Who didn't think about opening one's own TV station and broadcasting one's favourite movies without commercial breaks? Well, then you've come to the right place with Mad TV / Mad TV 2. The successful game's sequel is good for some discussion and different from the predecessor, it is not about conquering Betty Botterbloom, but really just about building up a successful TV station. (We already successfully got rid of her again in Mad News after all and now we're happy to be single again )
The basic concept of Mad TV 2 is not really different from its predecessor. As usual, what we can find is some attempts to 'improve' and some nice graphical improvements. We again start out by selecting one of three stations (MadTV, FunTV, SunTV). The only difference is the name. Afterwards, we decide which mission to play. There are some different ones which could have been broadened or even turned into a campaign… 'could have', mind you. This was given a miss.
Then, it really begins. First stop is the boss to increase the credit line (just to be safe, as known from Mad TV), then off to establish a new channel which can be arbitrarily named. Then we stumble around, searching every corner for three hours until we find the broadcasting equipment shop behind the fast food place which we reach by beaming in from the SFX store?!?!?!? No matter, we buy a satellite dish in one of the three regions and now we only still need a couple of movies and commercials. There is no way around it, because we want (and have to) earn money. We already have a few films from the cultural niche, as in the predecessor. Though we can only reach a small audience with those.
Commercials, we can get from the agency. This is where the ratings and sometimes also the film genre play a role. Certain companies only want to be associated with certain movies (commercials for birth control products in a children's movie or commercials for tombstones in a comedy don't really mix, do they?).
Well, at first, the game drags along like this and if you're not too stupid, you will see some red numbers on day 1, but you will have built a solid foundation to finish the week with a substantial profit. Especially at the beginning, you should be a little careful with spending money, because the commercials don't pay so much yet and they depend on the ratings.
Some time later, when the motivation ebbs away, you can produce your own shows or series to keep things interesting on the short term. For that purpose, you buy all kinds of ingredients (ketchup (blood), SFX), take a couple of slaves from the bazaar and cram everything into the funnel in the studio. Out comes the finished production. It's nice, but completely useless, being able to sabotage the competition by poaching his actors at the headhunter, burst his commercial contracts etc. The fortune teller and the espionage through the headhunter deliver important pieces of information without which we can do just as well. All this is probably somewhat funny, but without any purpose. To give some overview, here are the noteworthy differences from Mad TV:
- The funny rivalry between the VR Duban and the FR Duban
- Betty Botterbloom
- The motivation to play until the end
- A clearly laid out world
- Several channels (up to three) can be operated at the same time
- New locations and options (too many)
- A headhunting agency
- Numberous ways of espionage and sabotage
- Long-term ties with personell
- A fortune teller
Graphically, the game is rather colourful and it offers the possibility to also move in the third dimension. Small funny animations lighten the mood. This makes the graphics varied and pleasant, sometimes also funny to look at. As far as sound goes, it plays a melody which is pleasant in my view and which you can just leave running without the danger of injury. From time to time there are also small sound effects in the background, fitting to the animations.
Conclusion: practice makes perfect. They're trying a couple of enhancements here, but they don't sum up to the quality of the two predecessors Mad TV and Mad News – unfortunately. Replayability is rather limited due to that, even more so because a multiplayer mode, which would have spiced things up, is missing. Too many locations, too long distances, too much boredom! There is worse and you may even have a little fun with Mad TV 2… a little
Translated by Mr Creosote