Thursday, 30 November 2006

Barry Norman's Interactive Film Quiz (2006)

Barry Norman's Interactive Film Quiz

With Christmas looming, there's a sudden plethora of 'interactive DVD quizzes', and with Barry Norman as host, what could be better than a DVD that tests you on your film knowledge?

A hell of a lot, as it happens. A paper quiz is cheap and easy to produce, and you might expect an interactive DVD version to make some sort of use of the medium it's presented on. Alas, not! What you're paying for is lots of video of Barry asking the questions, and precious little else besides. Worse, the design of the menu system and the different way single player and multi-player options are handled within the quiz make the whole thing an exercise in extreme frustration.

The problem starts just after you've inserted the DVD. You get a quite long introduction from Barry that CAN'T BE SKIPPED! Want to play the quiz more than once? Be prepared for a long tedious wait each time you start the DVD.

Barry Norman's Interactive Film Quiz screencap

Then there's the questions, which seem to centre heavily on the same few films - films like Texas Chain Saw Massacre or All About Eve. One suspects this is down to wanting to maximise the use of picture or film clip rights that may have been procured, but when the questions are always in the same order it's ridiculous to have two or three questions on the same film within spitting distance of each other, particularly when one might realistically expect such a quiz to evenly cover over 70 years of movies!

Paper sheets are included for playing in teams, but effectively this is no different from playing single player mode because it's left to you to mark your answers and then someone to score them as the answers are revealed. There is one difference between the two modes: if you DO play single player mode you're not told what the correct answers are - just which ones you got wrong. Inconsistencies for no apparent reason abound, and it's very frustrating.

Then there's the film clips - seemingly averaging one or two per 30 or 40 questions, these are invariably projected at a fraction of the full screen size and looking suspiciously like they were sourced from a fifth generation VHS bootleg tape. We are not talking DVD picture quality here! As if that weren't bad enough, the question often asked after the clip usually has very little bearing on what you've just been shown.

If you're a movie buff and want to play a family quiz over Christmas do yourself a favour and buy a paperback book version. It'll be far cheaper and a lot more fun than this horrible excuse for a cheap cash-in on gullible punters!

Barry Norman's Interactive Film Quiz screencap

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