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DVD is a great medium. It allows audiences to recreate the cinematic experience in their own home, it allows for extra fun with extra features, it is friendly for the deaf as subtitles are available most DVDs, and it has even allowed a very cancelled television show (yes, I am referring to the brilliant Firefly, which I am obsessed with) to have a big budget movie made due to sales. But now, DVD proves yet another use; the ability to take the top-rating television game show and re-create the experience of being in the hot seat to try and win the interactive big bucks!

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
The Game
The entire look and feel of the game show is re-created including the use of the actual set, the actual music score, an audience and even host Eddie McGuire. And that’s only the introduction. Host Eddie McGuire sets out the rules in an intro that perfectly replicates the shows opening. Then, you get the first person perspective of being in the hot seat and are given the questions. The three lifelines, ‘phone a friend,’ ‘50-50,’ and ‘ask the audience’ are also available to you. Although the interactive DVD recreates the atmosphere and look of the show perfectly, there are a few down sides.

First off, the asking of the questions is un-even and confusing. More specifically for the first five questions, you are presented with the questions which you have to read yourself, then read the four possible answers, then select. Then Eddie comments in between each question. Then, for the second five, we get the same set-up, only Eddie reads the question and possible answers for you, and still comments in between. This is better, but it’s not until the final five questions, that we get a near perfect re-creation of the show as Eddie is present on screen, with the questions and answers appearing at the bottom as he reads them to you. The final five questions really give off a true sense of what it can be like to be on the show, but one has to wonder why this was only done for these questions? Why are the others set up awkwardly like an old Nintendo game only to get that at the end? Was it so hard to set up the game so you get the full virtual experience? This just shows the DVD could have been perfect, but loses a lot with the lazy set-up.

Another down side is that the novelty wears thin very quickly. You’ll maybe enjoy a few games of this if you are a fan, but you will soon get bored and realise its flaws and then stick it on a shelf until a rainy day. That said, this can still be a decent way to kill some time. If your DVD player is good enough, the multi-player option can be good if you chose to bet or make a drinking game out of it, or if you just like competition. The multiplayer is the same set-up, only each player answers a question and the last man standing is the winner. Like I said, unless you are betting or drinking, it is a little pointless.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Overall it’s not too bad but it’s hardly worth the AU$35 it sells for. If you can get it cheap and you’re a fan it’s worth it as the set-up and feel of the show is very well done. Eddie is also enthusiastic and seems to have fun doing it which helps. The fact that they actually got an audience in to do some shots is a nice touch as well. This has fun moments and can lead to some good competition between friends or family, but in the end you likely find yourself quickly bored.

Video
As this is an adaptation of a TV show we get an acceptable video transfer. It is presented in 1:33.1 Full Frame. There really isn’t much to show other than Eddie, who looks pretty much as he does on television; heavily made up. Seriously though, the skin tones are fine and the dark set allows for some good shadow detail. The people in the audience will also be thrilled that they look nice and clear and aren’t shut out by shadows. The colours of the lights and the sets are also very vibrant with a nice blue scheme. The game set up also looks fine with well defined edges and very clear and easy to read text. The only drawback is the heavy grain. The bits that have actually been filmed are very grainy, affecting the dark colours in particular. Not too bad a transfer otherwise.

Audio
The case claims this has a 2.0 Stereo track, when really this is equipped with a 2.1 stereo track. There really isn’t much for it to do. It is unremarkable, but still gets the job done. Eddie’s dialogue is clear so you don’t miss questions. The ‘phone a friends’ also are clear through artificial phone static. The surrounds very lightly emphasise the music score, which is the same as it is on TV. The sub woofer’s only job here is to pound out those little heartbeat sound effects they love to use while contestants answers the questions. Totally decent for this DVD, but nothing remarkable.

Extras
Nothing. Zilch. Nada.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
Overall
This will please fans for a short time but otherwise, unless you play with friends occasionally, the disc is just a pass. Don’t get me wrong, there is fun to be had here but it dies pretty fast. The attention to detail is at first great but dies during the first ten questions and you have to wait until the end to get it back. The DVD emulates the show well through adequate video and audio, though in the end you wont have near as much fun playing it as Eddie seemed to have making it.


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