#125 - Press Your Luck Wii Game
It's coming to me now, there's crappy graphics and game play in your future!

 

Video Game for the Wii (Created by Ludia: 2009)
Text by: Robert Seidelman

I grew up on the USA game show block when I was young.  So, I had a healthy dose of the cult classic, Press Your Luck.  The show itself was light on smarts, but was a favorite amongst those who watched for the big money, the gigantic board and the Whammies that popped up when someone hit one and lost all of their money.  Reruns of the show lasted 9 years on the network and another 6 when GSN got the rights to rerun it.  With all the popularity there was hardly any merchandise for the show.  The closest we got were shirts, but many people wanted to play the game.  However in 1988, a PC game was released. 

The game was made by GameTek, so we were in capable hands.  The PC game played like the TV counterpart, and was a decent adaptation.  Unfortunately for the game, the graphics were ugly and the sound was pretty terrible.  However, since this was a PC game and in 1988 they didn't have the best of graphics and sound like they had 5 years later, I'll give it a pass.  They had a good variety of prizes, like the actual show and the board itself was ok too.  In short, it was good for its time and the hardware it had.  I'm sure if this was made for the NES, it would have had more colors and the sound would have been more faithful to the show in terms of music and sounds and color. 

So, it took us 20 more years to get an official Press Your Luck game after the original Gametek release.  The fan base was jumping with glee.  However, what we did get was our own personal whammies.  Ladies and Gentlemen, enter Ludia entertainment and their crappy version of Press Your Luck.

I'm going to get this out of the way to start.  The announcer that talks during the entire show, reading the questions and what you hit is really annoying.  He says the same things without any change of tone or wording.  I could forgive this if it was a SNES game or an early PS1 game, but not for a game on the Nintendo Wii.  The announcer himself is the same announcer that does Family Feud, the later Price is Right games after Rich Fields got fired, and The $1,000,000 Pyramid.  Either way, his voice wants to make you listen to a marathon of Blake Emmons or Edd Byrnes or Patrick Wayne.  If he actually hosted a show in real life, he might be the worst one out there. 

Now let's get to the graphics.  They look like PS1 style graphics.  The character designs look like utter garbage.  Not only that, they make you create your own figure from their ugly designs when it would be more fun to just use your Mii (I.e. your avatar when you create your own account for Nintendo and play on various games like Wii Sports and Fortune Street) instead of these things.  Then you get to the matters of the board.  While you know it's the PYL Board, it doesn't have the polished look and quality that the old board had on the show.  Not only that, the board is a total mess.  You have items sprawled all over and Big Bucks looks nothing like the Big Bucks in the TV show.

And on the subject of the board.  The original board and the contents were randomized and didn't have a set pattern to what showed up at what time.  The Wii game had none of these.  They had only 3 different boards.  One board had the lowest amount on the 4 square, and no whammies.  The 2nd board had the middle amount on the 4 square and two whammies and the last board had the big number up top and seven whammies sprawled out.  The board was supposed to be random, but to only have three boards is pathetic.  I mean, cheaper fan games were able to randomize the board and its contents.  Not only that, the games looked a hell of a lot better than what Ludia did.  BigJon's looked amazing and PYLEE did the original PYL fan game of Curt King's creation justice and enhanced the graphics and prizes.  And those games were produced with only about 2-3 people whereas this game had about 10 or 20 people work on it. 

Another major thing that irked the living daylights out of me was the fact that there was only one prize on the board and that was a trip.  The trip had a set value of $3,000 in round 1 and $4,000 in round 2.  The original game had a multitude of prizes worth varying things.  I guess the producers got lazy and decided this was the easiest thing.  However, they are cheating the consumer because when they play PYL, they want to win a car or even the mystical Flotaki Rug. 

One last thing and that deals with the whammies.  The different designs for the Whammies are nice and are throwbacks to the old ones, but they don't have the same charm as the old ones.  Not only that, the old ones just look cleaner and crisper than the newly drawn ones.  I guess it's nostalgia creeping in, but when you saw the whammies come out on the show, it felt magical.  Here, it felt tacked on. 

In short, this entire game was just one big money grab by Ludia, much like the rest of their games not named The Price Is Right.  The game is just extremely cheap in design, playability, and faithfulness to the actual show.  That's all I have to say about it.

However, if you really want to hear more about this game, look up Loogaroo's review of not only this game but also The $1,000,000 Pyramid.  These two reviews are classic and well worth your time seeing the reviews instead of playing the games and seeing how bad they are for yourself.