Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? DVD Game (1999)
|Category||Game||Main Menu Audio & Animation|
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.1 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One thing became instantly apparent while reviewing this DVD game version of the popular Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? television game show. Either I'm missing my true calling in life and should immediately be on the show, or the questions have been made just a little bit easier in this DVD version.
I say this, because in only my second game I amazingly managed to answer all 15 questions correctly and claim the $1 million prize (well a virtual million anyway).
Modelled on the successful show created in Britain and then sold around the world (in around 50 countries and not a geographically impossible 400 like the press release says) and hosted (in Australia and New Zealand anyway) by none other than Eddie McGuire, this DVD attempts to recreate as closely as possible the format of the show. It's almost all there, right down to Eddie being the host. There are 15 questions that slowly become more difficult, with the usual $100 and $200 questions being really simple, to the big ones at $500,000 and of course the $1 million mark being really difficult. The regular lifelines are also available to those of you not too sure about an answer. You get the 50/50 option which removes two wrong answers leaving you with a 50/50 chance of answering the question correctly. You can also ask the audience or phone a friend. The audience is actually shown on the screen as they vote, though presumably the answers provided by them are all preset to each question and are ultimately based on the difficulty of the question. You can also phone a friend, but this is a really worthless option with three virtual friends provided for you. You simply select the friend you want (based on their occupation and speciality areas) and then listen to their answer. I guess if you really wanted to you could substitute this with a real phone-a-friend if you were playing this with a group of people.
We even get to see Eddie McGuire ask the questions. He doesn't read them all, but rather comes in at the $1000 question with both reading the question and the multiple choice answers. Before this the questions and answers are merely displayed on the screen and you must read them yourself before making a selection.
There is no indication of how many different questions are contained on the disc, and therefore what the likelihood is of seeing the same ones repeated over different games, but I played this at least 20 times for review purposes and never saw the same one twice. The same cannot be said for Eddie's comments between questions. These get very repetitive and quite annoying. He can only say "Yes! that's the right answer" in a finite number of ways.
Since this is a game, it is how the actual game plays on DVD that is the important aspect to consider. It's not bad. All you need to be able to do is navigate around a simple screen with your remote control. The questions are presented in exactly the same format as on television and you simply select the answer you want to lock in, or select one of the available lifelines. Once selected, Eddie tells you if you are right or wrong and how much cash you have won. Probably the biggest negative are the lengthy pauses as the player reads the disc. These occur just after Eddie says you've got one question correct and as he moves on to the next question. This will probably be different depending on the model of player you use, but I found it a little on the clunky side and more than a little time consuming.
The video transfer here is a little average to be honest. It's presented full frame 1.33:1 and is really quite grainy.
The usual problems associated with video transfers are not really that important here. Everything is clear and clean, apart from the grain.
Probably the most important thing to consider is that the various graphics, icons and questions are presented in a style and font that is easily read, even on a very small television.
There are no subtitles.
There's only one soundtrack option when using the game, and it's quite an unusual one. What we have here is a Dolby Digital 2.1 track. Yes that's right - 2.1. It's simply a stereo track which also contains a discrete subwoofer channel.
It's fairly obvious what the subwoofer is used for if you've ever seen the show on television. The ever-present thumping heartbeat style soundtrack that plays for almost the entire duration of the show is here in all its glory.
There is not a great deal more to say about the soundtrack. It works well. You can hear everything and there are no audio sync problems.
|Surround Channel Use|
Aside from a little audio there is nothing in the way of bonus material. It isn't really expected anyway.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Since this game is based on the Australian version of the television show, any comparison between a Region 1 and Region 4 disc is pointless.
The Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? DVD game is a fair attempt to recreate the excitement and interest that is evident in the television game show of the same name. Unfortunately with the lack of real money at stake, one of the really important factors that makes the show successful is just completely missing. The pauses as the DVD reads the disc can also be a little distracting.
The video and audio are functional.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|