Hi folks. Just a quick introduction here… I’m Jeff, sometimes known as JJ, sometimes known as Unsquare. I’m the webmaster of the Smooth Few Films and Gamersushi sites. I’ve been getting back into gaming over the past year ever since I purchased myself an XBox 360, and I’ve been feeling the desire to contribute to this site a bit more now that I actually have opinions on games and such. Hopefully you’ll start seeing posts from me every once in a while. Can’t promise they’ll be as hilarious as Anthony’s Phantasy Star adventures, however.
Anyways, enough about me. Recently, Eddy, Nick and I have been playing a lot of 1 vs. 100 on Xbox Live. It’s a surprisingly addictive game, and if you haven’t already checked it out, it’s a great way to spend a few hours with some friends and seems ideally designed for the party system.
None of us have played it enough to make it into the Mob, let alone the hallowed position of The One, but considering the people who do make it to that top position, I have to wonder what exactly we’re doing wrong. In some ways, The One has been the only really disappointing part of the 1 vs. 100 experience.
Now, for those of you who have never played the game, a short explanation. At its heart, 1 vs. 100 is your basic trivia game. During the week, there is an “extended play” option that doesn’t offer prizes but does help you qualify for the chance to play for prizes during the live shows, which happen on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you play enough during the week and play well enough, you can qualify to be part of the mob of 100 users who have a chance of winning prizes, or if you’re just that good you can be the titular “One” at the top who is pitted against the mob for the grand prize. If the One wins, they can get up to 10,000 Microsoft points. If the Mob wins, the players remaining in the Mob split up the points that the One would have taken.
You might think that this would result in a live show that would be quite thrilling, since the top players of the week would be pitted against each other to win prizes. In theory the players playing as The One should be great players who would at least come close to winning the top prize. In practice, however, most of The Ones I’ve seen have been remarkably lame.
In a two hour show, you can expect half of the users playing as The One to get knocked out within the first three questions. A surprising number of them waste all of their “helps” (options to trust the crowd, the mob, or the top player) within the first half dozen questions, most of which are ridiculously simple.
What this means for players like you and me – i.e. the folks who don’t play enough to get into the prize-winning ranks – is that the live shows aren’t nearly as fun. There’s a lot of waiting inbetween rounds while a new “One” is selected. There are a LOT of Sprint and Insight commercials (for those of us in the US, at least), and because every round starts off with easy or trick questions, there’s a lot of groaning when you have to keep answering some really dumb questions.
1 vs. 100 live is the best when a One is competent enough to keep playing until a high level of points. We’ve only seen this twice. During the first live show we played, one player made it to a fairly high point level and only had 6 Mob members remaining. He was playing a good game, didn’t use his helps too early, and managed to play long enough for us to get some challenging questions. Unfortunately for him, he missed a question and lost it all, but up until that point the game was really shining. It’s possible the live show experience is different for the folks who actually make it into the Mob or play as the One, but since I’ve never gotten to that point it’s hard to say for sure.
Long story short, the extended play sessions are much more entertaining, because the questions don’t reset to “easy” every few minutes. Each extended play session includes 37 questions, and there’s a nice curve to the difficulty. Some of the later questions are really mind-boggling, and it’s really rewarding when you get one of those hard questions right (especially since you get a nice scoring bonus if a lot of people answer a question wrong).
There are some bugs to be worked out, though. The host’s audio cuts out a lot during the live shows, and every few days you will have to download a new version of the game (updates? new content? not sure why). This can be a bit annoying because you’ll make it to the lobby and get an error when you try to join the game because you didn’t actually finish your download before trying to join.
However, overall 1 vs. 100 is a game that I would highly recommend checking out, simply because it’s a game format that pretty much anyone can enjoy and understand, and it’s a nice way to stretch your brain sitting in front of the TV. The best way to play it is with three friends in a party so that you can react to and or make fun of your party members when they miss a particularly simple question.
How about you guys, have you checked out 1 vs. 100? Has anybody played enough to actually play in the Mob, or, wonder of wonders, as the One? I’d love to hear your experiences with the game.
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