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The Price is Right: 2010 Edition Review Box Art

The Price is Right: 2010 Edition Review

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard scoring criteria.

With the holiday season fast approaching, Ubisoft has released a trio of game show video games to Wii, DS, and PC: Family Feud: 2010 Edition, Press Your Luck, and this game, The Price is Right: 2010 Edition. While all three game shows are legitimate classics, the poor history of game show-to-video game adaptations are liable to leave some gamers with some trepidation. In the case of this game, that trepidation is justified, as The Price is Right for Wii fails to deliver the authentic experience it ought to.

On paper, the game seems to have the basics down. It’s the second Wii attempt at The Price is Right (the first released in 2008) and supposedly features updated graphics and content from its predecessor. The game serves up all the staples of the game show, from the Contestants Row where players are told to “come on down” to the climactic Showcase Showdown. The game has authentic music from the show and narration by the show’s announcer, Rich Fields. Many of the show’s signature favorites, from the high-stakes Safe Cracker to the immortal Plinko, are among the thirty or so prize-winning possibilities.

The game also appears to offer a decent buffet of options. A single player option comes either in a standard “classic” format or in a “three strikes” format that gives players a better chance to experience more of the prize games. A “party mode” multiplayer option allows up to four players to compete in the show right up to the Showcase Showdown, albeit with some slightly modified rules from the real show. Rounding out the package are customizable avatars and some unlockable videos and other content.

The devil is in the details. The first sign of trouble with The Price is Right takes place when the game first loads up. The loading time itself is rather long, and those long loading times keep coming, even when transitioning between two rounds in the same location. They go from being a minor irritation to a major chore that robs the video game of the brisk pacing that marks the actual game show. It’s a sign of poor programming that is made all the worse by the fact that the displayed product is nothing special, visually or otherwise.

A second sign of trouble shows up during the initial character creation process. Rather than using Miis, the game uses its own brand of avatars. The avatars are more lifelike than Miis but also less customizable; while there are twelve or so different archetypes (six for each gender), only a few traits (hair, glasses, shirt, shorts) can be modified, and at the outset only a few variables are available. Playing through the game unlocks more apparel and design options, but they come at a slow pace, made all the slower by the aforementioned loading times.

Things don’t get any better in the main game. The presentation mimics the game show but does it in a middling, stilted sort of way; authentic live clips are shown of products but the audio from the clips snaps off abruptly and in so doing serves to make them seem less seamless within the show. The announcer is there but Drew Carey -- or even Bob Barker, for that matter -- is nowhere to be found. The AI is pretty shoddy, and longtime fans of the show will probably notice that CPU players fail to make the sort of strategic decisions, such as guessing $1 in case the other players have guessed over the retail price. Items repeat more often than they should, with two or three different items showing up twice during a one hour play session. Item prices are at the typically high levels of the game, but some of the prices and specs on technology -- computers and televisions -- seem a little out of date even at the time of this review, which was very close to the game’s street date.

When it’s all said and done, The Price is Right is a classic example of a lost opportunity. Despite being handed one of the greatest game shows of all time -- and one that should lend itself to Wii’s party-style gameplay -- The Price is Right: 2010 Edition is bogged down by long loading times, poor AI, and presentation issues that make it feel more like a poor imitation of the game show rather than an immersive representation. Serious fans of the show will do better sticking to the real thing.

final score 4.0/10

Staff Avatar Joshua Johnston
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"Round 1! Fight!"

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