Game Over Online ~ Monopoly II

GameOver Game Reviews - Monopoly II (c) Hasbro Interactive, Reviewed by - Bill

Game & Publisher Monopoly II (c) Hasbro Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 166, 32MB Ram
Overall Rating 61%
Date Published Tuesday, November 9th, 1999 at 09:06 PM

Divider Left By: Bill Divider Right

When Monopoly was first released a few years ago, who knew it would take off and be a best seller for the PC. It was followed shortly thereafter by Monopoly World Cup Edition. Now, Hasbro Interactive is at it again with a trio of Monopoly titles in time for the holiday season including Monopoly Jr. For children, Monopoly Casino for adults, and Monopoly II for those of us who always wanted to play Monopoly in 3D. So without further ado, let’s see what Monopoly II has to offer.

Monopoly continues to be one of the most popular game in the world, and so it’s no surprise that Hasbro Interactive has taken the opportunity to update the classic board game for the PC, using the latest in 3D technology. If you remember the original Monopoly, that Hasbro Interactive released a few years ago, you might remember that the game was played on a 2D board. When you rolled the dice, a second screen would pop up showing your piece moving around the board in 3D. It was a mish-mash technique that didn’t particular work very well in my opinion, as I ended up turning it off twenty minutes into the game. Monopoly II features a complete 3D experience. The board is 3D, the pieces are 3D, and all the action revolves around 3D animation including buying, trading, and selling properties. It’s all wrapped up in a neat little package, but unfortunately the emphasis on the 3D experience seems to have taken away from the gameplay and fun factor.

The graphics in Monopoly are much improved. As mentioned above, everything is in 3D, but the overall presentation is a bit of a bust. If you’ve had the opportunity to play some of Hasbro’s other interactive products, you’re probably well aware that Hasbro has a knack for creating bright, colorful gaming experiences. Monopoly II lacks that creative feel, as the colors are all quite dark and the menu graphics are uninteresting and quite bland. They’ve gone for a more realistic look to the game, particularly in the board display, and it’s just not the same as previous version of the game. The animations are all well done, don’t get me wrong, but the overall atmosphere is dark and gloomy. The added 3D support also seems to have slowed down the game a little. Gameplay is much slower, having to wait for all the 3D animations to finish before continuing with your turn. You might find yourself turning off several of the graphical and gameplay options, just to speed up the game.

The audio in Monopoly continues to be top notch. Sound effects a plenty throughout the game. There’s a sound for every aspect of the game that you can imagine. From pieces moving around the board, to landing in jail, there’s an effect for everything. There’s also accompanying musical scores during the game as well. You can choose from a half dozen original scores in the menu options and it adds a nice touch to the gameplay. Monopoly II is also chalk full of speech, from the menu prompts to the actual gameplay itself, Hasbro Interactive doesn't disappoint in this department, that’s for sure.

Hasbro has added a number of new features in this latest edition of Monopoly. For starters, there are 10 new boards included with the game. Besides the classic board, there are now 10 city versions of Monopoly. Here’s a short list of the city boards available in Monopoly II:

  • New York
  • Washington D.C.
  • Los Angeles
  • Boston
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Toronto

    Streets, parks and other popular real estate spots associated with each of those cities are located on the board in place of the regular properties associated with the original game. A board editor is also provided with the game, along with some clip art, so you can create your own city boards using the clip art provided, or clip art you might have on your system. Hasbro has also included a three-level difficulty option. You can now set the difficulty level for your computer opponents in case they seem to easy or to difficult to beat. In terms of multiplayer, you can play with up to 6 human players at the same machine or you can go online and play against opponents from around the world. There is full Internet support for multiplayer gaming.

    Although you’ll never hear a woman tell you this, bigger isn’t always better. Some of the best improvements are the little improvements. The addition of a board editor was a fantastic idea. The addition of 10 new city boards to go along with the classic board is a fine idea. The addition of 3D graphics, not such a good idea. If I wanted a realistic looking Monopoly game, I’d ask for water. What I want from the PC version is a fun, interactive board game. We got that in the original Monopoly, we don’t seem to get that here. The atmosphere has mysteriously disappeared, as will this game the moment I finish writing this review.


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