Fuzion Frenzy 2 review


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Buy your copy from Amazon.com Fuzion Frenzy 2 (2007) starstarno starno starno star Publisher: Microsoft
Category: Arcade/Puzzle
Available for: Xbox 360
Buy from Amazon.com

It’s no secret that the months following the holidays are pretty barren when it comes to blockbuster video game releases. Titles trickle out here and there, with some of them perhaps catching on, and others just being quickly forgotten. For the folks at Hudson, you have to wonder how hard they were even trying with “Fuzion Frenzy 2,” the sequel to the popular party game that debuted on the original Xbox.

It’s a shame, because a lot of gamers were actually looking forward to this title, myself included. So far, there haven’t been a lot of easy titles to jump into for the 360. With Nintendo having pretty much paved the way for the party game genre with its “Mario Party” series, the other consoles have pretty much had to play catch up. But for all the flak Nintendo takes for often being too “kid friendly” with its consoles and games, the company sure knows how to make a good party game.

The original “Fuzion Frenzy” was a fun game itself, having sold enough copies to be placed on the “Best of Platinum Hits” line of Xbox games. It’s fully backwards-compatible with the 360, so if you haven’t played it before, you’ll want to start there. The only problem is there is no online competition. With “Fuzion Frenzy 2,” this has been corrected. However, there’s too many other things that could have been corrected as well before this thing was released.

Let’s start with the announcer/DJ of the game. Sadly, the mouth animations don’t sync up at all with the voice track, and don’t even try to. Pardon me, but I thought we were into the whole next-gen wave of gaming here. Why the craptastic off-sync animations that look like something thrown back to the PS2’s early days? Aside from this ugly eyesore, the announcer himself just gets too much airtime. You’ll quickly find yourself pressing the A button in rapid succession just to shut him the hell up.

Graphically, “Fuzion Frenzy 2” has no benefits being on the 360. This is standard stuff the original Xbox could have easily handled. And in the actual gameplay department, it’s pretty much a mixed bag. A lot of the games seem redundant and dull overall, with only a few being genuinely worth playing. This wasn’t the case with the original game, where everything felt fresh. Here, your attention span is often put to the test even in the shortest of these games.  Who won?  Who cares?

A new card system has also been implemented into the gameplay. The host doles cards out at the beginning of the main round and also offers up intervals where he tosses out more cards that the players must scramble to get. These cards offer everything from point multipliers to point stealers and multiplier reversals. When playing against the computer AI, the usage of the cards becomes quickly predictable. It’s as if everything about this game was set on some lame pre-laid track.

Trying to find an online game was completely pointless. Every time I fired it up, no one was hosting any games, and hosting one was moot as well. This obviously isn't good news for a title whose big new feature is the option for online play. Still, there are some folks out there who like “Fuzion Frenzy 2” and have been swearing by it. Don’t believe ‘em. At best, this thing’s only worth a rental, and at worst, it’s not even half as fun as any of the Burger King video games that came out a couple months ago. Thanks for dropping the ball, Hudson. 50 bucks for this game is a mild outrage.

~Jason Thompson