IGN Review of Wheel of Fortune
When you think of classic TV game shows, Wheel of Fortune is very likely near the top of your list. A downloadable version of Jeopardy!, another classic, hit the PlayStation Network not too long ago, and Sony Online Entertainment has followed it up with its take on Wheel of Fortune. Unfortunately, it has many of the same issues that Jeopardy! did, resulting in a somewhat lifeless game that, while it does stay true to the show's format, rules and so forth, doesn't bring the experience home like it could.
Perhaps the biggest issue is that there's neither a host or letter-turner. I can understand not getting the rights to implement virtual takes on Pat Sajak and Vanna White (though you'd figure that they would come with the licensing package), but there aren't even replacements. So, it's just you and two other contestants standing there and playing the game with no host, or even any other person present, for that matter.
There's no voiceover work of any sort - no introduction, no one saying "There are three P's" or anything of that nature. The set looks nice and it has the flashy feel of the show to a certain extent, but not having hosts or even just a voiceover announcer leaves the game feeling incomplete.
There's also a feeling of the game not being fully polished. The animations are stiff, the winning contestant will almost always put their hands through the bonus wheel (which seems like it would have been easy to fix), and for many clothing options you'll see a white spot right around the belt area where the clothes aren't fitted correctly. It makes it look like the players have their fly open.
The actual gameplay mechanics work well enough I suppose. If you choose to spin, you get a power meter that you set to dictate how hard you spin the wheel. Then you scroll through the alphabet and pick the letter you want to guess. When you choose to solve a puzzle, you just need to fill in the letters that haven't been turned over yet, so that usually only requires typing in a handful of missing letters rather than the whole thing. The game uses its own single line of letters rather than the default PS3 virtual keyboard, which works much better for this scenario.
Options are limited. You can create a character, but you really only get to set a name, pick from a handful of faces, choose from a limited set of haircuts and choose the clothes (one option sets your entire wardrobe). From here, you can play a single game, a city tour that has you play three games in a row with different backdrops, or hop online for the same modes.
The online works well enough, and you can set up private matches to play with your friends, but it's pretty basic. What's nice though is that your money total for each character is synchronized between online and offline play, which helps with nabbing some of the game's Trophies.
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