N64th Street

Jeopardy!

Posted by: Kevin C. on: November 27, 2012

When it comes to the games based on game shows genre, there’s really only one that I love unconditionally: Family Feud. In terms of entertainment value, at least in multiplayer, nothing is as universally amusing and accessible in the genre as The Feud. Jeopardy, on the other hand, is a bit more divisive. With the exception of Jeopardy Junior on the NES, the questions are often a cut above the random trivia knowledge level of your average human, so your party appeal is a bit limited. Except maybe among the grandma demographic.

 I’m pretty sure this cast is entirely white or east Indian, so I’m guessing
Gametek didn’t win any awards for outstanding achievement in diversity.

Just as the show’s daily audience skews older, Jeopardy joins the ranks of Golden Nugget as a perfect Nintendo 64 Grandma Game- it’s slow paced (VERY), its controls are extremely simple, and requires little but knowledge and a bit of wisdom to succeed at. And not just succeed at, but win the kind of money that means that you won’t be living social security check to social security check ever again. Plus, you’ve all the time in the world to read all the books (whether trivia books or books that will teach you a “surefire system” to winning Slots) that’ll make you sure to win it all! It’s all the signs of a surefire Centrum Silver-age classic.

I hope that’s not a slang sex term now, especially in this context.

Jeopardy is a game where you’re already pretty much sure to know if you’re the target audience or not. Do you want a 3-player medium-hard serious trivia game based on a popular game show? Do you only enjoy that game show when it had a still-mustached Alex Trebek because you’re scared of change and thus fear his current clean-shaven look? Are you turned on by having this many sentences ending in questions in a row? This is the perfect game for you.

A small peak at the tantalizing Trebek footage this game offers.

How does it compare to other available versions? Mostly favorably. It looks fine, it has a nice auto-suggest feature that aids spelling, it has flexible options for challenge, and the questions are… authentic, for better or worse. There’s also a good/bad feature designed especially to take away certain people’s natural advantage at early Jeopardy games: the ability to read really, really, really fast.

So, instead of having my usual roughly 5 second advantage, I found myself stuck in a prison of answer-button jamming agony as I waited to ask the game “What is seafoam green colored discharge?” or whatever. This may or may not be able to be turned off, but it’s definitely on by default, and it definitely slows any momentum a Jeopardy game can have to a grinding halt . On the definitely negative side of the game, little polish (even by comparison) was spent on graphics or sound aside from the videos of Alex, and the player character cast (seen above) somehow manages to be just as agonizingly generic than other home editions. However, there is beard guy.

Or perhaps more accurately, goatee guy. Which I’m pretty sure he didn’t even grow.

 I mean, that thing seems to pretty clearly be
just a sloppy MS Paint job of a chin beard, right?

BONUS

There’s two cheats for this game on pretty much every GameFAQs-like site out there but, unless I’m missing something, they seem to be bunk. The boring one is one that’s an obscenely long button sequence that one puts in to get “extra money” after a question is answered correctly. The other is far more interesting- some sites list it as “alternate host,” but others list it as a more tantalizing “Mutant Host.” The code is simply listed as “R R L R,” while within the option menu, and you’ll hear a buzzer before exiting from the options menu and starting the game. However, this is the only screen before you start the game:

Essentially, it IS an options menu, and each option (aside from start game) is its own sub-options menu. So which “options menu” does the cheat refer to? I tried all of them, and even tried pressing Right/Left/Right/Left on the control pad on all of them too. No buzzer, no “mutant host.” I even tried it in an emulator with a rom (which I admittedly did not dump from my own copy of the game) without any success. I want to believe, but I can’t find any elaboration or anything else that’d help narrow down this mystery… or debunk it, as I’m starting to think is going to be the end result. Can you succeed where I have failed?

 

2 Responses to "Jeopardy!"

I have tried all the options screens myself and am starting to think these cheats are fake. But you can find cheat submissions as recent as 2009 on some websites… this is a mystery indeed.

I’m guessing at this point that it’s just people trying to fill in perceived gaps in order to get their name in lights. All that effort to do so without fact checking would seem to put it on the same level as people who still write angry letters to the Bonsai Kittens guy, though.

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