Do you remember Fuzion Frenzy? No? It's no surprise, given that it launched early in the Xbox's life and didn't really appeal to the same audience that was lapping up the likes of Halo, but the mini-game collection was said to be Bill Gates' favourite Xbox title. In truth, other than a small handful of decent games, Fuzion Frenzy did little to promote the Xbox as a family friendly console. Microsoft has since taken a quality over quantity approach to first-party software, but strangely this mini-game collection sequel has still managed to be released under the Microsoft Game Studios wing.
The first thing that'll strike you is the awful art style used throughout the game. Fuzion Frenzy 2 casts you as a player in a futuristic tournament where you travel from planet to planet to take part in various mini-games. This sci-fi theme could have resulted in some sleek, stylish visuals, but the whole things looks rather cheap and is incredibly cheesy. Everyone is sporting fashion that they'll probably look back on in the same way we now look at shell suits and the presenter is about as charismatic as John Barnes with the flair of Jonathan Ross' wardrobe.
It's hard to overlook the game's constantly off-putting aesthetic, but if you can a decent selection of mini-games await. Played alone Fuzion Frenzy 2 is anything but a fun experience, with there being very little to play towards. With friends the game moves up a few notches on the entertainment scale and the introduction of Xbox Live play makes playing with others a far more likely occurrence than it was with the original game. Having said that, mini-games are always best played with people who are within touching distance and Fuzion Frenzy 2 is no different.
At the start of each game you choose how many planets you need to control in order to win the game, essentially being the rounds needed for victory. Each planet has a certain theme (fire, ice, etc) and the player with the most points on each planet wins that round, taking them one step closer to the predetermined target score. Points are awarded based on where each player finishes in each game but a number of bonus cards can be used to drastically alter the state of play - multiplying points, nullifying multipliers or snatching control of mini-game choice.
While this point system means you're often still in with a chance right until the end, it's more than a little annoying to be clearly in the lead, only for someone in last place to use a 6x multiplier card and gain 60 points for a win instead of the usual 10. Each batch of mini-games on a planet ends with a brawl of sorts and sadly this is one of the worst games included in the collection. All the mini-games that feature combat feel rather underdeveloped, with the faster paced, reaction-based games proving to be the most entertaining.
As an Xbox 360 title there's little to get excited about in the presentation department. As I've already mentioned, the game show host is more than a little annoying but thankfully you can skip through his endless annoying banter. Other than running in high definition the game's visuals are entirely unremarkable and the audio is equally unimpressive, with the host once again being the biggest offender. His voice is so irritating that unless you quickly skip these scenes or mute his voice you'll be reaching for the power button.
Fuzion Frenzy 2 is a rather uninspired mini-game collection that simply doesn't have the same appeal as the likes of Mario Party or the more recent Rayman Raving Rabbids. Online play means that even solo players are able to go up against real opponents, but there aren't enough great mini-games in the collection to warrant more than one or two plays through what is on offer. Add in a fairly slim selection of Achievements and you have an Xbox 360 game that even die-hard 360 owners will struggle to find much worth in.