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Fuzion Frenzy

Developer: Blitz Games | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 to 4 Player Game | Release Date: 11/14/01 | Genre: Party

Ever since the release of the Mario Party series on the Nintendo 64, four player party games have been a hot commodity on all consoles. The PC has had You Don't Know Jack, the Playstation has had Crash Bash, the GameCube just released with Sega's Super Monkey Ball, and now Microsoft has their own--Fuzion Frenzy. These titles each have their strengths and weaknesses. However, if there is one element common in all titles it is the necessity for four players to participate in the game. If you are primarily a solo gamer or play with just one other buddy-you might as well stop reading this review and look to another title to fill your needs. But if you are looking for a party game where at least four people want to join in--Fuzion Frenzy will fit in perfectly to your gaming library.

The game begins with players choosing their characters. While there are several to choose from-I would have preferred a "custom character editor," where players could create a character in their likeness with a name of their choice.

After selecting your characters and the number of people playing, the CPU will then fill in the rest of the spots-always providing you a total of four people playing. You can then choose how many stages you want to play. I was fooled the first time into thinking that six stages meant only six mini-games. There are several mini-games in each stage. So only choose six if your group has lots of time to play.

The min-games are a snap to control. Most levels are controlled with the left analog stick or D Pad and the A and B buttons. Each game lasts for a few minutes. Over the course of the games I played, I rarely played the same exact mini-game twice--although there are several variations of the same game. Some of the games you can expect to see include: Bug swatting, spray painting bugs, collecting orbs, keep away with bombs, rafting for medals, etc.

Although visual effects are not what makes a Party Game fun and enjoyable--Fuzion Frenzy is the worst looking Xbox title to date. The characters are not very detailed and the environments in each mini-game are on the same level as Mario Party on the Nintendo 64. However, where the graphics fail to impress, the speed of the gameplay makes up for the graphical shortcomings. During most of the mini-games, the action will be so fast and furious that you will be unable to keep up with what is on the screen. At times the speed is so fast that it may become frustrating. However, if you are winning, you don't have to complain. But if you are losing֠well--at least you have a good excuse!

While Fuzion Frenzy is by no means a reason to buy an Xbox-it is a worthy purchase if you are in need of a good four player party game. While I personally enjoy the Mario Party series overall, Fuzion Frenzy is definitely a fun title for groups of four. However, I warn you yet again--do not play Fuzion Frenzy if you are gaming with less than four people.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 01/09/02
ESRB Details: Violence
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Screenshots for Fuzion Frenzy

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