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The Movies
(hx) 07:35 AM EST - Jan,13 2006

The Movies is a cinematic simulation game that allows you to run your own Hollywood movie studio. You're given a plot of land, a bunch of money and the dream of creating the grandest, most successful movie studio that you can!

Basically, you're given a certain amount of money to start your movie studio. You buy buildings, hire staff, and research new buildings - all with the goal of making money, and in this case, making great movies. Making movies can be a relatively straightforward process, or it can be an immensely complicated one, based upon your patience level, your level of creativity, and your desire to make the big bucks. There are 5 genres of movie you can create at any time - Comedy, Action, Romance, Horror or Sci-Fi. After choosing a genre, you can string together scenes chosen from a vast list of templates - a fight, a close-up on an actor's face, a zooming establishing shot - then choose the set, weather, lighting, backdrop, camera effects, actors, costumes, props, and tweak the exact behavior of everything to your heart's content. There's a search and filter system to help you select the right scene, so for example you might choose conversations and intro, to find some sequences that would work well at the beginning of your scene.

Each actor or director that you have to choose from has certain experience in each genre, so choose wisely when casting someone with little to no experience in a romance flick when she's best suited for Horror :P You also need your stars to interact with each other, both for high chemistry in movies and to get their star rating up. And finally, you have to make sure that they're always occupied with something to do, but not too stressed out by work. If so, then your movie quality will suffer.

As the game progresses through the years, more sets will eventually become available along with new studio buildings. Improved script writing facilities, a research facility in which you can hire scientists to work on the newest gadgets and costumes for your studio, and new decorations, toys for your stars, and more. The really cool thing about the movie-making part is that the movies themselves can be watched, once they are made. The end results can be fascinating and hilarious - it is possible once the movie is made to add your own voice and text and music, really personalizing each movie you make. Once that movie of yours is finished, you can read the reviews and release it into theaters. When you are done making your film, you can also upload it to the community website for all to see!

There are two ways to play the game. There's the Simulation mode where you need to run your whole studio as well as make movies, or a Sandbox mode where you can just concentrate on making the movies of your dreams. In simulation mode you begin with a budget, finicky stars and a studio that needs to be designed from the ground up. This mode also serves as a tutorial, with a narrative that explains what you need to do and offers guidance in doing it. The tutorial does a good job in showing you the ropes of how to hire stars and studio workers and get them working on cranking out your first film. By going into Sandbox mode, you can set up a basic studio and turn off things such as star tempers so everyone's somewhat happy, give yourself tons of cash, or make making movies instantaneous so that you don't have to wait for everyone to get to their spots at a set and start filming. The Sandbox mode will only allow you to start at a decade within thirty years of the last game that you had finished in the Story mode (also you will have access only those sets and costumes that you have unlocked in the main game). So basically, you have to play the game in order to get at everything it can offer you in Sandbox.

Overall, there are so many things you can do. From creating actors, even getting to do your own scripts, re-master shootings of films, and even sharing movies on the web, the game has endless opportunities and it fails in the area of boredom. While it might seem complicated, the game is actually quite simple to run. The game interface is incredibly easy to pick up, especially if you follow the tutorial properly. So, if you ever wanted to make your own movies or just wanted to have a tycoon game about making movies then this game is recommended!

related links: cheats, trainer +1, trainer +1 (v1.1), patch 1.1, online movies, FAQ, The Movies CDROM, The Movies : Prima Official Game Guide.

Minimum system requirements: 800MHz processor or higher, 256MB RAM, 3D Hardware Accelerator Card* (800 x 600 Monitor Resolution), DirectX 9.0c compatible 16-bit sound card, 8x Speed CD-ROM drive, 2.4 GB free hard disk space, Updated Windows Media Player 9 Codecs (included)

* ATI Radeon series (7000 or better): 7000, 7200, 7500, 8500 9000, 9200, 9250, 9550, 9600, 9700, 9800 x300, x600, x700, x800, x850; NVIDIA GeForce series (GeForce 3 or better). GeForce 3, 3 Ti GeForce 4, MX, Ti GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, PCX 5300, 5750, 5950 GeForce 6200, 6600, 6800


snd: 4/5 - solid, catchy music (which changes as you move through the years), you can record your own voice and dialog, etc.
gfx: 4/5 - quite impressive, buildings and sets are terrifically detailed, very good animations, some clipping issues
playability: 5/5 - addictive, entertaining and just plain fun, the movie making tools are terrific, short learning curve, almost limitless replay possibilities, StarMaker tool (almost exactly the same as Maxis' The Sims 2 Bodyshop), repetitive micromanagement, won't appeal to everyone, various limitations and bugs
genre: cinematic simulator
release: November 2005
developer: Lionhead Studios
publisher: Activision
Excellent
Overall: 85%


last 10 comments:

Stumpus(02:08 PM EST - Jan,13 2006 )
Very good review, although it's by no means easy to achieve objectives and beat the other studios. Certainly in simulation mode anyway!
I bought the strategy guide and couldn't believe the amount of detail hidden under the 'hood' :shock: Plants and ornaments all have certain properties ie relieve boredom or stress as well as having a limited number of uses around your lot.
I would recommend it as a perfect compliment to 'The Movies' if you truly want to get the best out of it.

There is one thing i must add (from the guide) that making your own movies doesn't influence the quality of your films by way of star rating.
It's pointless other than for your friends or online purposes.

Also up to 3mins is all that a movie will be scored on within game. Script writer experience and building,sets and actors/actresses genre and of course mood experience are MORE important if you want to be top-dog within game.

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