Review by Fatality4u

"The Movies are Failing"

The Movies are a tycoon style came from Lionhead studios. The vast majority of the game takes place in the tycoon portion of the movie studio. You will be the big cheese of your own movie studio and you can shape it and transform it as you wish. As with all movie studios, the goal is to make your studio number 1 in all of the land. Yet, that feat is easier said than done. You will have to carefully manipulate your stars and your studio into what will be the biggest, brightest, and best studio in Hollywood.

You will start off your studio with a blank lot and a lot of cash to start making your empire. The year is 1920 and you will start off with only the most modern film techniques, costume, and sets possible. You must shape your empire by carefully building the proper buildings, hiring good people to help you get to the top, and start managing the careers of some of your brightest actors and directors. The game will start off very slowly, giving you a step by step guide of what you must have in your studio and how each of the different buildings performs a vital function to the success of your studio. After you get through the studio tutorial, you will be off by yourself in a world where you are the master of your own destiny. Although the game can be addictive for some people for others it can get quite repetitive an hour or so after the tutorial is over.

The other majority of the game is taken up by the movie making experience. In the beginning you will be handed several scripts that you can use to make a movie with. After a few movies have been released you will then be instructed to write your own scripts, and this is where the movie making gets very heavily split up. You can either hire a bunch of script writers to punch out scripts like monkeys at a bunch typewriters. Or, you can select to write your own scripts, where you can plan out your movies exactly as you see fit. Although the personal script writing is not available from the beginning it should be mentioned that these are the two main ways that scripts get done, and they are very important because they are the back bone for why your studio is staying a float and not burning in the rubble.

Each of the actors and the directors has a lot of different qualities that make each of them up. Each of the stars will have certain genres that they are already more proficient in than others. The idea is to have each of the stars concentrate in the area in which they are most proficient. Along with genres, each of the stars will have to deal with stress, addictions, and anything that you see current stars complaining about. This can get really annoying and if you don't like hearing about current stars and they're entourage or their salary, you are really not going to enjoy this game.

The gameplay of the game is something that is an acquired taste. The main part of the game, being a tycoon is something that you either like or you don't, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Tycoon style games require a lot of time and effort put in to them in order to get a lot out of them. In this particular tycoon style games you need to be able to, and like to, micro-manage like no other. In this aspect you have to be able to pretend that each of the directors and actors are like one of the Sims. If you are not a fan of the Sims, or you just like to see how fast you can ruin their life this game is definitely going to get old and frustrate you very quickly. In order to be successful enough to be the top studio in the land you are going to have to be able to micro-manage and multi-task all at the same time. Bottom line is that you if you are Tycoon or Sims person, this game will certainly fit your bill, but if you are not this game will get very old, very very fast.

The graphics in the game are nothing to be laughed at but they are certainly nothing that you would put up for the Graphics of the Year award. You would not expect to see anything spectacular in a game like this. They do adequately enough in this game and are certainly nothing to write home about. If you get up pretty close to the stars in the game you will be able to make out some of the more distinguishable qualities of each of the stars. The only real nice part about the graphics is that you can see the whole studio and change the angle from which you see it without having your computer slowing down to a crawl.

The sound of the game is well unique. The ballad that plays in the background while you are playing for the most part is the unique and goes along well with the type of game that you are playing at the time. The only fun part of the sound is the radio host that makes commentary at certain times in the games. The radio host sometimes has nice quippy remarks that make you laugh.

The value of the game is ok for the 50 dollars that it is at. If you are person who likes Tycoon games and has a lot of patience, then it will be 50 dollars well spent. If you are a person who does not like Tycoon games, this game will only provide 5 hours of game play for the 50 dollars that you will shell out for this game. Bottom line is that this game is very dependant on the type of gaming person that you are.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 12/05/05

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