RiffTrax: The Game PS4 Review. There’s something rather fitting about What the Dub! Developer Wide Right Interactive putting a Rifftrax veneer over its game that was inspired by exactly what Rifftrax does. A dubbing feedback loop that feels like it will culminate in some sort of unholy meta monster emerging from the depths to dub over our very existence. I suppose at least we’d replace a lot of the tired discourse with fart jokes.
Not that we aren’t already part of the way to meta destruction with Rifftrax: The Game. A party game where you can have Twitch followers commentate on your commentary of a game version of a show about commenting on movies. Hideo Kojima must be kicking himself for not coming up with that one.
Thankfully, the game itself is nowhere near as brain-fuddling as all that. It is, however, a pretty entertaining party game.
RiffTrax: The Game Review (PS4) – An Enjoyable Bad Movie Party Game
An Entertaining Party Game
Rifftrax: The Game, as with a few other modern party games, is hosted on your console, but actually played through your phone/tablet/PC. Each player (up to six contestants and 12 audience members) must enter the room code set up by the host player in order to join a game.
The game consists of several rounds wherein each, one of 250+ clips from various public domain films (ignore the repeated claims these are all clips from ‘bad films’. They’re here simply because they don’t cost a bean to use) plays, with a line missing in response to the one that precedes it.
The player’s job is to either select from one of the 2000 or so standard dialog choices on the app, or create their own by typing it into the app, and having it translated by a pretty decent text-to-speech feature. All the while, a countdown is in place, and once that runs out, or everyone has submitted their take, each one is played out without stating who wrote what.
A Clean Concept With Often Colorful Language
Players must then vote on their favourite line, and points are awarded for every vote received. Once the contest ends (you can go up to 10 rounds if you wish) the player with the most points is the victor. Simple and clean. Well, the concept is. The language usually isn’t.
I appreciate the option to have pre-cooked lines for those not feeling particularly imaginative, but for me, the write your own Riffs option is infinitely more fun. Especially as you can dub in pretty much whatever you want, lending a freshness to each clip no matter how many times you see it.
There’s even a modest suite of SFX options to insert into lines, so you can end that devastatingly cool bit of dialogue you wrote with an explosion and a reverb fart noise. Because you’re a different class.
Obviously, it helps to have the right kind of people to play with, and a common idea of what you find amusing because nothing will derail a contest quicker than sour grapes over what folks did and didn’t find funny.
I suppose the biggest gripe you could have with Rifftrax: The Game is that it’s quite a barebones package. Sure you can add extra rounds, filter out the naughty stuff for family play, and /or adjust the answer submission timer, but it’s one mode and one mode alone.
Solid & Streamlined, But Lacking A Bit Of Customisation
To be fair, I get the feeling any additional modes would feel forced, and that Wide Right Interactive deserves some praise for keeping things streamlined and easy to understand – key factors in creating a popular party game. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bit of customization for individual players and for the viewing room hub. Something extra that gives it more of a personal touch.
The one instance of such a thing in Rifftrax: The Game comes from its ‘end credits’ after a game, where it reels off player names as the cast, with various fun roles they’ve been assigned.
Yes, it’s still a very enjoyable time without that, but the player shouldn’t have to make all the fun themselves, even in a game like this. A bit more attention and love lavished on making it feel personal would have elevated Rifftrax among the greats of the genre.
I expect any future edition of this series (and there’s very likely going to be more of these) will sprinkle in a little extra detail or create new modes to make it seem like a worthwhile standalone purchase.
RiffTrax: The Game is out today for PS4.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.