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TV Show King 2 - WiiWare Review

Game Info
TV Show King 2

WiiWare | Gameloft | 1 Player / 2-4 Players (local multiplayer) / 2-4 Players (online versus) | Out Now | 800 Nintendo Points
Controller Compatibility: Wii Remote (pointer)
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6th February 2010; By KnucklesSonic8

It's been over a year since 
TV Show King first graced us upon WiiWare's launch. The game grew to become a successful WiiWare title, in terms of sales as well as the strong multiplayer experience it provided. Billy originally awarded the game a 24/30, citing that the game's multiplayer is "in a league of it's own", with its competitive and gripping gameplay. Now, Gameloft has taken the liberty to release a sequel just in time for the holiday season, promising even more fun and excitement than its predecessor. TV Show King 2 not only lives up to what they set out to accomplish, but it also happens to be one of Gameloft's best releases yet!

    The premise of the sequel hasn't differed from that of the original: players answer a series of questions in a game show-type setting. Players have 15 seconds to choose the best answer of the 4 options given to accumulate money. At the end of each round, you can opt to spin the wheel to risk increasing your money or losing it all. Games can be played for 3, 6 or 9 rounds, lasting anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and, just like before, you can adjust the game to one of three difficulty settings: Easy, King or Genius. What TV Show King 2 does differently, though, is in its new gameplay twists that make the game even more entertaining than before!

Probably the most noticeable improvement this sequel features is its improved presentation. The frame rate is much better than the original's and it dips only on rare occasions - a huge improvement! Character models have greatly improved as well. The Mii's look much more crisp and feature real hands this time unlike the "club hands" that were seen in the original. Jerry, the host of the game 
show, looks a lot smoother with stronger VA support that's not as choppy as it was before. Both Angela and the DJ have less blocky character models and look much more attractive as well. Gameloft definitely deserves praise for their stronger focus towards visuals this time around and the amount of work that went into this really shows.

    Looking at the game's Main Menu, players have the main "Play" option which allows for a Local Quiz or an Online Quiz. Yes, that's right: Gameloft added online play this year! There's also a menu that will allow you to see all of your achievements, trophies and high-scores that you've attained over the course of the game. There are even player statistics that will show you a chart that tells you your best categories. As you can see, there's a lot to offer players in terms of content, even more so than the original. 

    The 'Local Quiz' option features four gameplay modes to play, compared to the two modes featured in the original. 'Classic Quiz' mode is the main gameplay option, 'Hot Seat' mode masquerades as the single-player Quiz Attack from TVSK, the new 'Face-Off' mode where two players face off in "The Final Duel" event, and the excellent new 'Last Man Standing' mode. In this mode, players have 3 Hearts and will lose a life for every incorrect answer. You also have one pass per round represented by the Crown atop your podium. It's a match of wits where you try to be the last person with lives remaining!

    As mentioned earlier, the classic gameplay does contain some notable improvements that result in more variety and excitement than the original. For starters, at the beginning of every other round, a randomly-selected player will be able to choose one of 11 question categories, including a Megamix option. Although this was featured in the Wii release of TV Show King Party, this feature was never present in the original and it's very much welcomed here! Sure some categories are harder than others such as Art & Literature (who made this painting?) and Sports (which team traded who in what year?) so if you're good at a particular topic, you have the potential to outshine your competitors. 

    The questions themselves are well balanced in terms of difficulty. Easy isn't too much of a pushover and contains a few tricky ones here and there. Genius difficulty is really challenging which is great to see since as the original had questions that were pretty moderate on this setting. There are some new question types previously not seen in the original that help add to the game's level of variety. Some of the new elements feel borrowed from Trivial Pursuit for the Wii, where players will place pegs on a map, and experience flash memory-type puzzles where you'll be shown a picture for a brief time and be shown a question afterwards. Other times, you'll have to try and figure out what's shown in a pixellated image that gradually gets sharper in focus, another great new question type. 

Perhaps you'll recall the Scratch quiz puzzle from 
TV Show King where players had to use their cursors to scratch off concealed answers. Thankfully, this doesn't make a return and it was a good idea for Gameloft to remove it since it just wasn't that great. There was also a Flashlight puzzle where players had to use their circle-shaped cursors to reveal hidden answers. This time, it's incorporated much better than just highlighting hidden text. Instead, players use their cursors to look at portions of a concealed photo to try to answer the question provided. Best of all, when playing online, you can't see other people's cursors so you have to scrutinize the picture for yourself. This is just a sample of the types of questions you'll find in TV Show King alongside the traditional ones, and they all help to prevent gameplay from becoming repetitive.

    Another big gameplay change is the approach towards the Special Event. In TV Show King, you'd simply receive a larger sum of money if you answered a set of questions correctly. Now, if you answer the Special Event question correctly before everyone else, then you'll be given the ability to choose one of 9 briefcases a la Deal or No Deal! Each case contains different amounts of money, from a single dollar bill with Jerry's face on it, to a set of diamonds worth $4,000. It's a great new addition and it definitely makes this event feel much more "special" than it was in the original.

Players also have greater customization this time around. You can unlock over 20 new podiums for your online/offline character to make it a bit more personalized. The podiums make winning more of a victory with a prize to strive for but Mii accessories like hats and necklaces would've been nice to have as well. If you enjoyed unlocking online character enhancements like in Texas Hold'em Tournament or Gameloft's own Texas Hold'em Poker, then you'll enjoy it here as well. Gameloft also allowed players to have the ability to remove the wheel segments from gameplay, something never before seen in 
TV Show King! For those that are looking for a more skill-oriented offline experience, then you'll definitely enjoy this feature, as will those who dislike the luck factor the wheel adds to the gameplay.

    As if that wasn't enough, players can also create their very own questions in Creator mode! The question creator is very straight-forward but if you're a fast typer on the Wii, you'll have to tone it down a notch since the system will occasionally miss letters that you've typed. It can be annoying since you can't use the D-Pad or cursor to isolate an error, and instead are forced to backspace everything. After you type your question, it's then sent to the TV Show King 2 Online server for verification purposes. When you play either online or locally, the game distinguishes user-generated questions with a special Creator Mode symbol above the timer. Custom questions created around the world can appear online and/or in a free downloadable question pack for local play (requires 40 blocks). It would've been great if Gameloft could notify you either in-game or via a Wii Message as to whether or not your created questions have been chosen. It's also too bad that you can't create questions offline without having to send them online. Still, in spite of its flaws, it's still a great addition and it adds even more replay value to the game.

    As a final bit for consideration, how does TV Show King 2's online portion fair? Well, put simply, online integration is really great! In addition to being able to play the Classic Quiz and the Last Man Standing mode online, there's also a well-organized Friend Code system as well as online leaderboards that rank you based on your highest earnings. The game even allows more than one person from the same console to go online - a feature that not many WiiWare games have been able to boast! Online incorporation is a natural fit for this type of gameplay and it's just as exhilirating online as it is offline. The inability to remove the wheel is really for the best, as it keeps players on their toes up until The Final Duel. 

Although there are some teensy hiccups at times, as a whole, lag is very minimal which is a huge sigh of relief! Players can drop out of an online match at any time without having to reset their Wii simply by bringing up the Pause Menu with the + Button. (Hopefully other games take notice of this; could Mario Party benefit from such a system?) The flow works very well and even when one player may idle for a period of time, the game does contain a hidden time to keep the game chugging along if players take too long. Just like in the offline portion, you can skip certain parts, such as when the CPU takes their turn to spin the wheel, allowing you to jump right into playing the game. Unfortunately, the segments where Angela shows the overall rankings can be skipped and most people playing online choose to skip this. As Jerry explains a new round, though, you can only skip it if everyone in the group is in agreement, a great feature for newcomers who may actually want to hear the instructions. 

    The Friend Code system used in TV Show King 2 is deeper than most online games on the Wii. Rather than just being able to create a room, you'll be able to see exactly what your friends are doing by means of a colour-coded system. It'll tell you if they're online, waiting in a public room, if they're in the middle of a game and more. Even just trying to find players online, you're not forced to wait for 4 people to show up. After at least one person appears in the group, you can invite any friends who are currently online, or you can choose start the game immediately as is (in Classic Quiz, the other two players will be filled in with AI Players). Overall, the online system works much better than expected and if the game was delayed simply to tighten up the online portion, Gameloft's efforts have certainly paid off!

We've considered so many aspects about the game, and, really, if you're feeling an impression of high quality, you're spot-on. The game contains a very large deal of content, lots of replay value and it's all around good fun online or offline. For the amazing price of only 800 Points, 
TV Show King 2 is not only a strong WiiWare title, but it's also one of the best trivia games to hit the gaming scene in recent years!

28/30 - Excellent

Gameplay 9/10 - Gameplay changes allow for more variety and excitement than the original, tons of questions of varying difficulties
Presentation 9/10 - Greatly improved over the original, strong layout, character models and animations look great, minor hiccups
Enjoyment 5/5 - Thoroughly satisfying, there's no reason why you won't enjoy this game if you love trivia games
Extra Content 5/5 - Online play, variety of modes, achievements, unlockables, custom questions and more!

Equivalent to a score of 93% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating)

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