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Are You All That?
Score: 23%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Digital Leisure
Developer: DVDi
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Trivia/ Party

Graphics & Sound:
The graphics in Are You All That? do not tell a pretty story. This DVD-based trivia game is composed of unattractive, dated graphics that try way too hard to be trendy and cool. Wacky, psychedelic graphics appear during every intro and trust me, you'll wish they didn't.

Oh, and don't get me started on the sound effects and music. First off your host, Dr. Know-It-All Browne (who is the janitor, mind you) is completely annoying in his over-the-top attempt to be all hip-hop and gangsta. I'll get more into this a bit later on in Gameplay. You have 4 characters to choose from and each has a corresponding bit of theme music that plays each time their turn rolls around. For some reason, Tye Dye, the VW bus, has an Asian-inspired music theme. How does this relate to the 60's exactly? Then, a short clip of a song will play each time you move on to a new question since it will be a new question theme. These clips range from rehashed generic rock to the truly weird. It's not good.

Are You All That? is a DVD-based trivia game that will work on your PS2, Xbox or basic DVD player. But will you want it to? The answer is simply no. This game is not fun. Period. I am not trying to be overly harsh, but it simply has no real redeeming qualities other than the fact that you might pick up a little knowledge in the trivia questions. Let me explain.

The game begins with a cut scene of a janitor cleaning the floor of this studio. The finds a mysterious box and opens it and POOF! he is transformed into Dr. Know-It-All Browne, the host of this show. Ok, I really didn't need that stretch of a back story, but whatever.

The the inimitable Dr. Browne opens his mouth and out comes the most offensive and annoying array of "slang" words that I have ever heard. Don't get me wrong - it's not offensive because it contains curse words or anything like that. It is offensive because in trying to be totally cool and hip-hop savvy, it ends up being the digital representation of black-face. Why, you might ask? Because people don't use these words! Sure, I was familiar with some of the sayings, but others simply made no sense. Still others were such an blatant attempt to be "ghetto" that I was offended and I am white! Keep in mind that you will have to hear Dr. Browne say one of his stupid phrases each and every time a question is asked. Half the time I wasn't even sure if I had answered correctly or not because I couldn't make sense of his complements or insults.

Now, this is bad enough, but worse yet is the fact that you can't advance through any of this crap. You simply have to sit and listen to it. And also keep in mind that Dr. Browne feels the need to read every correct answer, whether or not you got it right. Now, he adds no clever bit of info to the answer to possibly clarify it or even to make it amusing. He simply restates it and prolongs the agony.

You can play a game with up to 4 players and a game can have anywhere from 5 to 250 questions; however, in a sitting where I played several games, I encountered a repeat question. In the same game! This happened several times, mind you. This is inexcusable considering the game touts having 1500 questions.

Yes, there is some modern trivia in the game and plenty of weird, old trivia as well. How's this for crazy - in the Fun and Games section, I only got questions concerning board games and the like, never a video game question. Kind of odd considering this is supposed to be a video game!

Let me put it to you this way - I played this game with two other staff members and they wanted to kill me for putting them through this. Then I tried playing with my mom, who doesn't really play games, but likes trivia. At first, she said, "Oh, this is a cool game." Then after about 10 minutes of hearing the stupid "stylings" of the host and having to actually play the game, she even said it was crap. This is not a good sign.

Hmmm, difficulty. It's hard to sit down and play Are You All That? since the game is no fun. As far as the questions go, some were tougher than others, but since there really isn't any reason to try and win the game, if you miss some, you can simply move on. You get "dissed" or you get "props" if you win or lose and other than that, there is no reward for winning a game.

Game Mechanics:
The control is fairly simplistic. You use your controller and hit the X botton to advance things when appropriate. That's about it. Since it is a DVD-based game, you'll notice some choppiness as you move from screen to screen.

I am not trying to be undeservingly harsh on this game, please understand. But when a game is so offensive and so pointless, I feel the need to let readers know. I can't see why a game like this makes it to the light of day.

Once again, Are You All That? is not a fun game. Perhaps it needs to ask itself that question.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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