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Ultimate Board Game Collection review

Troubled
AT A GLANCE
  • Plenty of game options
  • Lots of environments
  • Simple menus
  • Confusing views and controls
  • Hideous textures
  • Dreary soundtrack

A couple of the twenty games included in Ultimate Board Game Collection are decent enough to at least remind you that the games they emulate are fun. The rest are miserable any way you look at them.

With games like Chess, Parcheesi, Backgammon, Concentration, Go, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Anagrams and Naval Battle (aka Battleship) on offer, the first question you probably have is, "How are the graphics?" Okay, maybe it's the second, right after "Why the hell do I need my PS2 to play Tic-Tac-Toe?" but we're assuming that anyone reading this is actually interested in the game.

At any rate, you'll be glad to know that the rendering power of the PS2 is used to its fullest - little androgynous game pieces tread tediously across the Parcheesi board in full three-dimensional glory. That is to say, the games are monotonous, full of extraneous animation, and topped off with ugly backgrounds. The awkward camera angles and horrid textures even add extra challenge, making it oddly difficult just to see what's going on.

Above: Quite possibly the dullest collection of videogame images ever gathered in one place. 

How's the music, you ask? The game lets you choose between three styles: Rock, Pop and Classical. They all start to sound the same after a while, and they'll all eventually compel you to hit the mute button on your remote.

If you're thinking that there must be something redeeming here, you're almost right. Naval Battle is one of the few games with a little life - animated explosions and water splashes actually add to the Battleship clone. But, of course, the one game not screwed up by shoddy graphics capsizes from other mistakes. The ships don't sink after they're destroyed - they just stay there, confusing us. And we know that a multiplayer mode would have been a bit silly (you'd have to make your opponent look away from the screen while you placed your ships), but when the rest of the game blows, what's the harm in giving players every last chance to salvage some fun from it?

Most of the games do allow multiplayer, with up to six players depending on the type of game. It's a good thing, too, because by the end of a tedious game of "Snakes and Ladders" against the computer, you may be ready to climb a ladder and hang yourself with snake cable. More standard games like Chess are done about as well as by any other bargain game, which doesn't do much to salvage this mess. While a few of these games may have some value when played with a group, fans of board games may as well stick to actually playing board games.

More Info

Release date: Feb 02 2007 - PSP
Jul 06 2006 - PS2 (US)
Feb 02 2007 - PSP
Jul 06 2006 - PS2 (UK)
Available Platforms: PSP, PS2
Genre: Other Games/Compilations
Published by: Valcon
Developed by: Mere Mortals
ESRB Rating:
Everyone

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