PS2 REVIEW: FRIENDS: THE ONE WITH ALL THE TRIVIA

There are exceptions to every rule so don't get on my case with this next comment, but the general rule of thumb regarding these classic TV shows is that men prefer Seinfeld and chicks dig Friends.

That's why I'm doing this review. I am a chick and I like Friends. Both Vaughn and Cole are Seinfeld fanatics, bragging that they followed his career long before the hit series, but even though they have watched some Friends episodes, they feel that they would be no match for any loyal fan of the show when it comes to Friends trivia. They have even gone on to say that Friends is a Seinfeld rip-off, though not nearly as funny or as deeply scathing with the social commentary. Whatever! I don't want to have to think about my comedy, I just want a laugh.

However, it appears the joke is on me.

Friends: The One With All the Trivia provides very few laughs, and requires a lot of thinking. I'm certain I've seen every episode of Friends at least twice, although I'm sure I've seen the "Smelly cat," episode at least eight times. Not that it's my fault, I can't be responsible for what repeats the stations run. And yes, I did get the question right that referred to that episode, but it was only one of few questions that I even had a chance of getting right. This is one seriously difficult challenge. The questions are very obscure. I'm sure the actual writers of the show would have a hard time recalling some of these answers. Only real, hardcore fans of the show with Jeopary-friendly memories need apply.

Exploring all 10- years (or was it 9?) of this series you will be amazed at what you've overlooked, forgotten or just never registered. Scenes from some of my favorite episodes were shown that I don't recall being in that particular episode. Often there were so many sub-plots that it's not uncommon for you to separate them into different shows, even occurring in different seasons.

There are more than 600 videoclips from the show and more than 3,000 trivia questions in all. The questions are read by B-list characters, Janice and Gunther. Sometimes you'll be shown a scene and then asked to explain what happens next. The questions are multiple choice which tends to jog the memory a little since the actual answer is in there somewhere. Some of the answers are explained after you get them wrong but many are left a mystery. Back to DVD box set for another weeks worth of viewing.

Friends includes a single-player and multi-player mode that accommodates up to four players. Each time you get a right answer a window will light up in a skyscraper. The first person to light their entire building wins the game. There's no arguments that with the right people the four-player mode is the most fun especially if all of the players are Friends freaks because often what one person doesn't know someone else is bound to pick up on and can explain further what the game skips over.

This isn't a pretty game. In fact it looks very cheap, almost like a Friends fan designed it himself using Flash. The graphics are very basic, reduced to outlines of a cityscape and garish window framing. I expected a lot better from such a hit TV show. I just hope that Seinfeld looks just as crappy if it ever comes out.

Only the best friends of Friends will hold their own against this game. If every answer were explained in more detail, it might inspire, educate and cultivate more fans thus selling more box sets and a building a larger audience for future syndication. We might even recruit more Seinfeld fans should Arrested Development or Curb Your Enthusiasm get cancelled. (Editor's note - AD has been cancelled…damn you!)

System: PS2
Dev: Artech
Pub: Warner Bros. Int.
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Daemia
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
3.0
GRAPHICS
2.0
CONTROL
4.5
MUSIC/FX
3.5
VALUE
2.5