We don’t get to watch MTV and Carson Daly up here in Canada, at least not without a dish. Instead, Much Music fills our airwaves and VJ personalities include the likes of Ed the Sock. Believe me, you don’t want to know. None the less, I haven’t been living under my igloo that long, so I’m quite familiar with MTV’s Total Request Live. Considering the recent resurgence of trivia games, it’s no surprise that Take 2 Interactive has jumped on the bandwagon, creating an interactive quiz show based on MTV’s hit music show. So without further ado, hands on buzzers players, it’s time to see just how hip you are.
Developed by Hypnotix, MTV Total Request Live Trivia is a fast-paced pop-culture trivia game. Upon creating a contestant, you’ll be presented with a board displaying between six and nine categories, testing your knowledge of movies, music and television, among other themes. There are a total of 25 categories, producing a database of around 1,000 questions that made me realize two things; 1) I’m not as cool as I thought I was, and 2) Hypnotix made Panty Raider! In all seriousness, the questions are surprisingly difficult considering the subject matter. How much do they think I know about o-town? The questions are clearly geared towards teenie boppers who skipped enough classes to learn all this useless information from watching MTV.
MTV Total Request Live Trivia features 5 different modes of gameplay. In the mode titled “Through the Years”, you’ll be tasked to put a list of items, such as movies, songs, or albums, in chronological order. “Guess Who” presents players with a series of four clues during which you must choose from among four possible people that those clues apply to. A “Speed Round” tests players’ reflexes, as well as their knowledge, by offering a keyword and asking players to ring-in when the correct answer flashes on the screen. MTV Total Request Live Trivia also offers up a number of multiple-choice questions, among other conundrums.
Up to four players can participate in a round of MTV Total Request Live Trivia, but hot seat is the only multi-player mode supported. As with most quiz games, You Don’t Know Jack for example, players are assigned a key to buzz in with, so it can become a little crowded around the keyboard if you actually have four separate players partaking in a game.
MTV Total Request Live Trivia opens with a panoramic 3D recreation of MTV’s Total Request Live set. What looks like a pleasant set-up quickly takes a turn for the worse as soon as you make your player selections. I’d use the word dull, but that doesn’t begin to describe how bland or better yet, how ugly the atmosphere becomes. This isn’t Hypnotix’s first foray into the trivia game genre, having produced the likes of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and $100,000 Pyramid for Sierra, and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for Disney Interactive, but this is easily their worst creation in terms of presentation. MTV Total Request Live Trivia is hosted by MTV VJ Brian McFayden, but he doesn’t seem to have much to work with here. Not only does he run through his quips incredibly fast, they aren’t particularly humorous either.
With a few exceptions, MTV Total Request Live Trivia makes the 90's seem like an eternity ago. The game is clearly aimed at a younger, “hipper” audience, not only by way of the questions that are asked, but also in terms of presentation. However, with a lack of multi-player support and repetitive, unfunny audio, I don’t see MTV Total Request Live Trivia lasting more than a few gaming sessions.