Monopoly New Edition
The Empire Strikes Back, Superman II and Monopoly New Edition; which is the odd one out? Of course the answer is Monopoly New Edition as the others are excellent sequels. Sequels are supposed to capture the spirit of the original and develop and improve upon it. Unfortunately Monopoly New Edition is about as good a sequel as Jaws 2 in that it leaves you feeling deeply disappointed at what is a wasted opportunity.
A few years ago now, what was then Hasbro Interactive released Monopoly. The game offered a nice collection of 3D boards to play that were based on the UK, Australia, Hong Kong etc., versions. You could even design your own boards to play on. I remember this being a particularly fun aspect of the game and I would spend ages trying to make a good custom board. That version of Monopoly came out in 1999 and at the time it looked quite good. Of course you know that Infogrames acquired the rights to all of Hasbro Interactives merchandise and were obviously that happy with Monopoly, that they though they could get away with releasing virtually the same title, minus the ability to design your own boards, three years later after it's initial release.
If you own the version from 1999 then to put it quite simply this one is a waste of your money. On the back of the case the key features of the game are given as six bullet points. All of these features are in the 1999 version (which incidentally has been repackaged as a budget title for only £9.99), except for one, Windows XP compatibility. I am not aware of any problems with the earlier version being incompatible with Windows XP. Indeed I have run the software numerous times recently and for me it has worked as well as it did under Windows 98 so I can't see what advantage this 'new' version has over the last one. Of course PC configurations are never the same so we'll give the benefit of the doubt on this one.
Annoyingly the same bugs are still in there too. The 3D board is just way too jerky and thankfully can be switched off. However on re-entering the game you'll find it knocked back on. This problem occurred with the 1999 version and the only way to permanently knock it off was to edit a text file called Monopoly.ini. Guess what? You have to do the same with this version too.
The game is OK for deaf gamers but it is annoying that the AI players' and Monopoly man comments are still not subtitled. The manual is practically the same (well to be honest what is there is the same but the section on the official rules of the game has been cut out) as the last one which again is very disappointing but hey no effort was spared with the software so why should the manual be any different. Even the error about mentioning that a board based on a 'certain North American city' (which there is not) is still there.
All in all Monopoly New Edition is Monopoly Old Edition in a new case. To make matters worse you can buy the earlier version, which is better because you also get the board editor, for £15 less. My advice, if you are using Windows XP would be to buy the original game on budget for £9.99 from somewhere like GAME and if the game crashes then you'll be able to return it for this one but in all honesty this version simply isn't worth it if the older, and better, version works.
Overall Game Rating: 3.5/10 A 3 year old game warmed up with one of the best parts taken away. The phrase 'money for old rope' springs to mind.
Deaf Gamers comment: AI player and Monopoly man comments are still not subtitled.