IGN Review of Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree
Over the past couple years, Nintendo has broken new ground with the Wii. It's pulled in countless new casual fans like no console could before it. But there's one group Nintendo has yet to capitalize on; the highly prized and sought after Redneck demographic. Over 80% of Americans belong to this group, and no console has yet been able to capture their distinguished attention. But it seems Zoo Games and Humagade aim to do just that with the release of Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree, a game designed specifically with that untapped backwoods demographic in mind.
As the story goes, once a year all the families of Redneck County gather together at Calvin Tucker's Jamboree to put their skills to the test and determine exactly who is the greatest Redneck clan of them all. The grand champions get the privilege of living in "The Big Trailer" for the whole year, where redneck style luxury awaits them and their kin.
Redneck Jamboree features 11 mini-games in all, and as you may have guessed, they're all based off outlandishly Redneck activities. In Backyard Shooting you simply "shoot everything that moves", using the Wii remote's IR pointer. Pop cans, balloons, and all sorts of wild critters litter the screen - all you have to do is point and shoot. I'm sure you know exactly what to expect here. Another game has you fishing with dynamite, but it's not as fun as it sounds. You stand on a boat, move a target around the pond with the analog stick, then hold A and whip the remote to throw to that location. There's also a version of horseshoes involving toilet seats. You hold A and move the remote in a throwing motion to throw the seat. The motion doesn't always register, and it's very difficult to judge your shots.
The game actually advertises 12 events, but one of those can hardly be considered a mini-game. It plays between events in a tournament, and is nothing more than a random "lottery" game that serves no real purpose, and rarely even produces a winner. It's totally pointless. In fact, that might be a good way to describe most of these mini-games. We've seen all these games before in one form or another, and there's really nothing in this collection that makes any of them stand out among the rest.
If there's one good thing about Redneck Jamboree, it's that the events are all different from each other. A lot of times we'll see mini-game compilations recycle the same formulas for half the games with no variety, but that's not the case here. The mini-games are all pretty bad, but at least they're bad for a variety of reasons.
When you play a game it's always against three other opponents. If you're playing with real people, each takes a shot at the events in turn. If you choose to play against computer controlled opponents, you only see the scores at the end. Depending on how well you place, you earn a certain number of bottle caps, which you can put toward unlockables.
You start off with only six games to choose from, the rest have to be unlocked. This is one of the games biggest problems. You gain caps so slowly (only a few each game) that it takes forever to unlock even one extra event. It takes between 75 and 150 bottle caps to unlock additional mini-games, which means you will literally have to play for hours in order to gain access to most of the content. These extra games are nothing special; it's simply a means to stretch out the play time and force you into playing these games over and over, which is something you definitely won't want to do. You're using these caps to "buy" the events, so once you spend them, they have to be earned all over again. This never works for party titles like this. Nobody wants to invest long hours into unlocking content in this sort of game. They just want to throw it in the system and have it all there when their friends pop in. The sooner game makers realize that, the better.
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