The fictional future's always looked pretty dire, what with all the killer robots, invading aliens and - of course - World War III. But we'd gladly accept any of those dystopian fates over the one presented in party game sequel Fuzion Frenzy 2. At least they sound halfway interesting. This Xbox 360 exclusive, on the other hand, is a repetitive bore.
Don’t get us wrong. We'd love to see a solid four-player party game on Microsoft's console, which offers plenty of over-the-headset Live action, but not much for the group of friends that actually managed to assemble together in one room. In fact, you can have it both ways with Fuzion Frenzy 2, competing offline or online.
There's plenty to do, too. A total of 43 minigames have players engage in everything from basketball to racing to supercharged hamster ball deathmatches. But as bizarrely exciting as all that sounds, most of it just... isn't. A few entertaining exceptions exist, like the Bomberman inspired flamethrower match and the Tron inspired cycle battle, but everything else is remarkably uninspired.
The majority of minigames, no matter how crazy or "xtreme" they first appear, quickly deteriorate into frantic, unresponsive and ultimately meaningless button smashing. Whether you're trying to kick your opponent into an ocean of lava, sink him with a torrent of water or blast him into space with high velocity pinballs, all you have to do is sit back and jam on a single face button. He who mashes fastest - or simply gets lucky - wins. Other minigames are even more vapid, asking you to do nothing more than hit a few buttons in the order they appear on the screen or move the analog stick around to collect coins.
And yeah, we know that some of Mario Party and WarioWare's matches are equally simple, but they've always come packaged with engaging characters and larger, all encompassing tournament structures. Fuzion Frenzy 2 doesn't even come close to matching those classics. The contestants lack any personality other than "that red guy" or "the orange chick," and you'll avoid the sci-fi tournament mode just to escape the excruciatingly c-razy game show host, with his hot pink pants and electric shoulder pads.
Trust us. Cheaper, deeper stuff than this can be bought on Xbox Live Arcade. Unless you're truly desperate for an old-school party game experience, or you plan to be so drunk that anything will amuse you, we suggest you save your money for something else.