Family Feud: 2012 Edition ReviewESRB:
Platform: Xbox 360
Category: Family Fun
1-4 Players (Offline)
2-4 Players (Co-op)
64KB to Game Save
HDTV Output: 720p/1080i/1080p
Having been a Family Feud fan since my younger years, I was excited to review Family Feud 2012 Edition for the Xbox 360. I still recall spending many nights watching the game show with my family. We even made up our own family feud game back in the day when Family Feud was not available on the video game consoles. We would gather the family around, create some teams and play our own version of the crazy game show. It made for some memorable moments and experiences that stay with me to this day. Fast forward to the present and now families can play the hit TV game show in the comfort of their living room. Can Family Feud 2012 Edition re-capture some of that enjoyment I has when I played the game as a youth? Read on.
Much of the Family Feud 2012 Edition takes place in a virtual Family Feud game show set. The set looks very much like the set up for the TV show and all in all looks very good. The floor is shinny and the giant Family Feud board with all the answers looks nearly identical to its TV show counterpart. The game has a cartoony feel and the characters are all in the shape of Xbox Avatars. Overall it is not a bad looking game but it certainly isn't a great looking one either.
For a game that is little thin on features and plays out more like an XBLA game than a full length game, you do experience some long loading times. Sure the game includes several fun facts about the Family Feud while you wait but the loading times in my mind were simply far too long. The menu however was easy to navigate. Yet once you start a game, the in-game animations seem wonky, and delayed. For instance, after you answer a question, the host asks you if you would like to play or pass. The time it takes for him to ask you this question seems like an eternity and had me wondering how the development team could have possibly missed this. Needless to say, the delay in providing the options was annoying. Another noticeable issue was with the host's mouth movements. The host's mouth movements and the words being said did not match up and it wasn't even close. Far too often the hosts mouth would continue moving well after the voice work stopped. Overall, it appears the visuals in Family Feud 2012 Edition took a step back from the 2010 version.
Much like the games visuals the sound was also a disappointment. Granted the game does feature the Family Feud theme song and it sounds decent. However, it does have a tendency to loop over and over. The game voice work was less than stellar as well. The host of the game is not the current host, Steve Harvey, but instead you get an over-the-top host who will grate you at the best of times. Much of my annoyance with the hosts rests with how frequently his voice changed in pitch when reading the questions. It felt robotic and unnatural. Not to mention, he does not always read the results from the board but merely provides cookie cutter statements. I was also disappointed that the crowd and other family members, a big part of the excitement of the TV show, were almost non-existent. The audience and teams play a major role in the actual game show by bantering, cheering and making all sorts of noise. Unfortunately, this was not accurately reflected in the game. Other in-game sound effects sound decent but are mostly forgettable.
For those of you who are completely unfamiliar with Family Feud I will just provide a bit of background. Family Feud is a TV game show that tests your knowledge in a wide variety of areas. There are two teams (families) of approximately 6 people on both teams that compete against one another. The hosts will call up two people from either team as they face off against one another to see who can answer the hosts question the quickest. The questions are basic questions and taken from a survey of 100 people. Your goal is to respond and name the most popular answers in each survey. In nutshell that is Family Feud.
In Family Feud 2012 Edition there is a party play mode and challenge mode. Otherwise, it is game that is thin in terms of options. I spent the bulk of my time in the challenge mode. In the challenge mode, there were 16 broad categories with three difficulty levels. Each category contained four Rounds, and if successful against the opposing team you carry onto the Fast Money Round. Once complete, you unlock a clip from the TV series. I was a little disappointed that the only way I could see a video clip was by winning a game. That said, it does give Family Feud fans reason to keep playing the game.
The game is rated E10+; however, I caution those who are considering picking up the game so that their younger family members can play along. My 17 year old daughter felt the game was too hard even when on the easy mode and I must agree. Having said that, there are times when the TV shows questions are equally difficult. I just felt that if the game was played on easy mode then the questions and answers should be exactly that - easy.
When selecting yours answers, you are provided with a virtual keyboard. Selecting letters can be time consuming; however, there is an auto word feature which is appreciated when attempting to type the answers out. If you do not have the Xbox 360 chat pad then you will be a little frustrated with how you have to provide responses. It is too bad Family Feud 2012 Edition is not playable on the Kinect as some of the voice recognition software would have been perfect for this game. I sure wish I could have just yelled out the answers. The timer that ticks down as you select letters adds some tension, stress and excitement but far too often I ran out of time before I selected my answers.
Family Feud 2012 Edition is a game that just feels incomplete and could have been so much better. The inability to customize characters or simply pick team names was disappointment. Also when I was playing solo, I was the only person on my side while the opposing family had all characters present. It seemed odd looking at my family-less side of the game show set. It was also disappointing that the team members did not confer before they answer questions, as they do on the show which always seems to add some excitement.
The lack of audience involvement was also a let-down. In the TV show, the audience calls out the missed answers when they are revealed. In Family Feud 2012 Edition audience involvement is minimal and mostly absent. The host himself did not call out any of the answers and merely repeated himself over and over. The point I am getting at is that the interactivity of the show and what makes Family Feud one of the longest running game shows is missed in Xbox 360 version of the game. I felt too attachment with the host and his over-the-top movements were just ridiculously annoying.
The multi-player mode however is one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game. That said the pace is very slow and it is hard to keep excitements levels up over a sustained period of time. In any event, I did find it enjoyable to play the game with my daughter as we would work together to answer questions and get to the fast money round. Unfortunately, Family Feud 2012 Edition does not have an online mode so you can only play the game with others in the your gaming area. Some online modes may have salvaged the game but sadly none are present.
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