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In Memory
Sean Pettibone



        

Fans who revel in displaying their knowledge should find something to enjoy in Ubi Softís Power Play Sports Trivia. While itís not the flashiest game ever made, its low retail price and decent selection of questions might make it a worthwhile purchase. The Laser steps up to the plate with our review to see if this title reaches its modest goals.


You canít really expect that much from a low-priced title released near the end of consoleís lifespan, and Power Play Sports Trivia for the PS1 delivers what it promises and not much else. Players will find that this rudimentary Q&A game offers a surprisingly decent selection of questions divided into four sports: Basketball, Football, Hockey and Baseball. You can either play questions from a single sport or all 4 sports mixed up. Players can play either alone or with up to 4 players at a single time. Once you select which realm you want to answer questions from, then you have to decide which mode you wish to play. There are two main modes, standard tournament and last man standing. The tournament mode is set up so you have to answer a set number of questions. The questions are timed and players must answer before the clock runs out. Each question is given a value based on its difficulty, and players can also multiply this by the number of correct answers in their streak to give them a higher score. However, answer incorrectly and the point value is deducted from your score. There are 4 possible answers for each trivia question and players use the face buttons to select which their response. Not answering in time or not answering at all also makes you lose points. Itís extremely straightforward.. At the end of the match, a small awards ceremony is given to the player who wins.

Much more interesting is the "Last Man Standing" mode. While itís similar to tournament mode, there are several aspects which are different and make things more exciting. The biggest thing is that players can only miss a certain number of questions. You can set the number of incorrect responses youíre allowed, but once youíre out, youíre out. While scoring in the single-player mode is similar to the other mode, in multi-player mode, the winner is the last player left after the others have been eliminated. These two modes are decent enough, and make for some enjoyable, if not especially taxing gameplay. As you might expect, Power Play Sports Trivia is much more exciting in multi-player mode as players can battle it out to see who rings in first, while the single player game quickly becomes monotonous and dull. The interface and menus are bare-bones, and the gameís visual appeal is further limited by the lack of animations, which makes the experience that much less enjoyable.

While it has a no-frills approach, the game does offer a solid level of trivia. Some of the questions are unexpectedly difficult and obscure, and since there are 4,000 of them in all, repeating and cycling through the same ones wonít happen for awhile. Unfortunately, the problem with the gameís questions is that theyíre all focused on the four major sports and donít really offer a lot of variety, these have a lot of ground to cover of course, but thereís just not the depth youíd like. However, this is a bargain basement title, and as such offers what it promises. Itís underwhelming from both a production and gameplay standpoint and will do little to keep the PS1 alive for much longer. Coming at the end of the PS1ís life-span, Power Play Sports Trivia is a obviously a low-budget game judging by itís production values. The long-term play value is minimal while sports fans may enjoy it for awhile, non-sports fans wonít find much appealing.

- Michael Palisano




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