Movies, The Review

Just in the interest of full disclosure, I,ll say that I,m reviewing the Premiere Edition of The Movies (which, besides costing more, features extra costumes, songs, trailers, concept art, and a flimsy booklet claiming to be an “Advanced Movie-Making Hints Guide”).

Imagine taking the character-creation and modification aspects of a console-based Sims title (not a PC version with all the bells and whistles, though) and smashing it into Zoo Tycoon, then setting the whole damn thing down in sunny Tinseltown. The result will be startlingly like The Movies, but perhaps with a fewer egos.

The Movies allows you to run the a movie studio to your every whim. Want to specialize in Ninja movies featuring 60-year old men in chicken suits? Go for it. Is your dream to wade neck-deep into a haunting love story about two cowboys on an isolated ranch? Ang Lee might not like you stealing his films, but you,re free to do it, anyway, in The Movies.

Every aspect of a filmmaking, from planting the first roll of sod on your studio lot, to hiring that curvy young starlet, to trying not to look disappointed when a rival studio beats your sorry ass at an awards show, is simplified and recreated in game. If you,re a hands-on kind of manager, you can control the precise look of each scene in your movies, or, if you can,t stand the filmmaking part of the creative process (why are you buying this game, again?), feel free to rely on your simulated directors to assemble your films.

Start out by getting your writing staff to churn out a script worthy of filming. Once the script is complete, send it over to casting, where you select who, in your vast roster of stars, is the perfect fit for each role. Start rehearsing, and then move right on to filming. While filming, your stars work tirelessly, except for when they,re gorging themselves at the restaurant or drinking themselves into a stupor from stress. Don,t worry, as long as they,re happy, your movie will be fine and you can send them to rehab later (and when they,re through with rehab, send them in for cosmetic surgery to fix that beer gut).

Of course, while filming is going on, you,re managing the press for your next movie, planning a script for the movie after that, pushing your researchers to get you color film stock before any of your competitors, managing the egos of trailer-hungry celebs, and making sure your studio lot is clean and well-maintained. At times, it,s easy to get short of breath playing The Movies (or maybe that,s just me – I do need to lose a few).

The graphics throughout the title are fairly standard, but I didn,t notice any stutter at all. The ability to zoom in from a birds-eye view to a close-up of any of your stars reminded me of Google Earth, and you can get very close to just about anything in the game without seeing any graphical rough patches.

The sound in the game is fantastic, and often hilarious. An in-game soundtrack plays throughout, and depending on your settings, is interrupted both by an extremely funny radio announcer and your own snaky studio PA operator. Songs in the soundtrack will catch your attention, and just when you,re sure you,ve heard the score from your favorite epic film, you notice the subtle difference.

The Movies takes elements of all our favorite simulation games, most noticeably The Sims and the various Tycoon games, and combines them successfully with simple, user-friendly controls. The game centers around the creation of custom movies (which you can upload to The Movies, website), so if that,s not your bag, baby, it might not be worth investing in the game. There,s plenty of fun to be had in the simulation, but there,s a point at which it could grow tedious for players not interested in the movie-creation portion of the game.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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