Games That Nobody Plays Anymore: The Movies

ARREEEEESSSS IS SLAIN, THE SISTERS OF FATE HAVE NOT HELD ME, I HAVE COME FOR YOU ZEUSSSS. LET THIS BE OUR FINAL BATTLE.…ah? O. That’s next month, sorry, I just came out of finishing the God of War trilogy (never played one of them before) and my thoughts are all jumbled right now. For now, we’re going to talk about The Movies. It’s an obscure little semi-‘Sim’ title that came from the brain of Peter Molyneux and the team at Lionhead. To tell you the truth, this game is probably a giant marker in my life. If I’m even more honest, I don’t know why.

It stems from a British TV show called ‘Gamesville’, which was presented by two gawping idiots who thought ‘being street’ meant not being able to even understand what you’re saying. Molyneux went on to this programme and he got ‘blazed’ maaan. He was doing his usual gawpy talk where he basically says “You can do anything.”, as usual. But what happened next blew me away; the gameplay footage was shown. It let you pinpoint create and make your own cinematic masterpieces, with a familiar aesthetic, it took me two years to get a computer that was able to run it.

I was suckered in from the get-go. Within hours, I went into this trance; creating and moulding my films. I took in actors, brought them up like a little God. It reminds me instantly of The Sims when it comes to both aesthetics and gameplay structure. It’s not the same nurturing, ‘god is in the detail’ player mechanics we’ve come to love. In fact, some aspects of it make it more fun than anything the Sims can throw at us. You can custom create films, add your own actors and it really does succeed at its intended goals. It’s surprising considering… Molyneux.

The Movies just sort of rings with every inch of tinsletown. The raw egos and the plastic surgery to acting fits and paparazzi. The game does a perfect job of fully immersing you into this world. It has the hands of god attitude towards itself. You elevate a studio from the dirt and dust and rule the industry with an iron fist. It never becomes a chore, it becomes a cycle, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but its cyclical nature is similar to Fallout 3. Explore, purge, explore. Make, film, make. The structures almost run parallel, but they are obviously far between, it perhaps goes to show that genres don’t always separate games.

It really is one of Lionhead’s finest ventures, although failing to perform commercially, it can be picked up quite cheaply now. I fully recommend trying to get it to run, it’s more than worth it. If the latest edition of The Sims doesn’t satisfy your hunger, maybe The Movies will. It’s a fine, prime game and worthwhile for anyone. The structure of it is so cyclical and beautifully crafted that it’s hard not to at least stand back and admire it a little. I think I have my eye on writing an essay about gameplay structures in the future, maybe even giving a video talk, who knows.

I’d like to talk about Games That Nobody Plays Anymore. In two weeks, it’s Batweek 2010. Soon after that it’s Spiderweek, a celebration of Spider-man because Shattered Dimensions is coming out. Basically, the games I’ll be doing (along with Rane Pollock) include Arkham Asylum, Spider-man 2, Spider-man Friend or Foe. There’s also a Halo Reach launch week, on my birthday (of all the games…) so I’ll be doing probably Halo 2 for that week. For the full month of September, I’ll be doing the God of War series. All four released games. Then I’ll be doing a special game to cap off September

Next week: Portal

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  • I guess people love to play more some action games and strategy games.

  • ObviousBoy

    Don’t worry, nobody is waiting with bated breath for you to tell them very little about a game they haven’t played for a while.