Reviewed by Jimmy | 02.06.07
A Microsoft Xbox original launch title has been revised for a second round with Fuzion Frenzy 2. Packed full of 40 plus mini-games, Fuzion Frenzy 2 looks to hook gamers with its simple quick paced action games.
Fuzion Frenzy 2 from Microsoft steps away from the original developers Blitz Games and goes with Japanese developer Hudson Soft. Fuzion Frenzy wasn't an overly successful launch title for the Xbox and I'm afraid we will have a repeat performance on the Xbox 360. Fuzion Frenzy in concept is a great idea that never really formulates in its second coming. The concept of a bunch of fun short timed mini-games strung together could have been winner for Microsoft in the vein of Nintendo's Mario Party games, but unfortunately Fuzion Frenzy 2 falls flat on its face, and man, I would feel embarrassed.
For starters the plot of Fuzion Frenzy 2 is unoriginal mess that ends up as another contrived futuristic TV show where humans battle each other in a series of death defying games. This might have been acceptable if they had some interesting characters and more work into each games production. Other games like Unreal Tournament and Manhunt have recycled this Running Man idea and have made successful run with being overly original. Fuzion Frenzy 2 is too generic filled the returning cast of SSX rejects, and a fashion challenge host/DJ. Any attempt to be 'cool' should be laughed at, and its not bad enough they stereotype the cast of participants with their looks, the horrendous voice acting tops it all off. Its 2007, why do I feel like I'm going backwards in gaming generations and not to the next level?
If you can forgive Fuzion Frenzy 2's laughable attempt at cinematics and plot, then you might be able to find a little joy behind the badly dubbed animations. In total with 43 mini-games, it will be hard to dislike them all. For the majority most of the mini-games are a lot of fun. Like the original Fuzion Frenzy 2 divides each section of gaming into regions, in this case planets. There are seven different planets in Fuzion Frenzy 2 (Blazer, Eternite, Machina, Icicle, Amuseth, Moisture, and our home Earth). Each planet represents a certain type of games usually revolving around an element or characteristics of the planet, example fire based games on the planet Blazer.
The mini-games themselves have one objective with a limited amount of buttons to be concerned about. The most complex out of these games are the rumble fighting games with a whopping three button control scheme. Having a simple controls works in Fuzion Frenzy's favor because the game is easy accessible and can be enjoyed by all levels of gamers, and since I have a broken hand at the moment (ouch), I easily made my way through all of the mini-games.
For the most part I found the mini-games to provide a fun experience, but they could have been a little more memorable. Usually you will either be participating in hand to hand combat in a varied arena like underwater fighting for health and air (Underwater Rumble), or controlling a robot of sorts trying to jump on water monsters (Hopping No Stopping) or simply collect coins (Loader Madness). The also have a few combination button pressing games where you quickly pressing buttons in succession like "Over the Falls" where you have to press the right button to jump from log to log to escape plummeting over the falls. I found each planet to have one or two fun games out of a total of six or more, one problem is that the games are repetitive with only the surroundings being different. After a few fights you won't want to be mixed up in the 1980s quality of button mashing, but you will most likely be forced to one fighting mini-game per planet. Fuzion Frenzy 2 really could of used more diversity between each zone rather then cut and paste style of games.
Besides the addition of online play, Fuzion Frenzy 2 has added a new element of strategy with a card power-ups. This is a quick way to make Fuzion Frenzy feel like it has advanced in the gameplay department, which is sad, but true. There are seven different cards, three being point multipliers (2x, 4x, 6x), and a reverse multiplier, steal point card, choice card to let you choose the next game and attack chance cards which lets you pick the next gaming zone. The cards have to be used before a round starts, so they do warren a certain level of strategy. You have to watch the other players and determine your chance of winning a game before you throw down your 6x. The worst is winning a round with your points being multiplied by six only to loose them to the 'Steal Points' card. I actually enjoy the only new innovation to the in the form of cards, but I really think they could have been a little more creative in the card system and obtaining them.
The graphic and audio department is one area that I really don't want to get into because it's too easy to eat Fuzion Frenzy 2 alive. Graphically, Fuzion Frenzy 2 looks like a Dreamcast game at best, the animations, character models and levels are very basic with a splash of high gloss which doesn't properly represent the capabilities of the Xbox 360. The audio which obviously was dubbed in English wasn't even attempted to match up with the characters mouth movement at all. This makes Fuzion Frenzy 2 come off like a joke, and that is without even going into the quality of the voice work. For the next generation of gaming Fuzion Frenzy 2 has to be overlooked because this isn't the quality of a second tier next generation game.
Fuzion Frenzy 2 is a hard game to recommend unless you're starving for some an easy going collection of mini-games to blast through with friends. The quality and substance is of the Fuzion Frenzy 2 is lacking should have been re-evaluated before its release. Fuzion Frenzy 2 is marked slightly lower than a normal Xbox 360, rightfully so, but it should be even lower. I honestly think Fuzion Frenzy 2 would be better served over the Xbox Live Marketplace as an Arcade title, then a full disc release. Buyer Beware, or you might be the one in a frenzy.