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I was recently given a PC version of The Weakest Link by a friend of mine (Shewhosmiles) Trish, who basically thought that the game was a complete pile of tosh. Being a great fan of the Anne Robinson hosted game show, I thought great stuff, this game simply cannot fail, Trish must need Psychiatric help. Here are my findings, 'Let's play, The Weakest Link' <<Da Da Da Da, Da Da!>> ~~~~~~INSTALLATION~~~~~~ Installing The Weakest Link is easy by anyone?s standards, simply bung in your game CD and follow the simple on-screen instructions. Your game should be fully installed within about 3 or 4 minutes. Uninstalling is just as simple, simply select, START ? PROGRAMS ? ACTIVISION ? WEAKEST LINK and then UNINSTALL. To then start playing your game, you need to double click on the icon, which will now be on your desktop. ~~~~~~GETTING YOUR GAME UNDERWAY~~~~~~ Once you have your game screen loaded up, you are presented with a number of choices, these are chosen by using your curser (arrow) keys, to highlight the option you would like to select and the Space bar to carry it through. Your options are as follows: SINGLE PLAYER: Play the game against 6 other computer controlled characters for a total prize of 20,000 quid. MULTI PLAYER: Play against your family and friends to prove who is the brains of your bunch. Up to 7 people can play but if there are only 6 of you then you will skip to round 2, if there are only 5 of you playing, then you will skip to round 3 and so on. CHAMPIONSHIP: This one is a little silly, you have to try to win 1 Million pounds by progressing through 4 separate shows. I.E. You must win ALL 4 shows which is a near impossibility. I have been voted off by the computer several times for being the STRONGEST link, go figure. You can also save your progress through the stages of the championship mode. BEND THE RULES: This is basically an op tion changer menu, from here you can set the difficulty of your game, choose weather or not you wish the computer players to be able to bank money, gives you the option to choose the question genre?s and lets you decide the amount of abuse you have thrown at you throughout the game. DIFFICULTY: This option regulates the way in which you answer your questions, either as a guess, or as a choice of 4 possible answers or as a choice of 2 possible answers. ~~~~~~THE WEAKEST LINK PREMISE~~~~~~ For those minute few of you out there, that don?t have the foggiest what The Weakest Link is all about, then I?ll briefly explain. You start in a circle of 7 people and you are all asked in turn to answer a random question, all the while a timer is ticking away for each round. There is a money tower starting with 20 pounds and reaching 1000 pounds at it?s peak, for each question that someone gets correct the money rises in value and you must work as a team to collect as much money as possible throughout each round. If however someone gets a question wrong, then the money drops back down to the bottom value and you must start again. A player can however, shout ?Bank? and whatever value on the tower the money is, will be saved until the end of the game. If you shout bank on say 500 pounds then you will store 500 pounds for the team but then the next person must start at the bottom value. At the end of each round, the team must then vote off one of the group who is not doing so well, all 7 contestants vote for one player and whoever has the most votes is out of the game. When there is only two of you left, you are pitted against each other with 5 questions each and then if you are still inseparable, you go to ?sudden death questions? A bit like a penalty shootout in Football. ~~~~~~PLAYING THE GAME~~~~~~ To start the game you must first choose yourself a character, (No, you are not allowe d to put in your own name for some reason, bummer). Instead you are presented with a choice of 24 people each with their own spoken profiles. If you take your time in choosing one, then Anne Robinson quickly hurls a barrage of insults at you like, ?Oh dear, not exactly the fastest horse out of the blocks are we?? And ?If you take any longer you?ll be a bookend? (quite funny actually). Anyway, the game plays exactly like the premise and if you have the nerve for the rush in giving your answer, then this could provide many hours worth of entertainment. However, the game has a few very BIG flaws, FLAW 1: Every time one of the questions is asked to a computer player, they are all pre programmed with a mere two replies. This can get really annoying when every time it comes to Barry?s question you hear, ?errrm, errrm, Oh Yeeeah? and when it gets to Sapphire she ALWAYS shakes her head when she get a question wrong and says ?No, No? Trust me on this, it is the height of annoyance. FLAW 2: Anne Robinson has quite a bit of speech to say throughout the game but for some reason NEVER actually asks a question. When it is your turn, the clock is ticking whilst you are floundering to read your question, before you a blamed for wasting too much time. I have found myself just clicking on any answer without reading the question so the team don?t vote me off for time wasting. FLAW 3: 9 times out of 10 if you reach the last 3 and avoid being the weakest link, the remaining two computer players team up and vote you off anyway. This is really frustrating because if I have answered 2 questions right more than Eddie AND I have banked more money, then how can I be voted off? FACT: The computer is programmed to cheat. ~~~~~~SOUND and GRAPHICS~~~~~~ The sound in this game is (apart from the fact the Anne doesn?t ask you your questions herself) absolutely great. The music and voices sound exactly as they do in real life and give the game some feel of reality. The Graphics however are a little on the disappointing side, the video sequences are pixilated and as a result they look a little shabby. When you are playing the game, the characters (including Anne Robinson) are very unrealistic and apart from their faces being digitally overlapped onto their cartoon bodies, I think the designers could have put in a bit more effort. ~~~~~~PRICE and AVAILABILITY~~~~~~ As I have already said, I was given this game by a friend and so I don?t know the exact price. I know she works in a petrol station and forked out a skin diver (five pounds) for it but I do understand that the game, if bought in a high street entertainment store like HMV or Virgin, then it would set you back around 20 pounds for the PC version. ~~~~~~OTHER INFORMATION~~~~~~ Apparently the game houses over 100, 000 questions, which might explain why you are forced to painfully read out your own questions. The 24 pre programmed contestants are all fake, none of them have ever appeared on the program and all of their profiles are total b*llocks (I checked in the back of the manual for the credits) Your machine must have at least Microsoft Windows 95 installed for you to be able to load up this game and your system must be compatible with DirectX 8.0a. The game is made by Activision and their web site is: http://www.activision.com ~~~~~~OVERALL~~~~~~ I think this game has quite a lot of novelty status for any fans of the show but as a computer game in general, it really is quite poor. Don?t get me wrong, it is enjoyable and has given me quite a few hours worth of fun but the poor graphics, repetitive dialogue and the way the questions are thrown at you in the middle of a time limited round, really do let the game down. I would have given this 2 stars but seeing as I have had a few laughs playing it I?d feel a tad hypocritical, so I?m going to give it 3 s tars instead. Would I recommend this to potential buyers? Hmmm, not sure, if you really love the TV game show then I suppose yes I would but if your indifferent to it then avoid. Finally, cheers Trish for subbing me the game and not asking for anything in return, I am now bored to death of it but like I said, I have had a few laughs along the way. Thanks for the read. You are The Weakest Link Goodbye! (Sorry, had to be done) DEANO!
"Single player game? Have you got no friends then?" What a way to start eh? The beginning of the actual game renders the player drenched in gloom and despair and there you go; feeling useless before you've even started. Anyway, let's get on with it. I bought this game alongside Tony Hawk's Skateboarding 3, taking advantage of the 2 for £30 offer from HMV over the weekend. The PS2 is brand new in my life so I love to see offers like this to tempt me into newbies. I readily handed over my card and hurried on home to have a play. Skating over I decided to have a go on the Weakest Link for a bit! Impressed I was not! Let's start at the beginning - the loading takes forever. Once you've shoved the CD in the hole, made a cup of tea, had a lengthy bowel movement and put the cat out for the evening you'll only have another half hour to wait before you're about ready to go. Anyway, that aside (blame my impatience - not really all that long), the game itself needs some comment really eh? Getting started: ------------------ Mmmmm, nice cuppa. We begin with the intro bit, Anne Robinson's cheery face lights up the TV screen with her radiant good looks - OK, stop sniggering at the back there - and does a bit of a spiel to say welcome to (dramatic pause) the Weakest Link. Then there's the options page - what do you want to do? Play the Single player game? - prepare to be insulted upon choosing this option - Play the multi player game? Play the championship game? Once you've chosen you will get to pick who you want to be - simply move the little cursor thing over your chosen player (there's about 30 of them, all equally annoying and with a little piece to say about themselves when you've got the cursor over them) and press the X button to confirm your choice. With multi player you simply pass the controller on until all the places are filled with either real players (all your mates sat around the TV) or computer controlled players. Then it's on to the Normal, Easy or Junior screen so as you can pick your difficulty level for the game you're about to play. So, we're off then. Play begins with the player who's name is first alphabetically and moves round clockwise through all 7 players. Multiple choice questions, the first letter of the answers is shown so you can make your choice by pressing the relevant button on the controller. Simple really. Pass the controller on from one to the next and get as many as you can right to amass the highest possible score - pressing the "bank" button before your question is asked (the word "Bank" flashes while you've still got this option) claims the cash you've amassed so far so it can't be lost with a wrong answer. Overall thoughts on this game: ------------------------------------ I think that the Weakest Link is a great gameshow, I love Anne Robinson's scathing comments and the whole format of the show. It just does not go well on the PS2. Why? I hear you cry! Well I'll tell you why: The questions are never really at a consistent level - you'll get something like "What is the colour of a red apple" to intense questions on Nuclear Physics or Geometric velocities! Can be quite scary. The movements of the contestants is incredibly annoying - very jerky and wooden movements what really do nothing for the game at all. Stock still would be better. Anne Robinson - she's really mean :¬( - no, this is a plus and can be really funny at times. The contestants themselves - they must have done a survey to find the type of person that I would really hate to look at or listen to for more than 5 seconds. Stupid little comments come from each of them and they only get more annoying as th e game progresses! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh. The unfairness of it all - this is tied in with the contestant thing quite a bit, albeit just when controlled by the computer. They get the very easy answers wrong (must be on purpose), they refuse to bank any cash and keep the score low and the really hard ones that come along always seem to be a doddle to them! Weird really, I thought that there would've been more thought into what a certain person would get right than this! Ho-Hum. A final note then - this game is quite similar to the real thing on TV (bit jerkier), you do feel somewhat part of the action and a member of a backstabbing, cash crazed team and it can be quite good when you get all the way up to the head to head. I just found it SO ANNOYING to put up with. I think it's going to have to be relegated to the drawer until Christmas time when we can fill all 7 places and have some decent family rows develop. Cheers all. And the redesign isn't really all that bad now we've got used to it, is it? Boon ;¬)
I like to play games sometimes and when I saw the Weakest Link on offer at the Jet station where I work for £4.99 instead of the normal £19.99 I grabbed a copy quickly. Installing was easy; there were 3 installation options of which I chose the minimum requirement to save memory. After a few seconds a dialogue box popped up telling me that I didn't have Direct X 8.0 on my PC and an option to install that too. I did and once my computer had rebooted I settled down to play. Before you play Annie comes on with an introduction. I found fairly soon that you can can say goodbye to that and the rest of the blurb with a click of the spacebar or mouse and move on to the game quicker. You are told that you can alter the screen resolution using the arrow keys but if you turn it up the game slows down. I left it as it was. There is a list of player options that are Single Player, Multi Player - up to 7, Championship and Bend the Rules. I chose Single Player and then had a peek at the instruction booklet before playing. I was rudely interrupted by a cheeky "Not much use when it comes to technology are you?" I couldn't tell her to bog off so I continued reading. Next I heard "Oh dear, just the one player. Don't you have any friends?" Not if they are like you I thought as I looked at the choices of 24 people that you can select to play for you. You can be male or female and the ages range from 16 to 64. For my first game I had a sex change and chose to be Barry, a 38-year-old London cabbie. You can choose a long game with 7 players or a short game with a minimum of 2 players. The amount of players dictates the amount of rounds, for instance with 5 players you start at round 3. Next there is a list of difficulty options that are Normal, Easy and Junior. I chose Easy because my brains had been taxed enough by reading the booklet. Time to play and my first thought was that the graphics were crap. Annie didn't look too bad but the 7 players pulled from the pool of 24 looked like wooden puppets with real faces imposed on them. The womens boobs were all pointed and too high up their chests to look real. They all had nipped in squarish waists, which added to the unrealism. Most of the players had their arms folded so high that they could have been getting ready to do a Russion sabre dance if they'd had any life in them. Their lips don't move when they are supposed to be talking, which made them look even less realistic. Barry, my player was the second to play. I was presented with a question and up to 4 answer options. You use your arrow keys to scroll up or down, and space bar or mouse to select your answer. The same applies for all of the game options previously described. When it comes to your turn you can choose to bank the money won by pressing B as long as Bank is flashing at the bottom left of the screen. You only have a few seconds so if you miss it and answer your question wrong you lose the money. You can also choose to pass by pressing P but any money not banked is lost. One of the players - Tim I think - was particularly annoying. One of those clever clogs nutty professor lookalikes. Before answering a question he wasted time by saying "Er, the answer to this is straightforward" Get on with it you twerp, I found myself thinking. My Barry was also a bit annoying; every time he knew the answer he would say “em sorted” As the questions were easy peasy I got them all right in the first round, which lasted 90 seconds. Then came time to vote off the weakest link, as happens in every round. As with the TV programme the player with the most votes is booted, if there is a tie the strongest link in that round makes the decision. I chose the twerp but the cheeky blighters chose my Barry unanimously. What sort of game is this I thought, where you are boote d before it gets going? Barry put his head in his hands - as most of the players do when they are kicked off. Anne came out with one of her acserbic comments, which made me laugh. She said that she thought Leisure was Barrie's specialist subject and that he hadn't done very well. As there were no leisure questions in that round the comment was totally innapropriate. Barrie, speaking in a cockney accent sounded a bit thick as he made his excuses before lurching off. They all lurch off in the same manner, with head bent and as if they have pooed themselves. I tried again and lost a few years by becoming 31-year-old Jenny. I got to round 4 that game, but by then I was convinced that it wasn't really suitable for a single player game because of the long wait while the others answered their questions. The next day a friend came round and we had a few games. Not easy for 2 to play because my PC is on a corner unit and there wasn't enough room for our bods to squeeze in comfortably. A couple of bottles of wine contributed more to the fun than the game itself. Up to 7 are supposed to be able to play, impossible in my set up and I suspect virtually impossible in any kind of set up. I managed to get through to the final round in one of the games. I was sweet 16 again and a bloke called Jez that time. In that round there are 2 of you left and as with the previous rounds the time to answer questions is reduced. Whatever money is banked and won is tripled and then you go into a head to head 5 question round with the other player where the winner only has to get one more question right. With the help of my Pears Cyclopeadia I got all of the questions right - but so did my opponent. Then came tiebreaker questions, Pears couldn't help so I lost. Bend The Rules With this option you can change who banks the money only to yourself and bank whenever you like instead of just when it’ ;s your tu rn. You can choose to have more or less questions on specific subjects. You can also choose the amount of abuse characters get after voting. I chose more but still found the comments laughable, the nastiest being “Your mind is emptier than Mother Hubbards cupboard” Championship I haven’t tried this 4 show option. Apparantly each show has a higher level of prize money until you finally play for one million pounds. In this option only you can save the game and restart at a later date. System Requirements Windows 95/98/ME/2000 Direct X 8.0a or higher (included) Pentium 200 or Athlon processor 32MB RAM 130MB of uncompressed hard disk space plus an additional 30MB for Windows swap file whatever that is. 8MB D3D /DirectX 8.0 compatable 3D capable video card and drivers 100% DirectX 8.00 compatable true 16 bit sound card and drivers Quad speed - I’d better stop there. My eyes are aching trying to read small print that I understand little of, but I’m sure you get the picture. The Weakest Link is licenced by BBC Worldwide Limited and published and distributed by Activision Publishing. If you want to cheat you can call the official Activision hints, tips and cheats line on 09067 535099 Final Impression Personally I found the game boring and would have been annoyed if I had payed the full price. It seems very unpolished and with too many inaccuracies that are funny at first but then get tedious. Not even Annie, whose pursed lips and repetitive cutting comments can make the game playable for long. Now that I’ve finished this opinion The Weakest Link is getting booted, wonder if I can flog it on Ebay and get my fiver back! I looked and saw that they were going for £1 each, instead I gave it to Deano76 who looked in need of some 'entertainment'!!
When a game has a box on the back stating ‘The version that gives you MORE abuse’ you know that you’re in for a thoroughly devious time. That feeling is increased further when we’re talking about a recreation of the popular television show ‘The Weakest Link’ featuring the Queen of put-downs, Anne Robinson. If you’ve never managed to catch an episode of the programme, it goes something a bit like this: Seven contestants from various backgrounds take it in turns to answer questions. For each question that’s answered correctly you get a cash amount. The more people that answer correctly one after another, the more the cash amount increases. If enough questions are answered, the contestants can reach the top amount and that round of questions ends. This doesn’t happen all too often though as each contestant can choose to bank the amount they’ve reached or, they may answer incorrectly. If you bank before giving an incorrect answer the money up to that point is saved but the value drops back down to the minimum amount (generally £50). After each round all contestants can nominate one person who they feel is the worst player (or the Weakest Link). The person who gets the most votes has to leave the game but not before getting a few choice insults from Anne Robinson. ‘So Paul, never heard of the Cryniatmolatic Integration Modulator? Bit of a dunce at school? You ARE the Weakest Link. Goodbye’. Oh the humiliation, the walk of shame past Anne to the safety of the backstage area….. ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ was turned into a computer game and sold an obscene amount of copies. So with the successful running of TWL (The Weakest Link) it was only a matter of time before someone would want to turn it into a game. As someone who is familiar with the game I was intrigued to find out more although the fact that Official PS2 Magazine had rated this as a 4/10 was bothering me slightly…. Do you know anything?! TWL boasts 100,000 questions, the ability to modify the game using the ‘Bend the rules’ option and you can select from 24 different characters. Each character has their own virtual background and some of them are so stereotypical that it must be one of the most politically incorrect games out there! My personal favourites are Jez, a student who reminds me a bit of top superstar (!) Peter Andre and Lucinda, a caterer from Kensington (VERY posh you know!). There should be a character to suit most although it doesn’t actually make any difference, you’ll be answering the questions after all. Additionally you have Single and Multiplayer modes where up to seven players can take part and you don’t need a controller each either, just one! The icing on the cake is the Championship mode where you can play through four separate programmes in the bid to become the ultimate winner. Here you can win up to a virtual Million. The Multiplayer aspect easily provides the most entertainment as voting rapidly becomes personal and frustration sets in! If you’re not playing with 7 players you can also choose to skip some of the earlier rounds and if there are just two of you, you can rapidly get on to the head-to-head. You look like a Moron! The first edition of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game was criticised for being a little lifeless. Fortunately the same can not be said of TWL. The studio audience is there and each of the characters, whether controlled by the PS2 or by real players, all move and speak with their relevant voices. The studio looks like the real thing, the characters all look convincingly real and Anne Robinson looks as scary as ever. I can’t go as far as photo-realistic but on the whole it’s pretty much like what you’ll be seeing on TV. You sound like an idiot! With a database of 100,000 ques tions you can probably appreciate that they aren’t all spoken by Anne. It’s pretty good though featuring lines such as ‘What’s the answer to this question?’ and ‘In Arts & Entertainment which is the correct answer?’. As already mentioned each of the 24 characters also have their voices featured although during gameplay they’ll only say things like ‘oh yes I know’ and ‘erm, oh yes, I’ve got it’. It’s enough to prevent TWL from becoming a bonanza of lifeless text without spending three months in a recording studio. All of the tension Music is there too as featured in the programme and that’s one of the biggest atmosphere enhancers here. Dur dur dur dur, ‘let’s play the Weakest Link, dur, dur dur durrr! You get the general idea…. The Weakest Link? I honestly can’t agree with OPS2 Magazine’s rating of four out of ten. This is by no means one of the top PS2 games out there, it’s not a ‘must have’ kind of game. However, it is a superb recreation of the programme and I found it to be highly entertaining – especially when played with a group of people. If you’re a fan of the show then I doubt you’ll be disappointed with it. A faithful recreation with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure. 7/10 MR.COATES
The computer game that let's you be part of the TV show.