, or brief FMV helping you figure out the answer. Also Alex Trebek (The actual TV host of the game for the few of you who dont know) pops in all the time in great FMV, letting you know when its your turn, introducing the rounds, and it looks great. Overall, a really great job in the graphics department.
The ever familiar Jeopardy! tunes or in here, from the intro music, to the final Jeopardy music. This is just amazing on how well this reflects the television show. Alex Trebek throws in loads of comments, and says in several different variation when its your turn (The boards all yours Player 1", Take it away Player 1,), or his many ways to tick you off by letting you know how you got the answer wrong (Sorry, thats incorrect, Not what were looking for this time, Good Guess, but not for this one). Even though Mr. Trebek does have a wide variety of things to say, he does get quite repetitive. Also the game show voice over, Johnny Gilbert is here to take you through an easy setup of the game, and he reads all the answers for the game too. The back cover of the game says, Over 3500 Challenging Answers, man do I feel sorry for how much time he had to do on that, so you can easily tell, that a lot of effort was put forth in this game. Also you get little appraises from the invisible audience when you get a correct answer.
If you dont know how Jeopardy! works, theres 3 rounds, each round has 6 categories, with 5 questions in each category. In the first round, Jeopardy!, the values for each question you get correct is in multiples of $100, from $100-$500, you get positive dollar values for questions you get correct, and money taken away from you when you get them wrong. Theres also one hidden answer that is a Daily Double, where you can wager up to all of the money you earned on a certain question that only you get to have a shot at. After that round, you move onto the second round, Double Jeopardy! The difference here is that the answer values are in multiples of $200, ranging from $200-$1000 per answer, plus theres two Daily Doubles instead of one, and then you move onto the third and last round, Final Jeopardy, where only players with positive amounts of money can play. You can wager any amount of the money you earned, and each player takes a turn at taking a crack at the answer. Person with the most money at the end of the game, wins. The game actually moves along at a fast pace, unlike the N64 version of the game, in here the average game for me takes about 35-45 minutes to complete, where in the N64 version, it took about 55-75 minutes on average for me to complete a game.
Up to 3 players can play the game, with the use of a Multi Tap accessory, and if you only pick 2 human players, the game will automatically toss in a 3rd computer player to go against, and even on a normal difficulty setting, I did find the computer a very tough opponent, but I do wish I couldve just went two people playing with no interference from the computer (the older versions of the game would let you have this setting), to see whos the smarter man, because mostly the computer rings in right away, and you seldom get a chance to get a shot at the answer. The game has two modes to play in, Classic or Speed, Classic mode was the basically the mode I described in the first paragraph of the game play section of this review. Speed mode is where you play on a Double Jeopardy! game board, and youre the only player, where you take a crack at each cue, one by one, you dont even have to respond, your main goal is to just attain a high score to save on the memory pack. The game has a nice amount of extras, like a optional, high-res mode, plus an option where if you start to type in a word, the game will finish typing it out for you so you can avoid spelling errors (say, you stared to typing Software and you typed, S-O-F the game would finish spelling it for you, and by simply pressing a button you can have that be rang in as your question). The game does have lots of options for tinkering, like setting how good the computer AI is, Response time, Buzz-In time, Skill levels etc.
Up to 3 people can play the game at once, so you can battle over your friends to see who has the best I.Q. Or if youre just a lone player, you can keep on going against the computer seeing if you can beat them, or see if you break your high score in speed mode. Plus high scores for Classic and Speed mode are saved on your memory card for future bragging rights. Also the option for Question Completion comes in handy real nice, and dont worry about being a terrible speller, because you can tinker around by accepting how loose a question can be. So lots of replay in this game.
+: Nice use of FMV of Alex Trebek and Video Daily Doubles, Great Speed Mode for one person, save your high scores
-: Trebek does get repetitive after a while, An audience and actual contestants at the podiums wouldve been nice
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 9.5
Replay Value: 8.7
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
Jeopardy! is a great translation of the actual television show. Im amazed by how fast the game runs by compared to older versions, and how good it looks on a 32-Bit console. There are just loads of answers in this game, and the innovative speed mode is something that made Jeopardy! a game worthy to buy for just one player! So if you dont feel like shelling out the extra $10-20 for Jeopardy! 2nd Edition, go and buy this game right now, its probably marked for clearance for around $10-20.