Review by GoreGamer
"Could have been revolutionary instead of being a very, very average Tycoon game"
When I heard of this game I just had to buy it, the idea of being able to create our own movies could have given an ingredient that the tycoon genre in general has been failing to produce-freedom, freedom to create a world designed to your liking.
You begin in the 20's with a very poor 1* star script, awful actors, poor sets but full of enthusiasm. I personally love the idea of starting with nothing and sure enough as you move on into the game, you ascertain more sets and scripts etc. There is no overall aim although every decade there is an award ceremony and winning these awards are tough as you compete against other studios who always seem to be 2 steps ahead and quick out the blocks.
Graphics and Sound: The graphics are bright and colourful and the sets are really well animated, however the characters are very uninteresting and fairly expressionless. The sound is also great as you hear a radio commentary who as you go through time, commentate on events such as ww2 to communism etc and works really well, however there is no voice acting during the actual shooting. This is a huge problem as I will unfold later.
Game play: To create a film you first need a script and for this you need to hire script writers and assign them to a genre although not long later you get to make your own!. There are 5 genre's including; Horror, Action, Romance, Comedy and Sci Fi. Similarly you hire actors (I HATE YOU!!-you'll understand later) and directors by dragging people from the unemployment line to the stage school. Once you have your script director ,actor/s and crew and they've rehearsed the script then you're off!. This is where the game goes down hill.
My first problem is with the actors, the designers of the game went WAAAYYY too far in their demands. Every star has a stress meter and 100% of the time the meter will always be border-lining or over, stressed. To make things worse the only effective way to allow them to de stress is to get them to drink and eat which is a necessary evil because the consequence of an addiction are great and when you have numerous actors to control, then you are in big trouble. Some demands are not so hard to control such as salary, entourage and trailer but you also have to cater to looks which doesn't take long to sort out, but every decade the stars will become miserable as a new fashion comes out. This may not sound too unreasonable but it's 1 thing after another and it becomes unbearable. To make things worse when a star is stressed, they wander around come to think about it, this is the worst part of the game because you will have to be manually dragging them back to the scene they are shooting and well it's just unbearable. Unlike the Sims games, the movies does not have a priority list meaning you can't pause the game and tell your star to do this and something else once they have finished which makes it chaotic.
But lets talk about actually making movies! Well I could summarise it in 2 words: why bother?. This brings me back to the music criticism. Why is there no dialogue? Why can't the user create his own customisable scripts with speech?. The user could import his own voice or at the minimum there should be subtitles hell what about title cards in between scenes with dialogue on them like in the very old days?. Instead we are left with a very shallow movie creator. To create a movie during script mode is very simplistic, you select a set and then you are prompted with maybe 50-60 scenarios including comical chase not over yet etc and you can change the background from maybe 4-5 others and change camera angles but it's rigid and is very restrictive and again it comes down to there being no dialogue otherwise it is just a distraction and teases you of what it could have been if they dedicated more time to developing what was meant to be a key aspect to the game. The scenes don't even have to make sense as long as you have a number of scenes in the film the script quality goes up and it wont be long before you're just adding them without even questioning what you've picked. Very shallow.
So once you've released it what do you get? Well a review and this is a final kick in the teeth as there are so many categories to impress not just on the actors skill but there mood and public recognition but the most annoying thing is the novelty of stars and sets. If a star gets too many movies or a set is used too often, then they mark you down and finally there is chemistry of stars which don't get me wrong makes sense but because you are so occupied with just getting the actors to do there job and not having a mental breakdown every 2 minutes (no really) then I don't have time for it. Overall the game is about 1 thing and that is frustration. At first the game lures you in and you think, oh this can't be bad I can express myself, but no instead you get angry, frustrated, bored and for some reason you're still playing.
Final verdict: Don't bother buying this game. It will just make you angry and disappointed.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/10
Game Release: The Movies (EU, 11/11/05)
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