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1 vs. 100 - Never Trust The Mob
(Note to YNI readers: Hi, I'm Matt! I'm awesome! When I was asked to be a reviewer for this website, I jumped at the chance because I am a sad and lonely individual and desire internet validation. That said, I'm also lazy. So, for my first review, I'm going to do something I should've started doing a long time ago: recycle! This review was written for a failed upstart gaming site I worked with for a few months. It was probably the funniest thing contributed, so it's no wonder the site folded! So enjoy a review of a free game that was actually written in August of 2009, when this game was in beta. Not much has changed since the game has come out of beta, however, so the review still applies. Nonetheless, enjoy and hopefully my next review will be chock full of new content and actual funny words!)
If you're an Xbox Live subscriber, you may have heard about 1 vs. 100, the online game show experience that is set to change the way we play games, expand our very worldview, and perhaps liberate Nepal. I'm not sure about any of those, but the idea in and of itself is pretty neat. The television version of 1 vs. 100 originated in the Netherlands, but most people reading this are probably more familiar with the American version hosted by Bob Saget. The show pits one contestant in a battle of wits against one hundred other contestants to see who can answer trivia questions the bestest.
The Experience 4/5
The Xbox version is very similar, though it sadly lacks Danny Tanner. Host Chris Cashman (who?) leads 101 randomly selected players through rounds of the game. As members of the Mob get questions incorrect, they are eliminated, causing the grand prize to grow. If the One can outlast the Mob, they win and will get angry Xbox messages from thousands of people. All players compete for prizes such as free Xbox Live Arcade games and Microsoft Points, which is kind of like the millions of dollars players could win on the real 1 vs. 100 but not. Players who are not the One or in the Mob (the 100) play from the crowd, which is only fun with friends. In fact, playing this game alone can get kind of boring, as with most trivia games, so perhaps it'd be best to keep a friend around when venturing into Chris Cashman's territory.
Let me show you the wonderful world of 1 vs. 100 in diary format. Follow along so you don't have to upgrade your Silver account, cheapskate!
8:00 PM - 1 vs. 100 starts. Extended Play, where there is no actual 1 or 100 was on before, but it's pointless. The actual game is where the meat and potatoes are.
8:02 PM - I hear Chris Cashman shilling the 1 vs. 100 blog to me. I am prepared to be shilled to more and more as the night progresses.
8:03 PM - I've been joined by three other players! Excellent! One looks like a Dracula, one looks like this douchebag I knew in high school, and one looks like host Chris Cashman: my mind is literally exploding as reality folds in upon itself. Chris Cashman narrates as he stands RIGHT BESIDE ME! The voiceover is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!
8:04 PM - I tap the Y button to make my character perform different actions. He gives a thumbs down. Boooo Dracula!
8:06 PM - Apparently no one knew what a "fluffernutter" was. My entire "team" failed this, save for me. Barbarians fill the audience.
8:07 PM - This game is totally an ego-booster. I haven't missed a question, and the Mob keeps falling down. Make me the One, Chris Cashman! I will take the Red Pill!
8:10 PM - The One bombed an easy question. Now, like, thirty people are getting small prizes. You can also get prizes in the crowd for being one of the top 3 in the round. I'm only number 5. Dammit!
8:11 PM - Still, number 5 is good. I tap Y furiously and my character begins to dance. Raise the roof, buddy.
8:14 PM - After a quick round of Sprint advertisements and shilling, another round begins. I joined a game with a friend of mine and we keep making fun of the Dracula in our group (yes, a second Dracula. I knew the kids liked the Twilight and whatnot, but what's with everyone looking like a Dracula? The only thing scarier than one is two Draculas).
8:16 PM - At this point I have now seen three Sprint commercials. I already use Sprint as my telephone provider, so I am unfazed by such blatant advertising. You're already getting my money, Sprint! Lay off!
8:17 PM - Aw crap, choked on a Mr. Potato head question. Apparently there is, indeed, a Sister Yam to Mr. Potato Head's Brother Spud. Who cares?
8:18 PM - Disillusioned with my loss from the crowd, I break for a moment. I am finding suddenly that my life has more meaning and everything is brighter and shinier. 1 vs. 100 has made me a better man... or rather the lack of it, as I'm finding myself more interested in super-mundane things compared to the boredom that is 1 vs. 100.
8:23 PM - I return to playing 1 vs. 100. My buddy is number 4 in the round as it ends. Hello, smart people? Where are you?
8:25 PM - Hey, my background's changed. What's going on?
8:26 PM - Holy crap I'm in the Mob. I'm almost guaranteed to win prizes! That's all I want from this experience. I laugh at my friend, who plays 1 vs. 100 a lot more than I do and has yet to be in the Mob. I tap Y to celebrate. My character seems to be miming using a pottery wheel?
8:27 PM - A Dracula walks up to the podium. He is the One. He is the One True Dracula.
8:28 PM - Like ten Mob members just missed a question about who Batman is. My grandmother knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Everyone knows this. Ten members of the Mob (and an unknown number of crowd members) are incredibly stupid.
8:29 PM - More Mob members knocked out. I'm gonna get some Microsoft Points! Time to finally buy some more Fallout DLC. Or maybe I'll save up for Shadow Complex? That looks pretty rad. I wonder if I'll even get far enough to win a game? Hope it's not something terrible. Oh boy!
8:29 PM - A question appears. It's relating to pop culture again. Harry Potter question. I don't read Harry Potter, only seen the movies. The answer is Slytherin, fool. The answer is Slytherin.
8:30 PM - The One uses one of his three "helps." These allow him to get help with a question if he is having trouble and include: "Trust the Mob," where he automatically gets the Mob's most prevalent answer, "Trust the Crowd," which is the same but with the Crowd, and "Trust the Brain," which allows him to trust an "expert" or something. I don't really understand Trust the Brain.
8:30 PM - He trusts the Mob. Why would you trust the Mob? The Greek Mob owns a really awesome diner in my town. The food is really good and they make a superb seafood bisque. I didn't even know the Greeks had their own Mob. That said, they are still The Mob and I would never trust them at all for anything ever.
8:30 PM - Holy crap the Mob picked Hufflepuff. The One loses! Okay, that's fine, that's fine. A little early but I still get prizes. I tap Y furiously and begin to dance. I look good, man. I look good.
8:31 PM - Apparently at least 30 Mob members must be eliminated for anyone to get prizes. With only 28 Mob members eliminated, I get a whopping NOTHING! I've played 1 vs. 100 so many times now, trying to get in the Mob, I finally do, I win, and I get NOTHING! Screw this game.
8:35 PM - I wait to see if my buddy gets in the Mob. If he does, I'll stay and support him.
8:36 PM - He doesn't. I am disillusioned. Chris Cashman has a personal vendetta against me, I know it. I quit and return to the dashboard, leaving the sad, Saget-less existence behind me and returning to a world where I can toss in my Full House: The Complete Series DVDs in at any time.
8:37 PM - I blame Dracula for my failings. Will play Castlevania later to soothe my soul. I tap Y, but my heart's just not in it.
Final Thoughts 4/5
So that is my 1 vs. 100 experience. Again, I cannot stress enough that you play this game with friends (you can even bring guests online with you from your home console) as it's kinda boring and lonely by yourself (as with every other Xbox Live Arcade game, no one uses their headset). Still, it's a neat idea and the idea of winning prizes for something you're not necessarily paying anything extra for is a good idea. If you enjoy trivia, give it a shot. It'll bore you after awhile and you'll quickly come to deliver your own fascinating line of questioning: "Why am I still playing this?" It's free and you can win something, though, so there's that. It's your free time, buddy!
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