Hasbro Family Game Night vol. 2 Wii
Published by: Electronic Arts
Developed by: Electronic Arts
Late last year we took a look at Hasbro Family Game Night which provided virtual versions of Connect 4, Boggle, Battleship, Yahtzee, Sorry! and Sorry! Sliders. On the whole it was a rather enjoyable compendium and as a welcome bonus, it accessible for deaf gamers. Needless to say then that when a sequel arrived for review I expected it to be of a similar quality. Sadly this isn't quite the case and to make matters worse, it's not as deaf gamer friendly this time around.
Hasbro Family Game Night vol. 2 offers five games: Operation, Jenga, Connect 4x4, Bop It! and Pictureka!. Each game offers an alternate way of playing with Connect 4x4 offering two alternatives. Up to four players can take part using a single Wii remote and the game also supports the use of the Mii avatars. Once again the game is presented by Mr. Potato Head and younger gamers will appreciate the ability to customise him with a good selection of parts (you can even switch to Mrs. Potato Head if you wish and customise her). The apartment, which acts as a hub, can also be customised thanks to a variety of themes that will give it a New York, Las Vegas or Tokyo style.
The better games in volume 2 are Connect 4x4, Operation and Pictureka!. Connect 4x4 has the same basic rules as a traditional game of Connect 4, except that here you have two racks to play on. You can connect a line of four on either rack or on a combination of the two. In Operation you have to remove the objects from the patient's body within the time limit. Once you've grabbed the object you'll have to carefully take it out twisting the remote to guide the piece out with precision. In Pictureka you'll have to find a specific object amongst a mass of other objects within the time limit. These three games are enjoyable and the alternate versions of them add a little more depth to the experience.
Jenga is a game you think would be easy to replicate but this hasn't turned out to be the case here which is baffling given that Boom Blox managed to capture the Jenga feel pretty accurately with some of its challenges. As you know, the idea is to remove a block from the tower and then place the removed block on the top of the tower without toppling the tower. The loser is the one who manages to topple the tower. The problem is that the game's physics just don't feel right. Had they just taken those found in Boom Blox it would have been much more enjoyable.
By far the worst game here is Bop It!. You're asked to bop it!, twist it!, shout it! and pull it! You'll perform these actions by either pressing the A button, to bop it!, or holding down the B button while twisting, raising or pulling the remote towards you. In truth this virtual version of Bop It! isn't much of a game to begin with but aside from the Warm-up Round, which does show you visually what needs to be done, deaf gamers have no way of knowing what actions are being called out as there are no subtitles or visual clues for the verbal commands.
As well as playing the games individually, you can opt to play the Family Game Show (requires two or more players). In this mode you'll play mini-game variants of the five games on offer. The basic idea is to win as many zones as possible during the game with the overall winner being the one who has won the most. You won't be able to play the Family Game Show mode if you're playing solo but you will have access to the High Score Mania mode which gives you 10 mini-games to play through in an attempt to get the highest score possible. Both of these modes are fine except for the fact that deaf gamers are going to struggle with the Bop It! mini-game challenges.
The game's presentation and graphical quality is around the level of the first Hasbro Family Game Night. As we've already seen, it's not as good for deaf gamers this time around with the aforementioned problems in Bop It!. In addition to this, the introductory movie for the Family Game Show isn't subtitled. These problems are unfortunate because there are no other problems. All tutorial information is shown in text and all of the other games are fine for deaf gamers.
Hasbro Family Game Night vol. 2 doesn't quite manage to reach the standard of the original Hasbro Family Game Night. The main reason for this is that the collection of games available in this second volume aren't as enjoyable as those found in the original collection. To make matters worse, Jenga just doesn't feel right and Bop It! just isn't accessible for deaf gamers. However, the game can be picked up for around £15 and it's certainly decent value for money given that Connect 4x4, Operation and Pictureka! alone are worth it at that price. That said, there can be no denying that this sequel isn't as good as the original game and that's disappointing.