Alex Trebeck is back doling out answers and expecting you to come up with questions. But the main question you may want to answer is: "Is it necessary to buy Jeopardy! 2nd Edition?" If you're a fan of the show, the answer is yes. The game, by developer Artech Studios, looks a lot like the first version but has noticeably better graphics and sound.
The real-time gameplay and video sequences make you feel as if you are actually in the studio and the introduction is taken straight from the show. Opponents no longer type out the answers but speak them instead. The only difference from the TV show is that announcer Johnny Gilbert reads each clue instead of Trebeck. There are some good new features in this 2nd edition that Jeopardy-lovers will want to check out.
For example, you can now write in your own name using the mouse. While it doesn't really add to gameplay, it's a nice customization feature for the die-hard fan. This edition also provides a more animated host but whether that's good or bad depends on the user's perspective. Alex Trebeck usually stirs up extreme feelings on both sides of the spectrum, so if you love him on the show, you'll appreciate his added comments and vigor. However, those with slower systems may not appreciate the delay while the CD winds up so he can give you a thumbs-up.
In addition, Alex seems to be all over the place. It's almost frightening, if not funny, the way he jumps out from all corners of the board. Sometimes he appears from a sphere on the right-hand side of the screen, at times he reveals himself in the actual gameplay board and other times you are taken to an empty screen where he gives you his own personal soliloquy. Some might find this far more annoying than previous versions.
Jeopardy! 2nd Edition offers 4500 new answers, a thousand more than the original. You may not think this important but it really makes a difference, especially when it comes to categories. How many times have you watched the television show and seen the same subjects and topics popping up: world capitals, books and authors and the obligatory Bible? This expanded base of questions allows for more categories and a lot more variety.
Most fans will love the Behind the Scenes section that gives a good account of what goes on backstage. Gamers will get a tour of the green room, control room, production offices, dressing room and the stage. Short vignettes are included that feature the contestant coordinators and the show's director and you'll even learn about the executive producer and writers. And, if you're up to the challenge, take a contestant exam and check your answers when you're done.
The only non-enjoyable aspect of the game is during solo play. In earlier Jeopardy games, even if you play alone you are given the correct answer if you can't come up with it. Here, though, you're left wondering which Charles Dickens' classic featured Fagan or what's the chief export of France. But, if that's the only problem you have to worry about, don't think twice. What's the name of the game to add to your collection? Well, Alex, it's Jeopardy! 2nd Edition!
Graphics: The real-time video is more fluent than ever before. The images and words are also much clearer than in previous versions.
Sound: Nothing much has changed as far as the sound is concerned. Announcer Johnny Gilbert reads the clues carefully and clearly.
Enjoyment: People who enjoy Jeopardy will not be able to get enough. It's like being right there in the studio.
Replay Value: With 4500 new questions, it's hard to get the same one twice.
People who downloaded Jeopardy! 2nd Edition (2000) have also downloaded:
Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy with TV & Movie Pack, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Game of Life, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: 2nd Edition, Jeopardy! 4th Edition, Super Jeopardy!, Monopoly (1999)
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