Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “hollywood”

Maggie’s Movies-Camera Action (Gamehouse)

Ever since childhood, Maggie dreamed of writing her own movie.  Unfortunately, her job at Hollywood is being the assistant director to an insufferable man.  If that wasn’t enough, Maggie also has to deal with co-workers who will do whatever it takes to crush her.  Does Maggie have what it takes to make it in the cutthroat business of Hollywood?

This review might contain spoilers, so read with caution.  While the game does take place in the Delicious universe, it’s a little more ambitious than most games that you would find in the series.  For starters, this game discusses one theme common in Hollywood, sexism.  It starts with the female star of the move in the first venue, Catherine, complaining about how her character, Hester, is little more than a plot device to motivate the man.  When she brings this up to Frank, the star of the movie, and Clyde, the director, they both scoff at her.  Maggie is the only one to take Catherine seriously and bring this up to Clyde, pointing out that the target audience of the movie is women so the main woman has to be someone they can admire.  As much as I hate to say this, Maggie is only half-right.  While movies such as Jane Austen adaptations and Titanic feature strong female leads, movies like the Twilight Saga find themselves lacking in a similar department.  All three have, or had, a large female audience, but the former two still have large fan bases.  As for the last one, very few people talk about it anymore.

I said in the first movie that Maggie’s dream is to write her own movie.  When she finally gets the chance to meet the son of a famous producer, Al Jr., it’s not her script she pushes on him.  Her friend, Michael, is also an aspiring screenwriter and wants Maggie to help him make it big in Hollywood.  However, he shows no interest in reading her script.  In other words, Maggie also faces sexism in Hollywood and it doesn’t stop with Michael.  Al Jr. tells Maggie to look pretty in order to please the investors and some of them are more interested in dating her than they are in listening to her opinions.

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Even when Maggie tries to wow investors as herself and has it under control, Al Jr. still undermines her and puts her down when he can.  To make a bad situation worse, when Michael finally reads Maggie’s script, he admits that he fell asleep while reading the beginning.  He then proceeds to call her story a boring chick flick.  This is the final straw and inspires Maggie to break off into her own independent company.

I should tell you that Maggie’s movie is not one that I’d call a chick flick.  It’s a compelling story about the main character discovering that her father’s tied to the mafia and working with her friends to stop him.  However, society has a belief that stories starring men are gender neutral while stories starring women are exclusively for women.  It is a belief that started disappearing in the 90s era of television.  The proof is that shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Daria attracted a large male audience despite both shows starring women.  It’s even less prevalent in present time with The Hunger Games and Wonder Woman doing well in the box-office.  While the issue of sexism hasn’t disappeared entirely, this is a step in the right direction.

I’ll admit that this game is a huge improvement over Mary Le Chef.  However, the storyline does have one or two problems.  The star of the movie Maggie first works on, Frank, is rude, arrogant and sexist.  He demands special treatment, hates when Catherine’s character gets more screen time than he does and sexually harassed a member of the staff.  It gets so bad that Maggie fires him and gives more screen time to Catherine to finish the movie.  When Maggie starts her own company and needs an actor to play her main male character, Frank comes through for her and his personality does a complete 180.  There is no build up to this whatsoever.  Like Mary Le Chef, this game also has unnecessary romantic subplots.  The first being Maggie’s romance with Michael that goes nowhere and ends when he reveals his own selfishness and sexism.  While this is a necessary subplot to make Maggie release her dream, there is no need for a romantic connection between her and Michael.  Maggie also has a love interest in the form of Ted who shows no value other than being her high school crush.  Ted shows more value in the extra footage that comes with the platinum edition.  However, he is little more than a device for conflict between Maggie and Jessica.  Catherine and Frank also get together, despite having no chemistry other than when they play characters romantically linked to each other in movies.  Also, despite this game taking place in the Delicious universe, don’t expect any cameos from the characters.

The game play is a vast improvement over Mary Le Chef.  While you’re still delivering items to the people that come in, you can also direct movie scenes in certain venues.

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Sometimes, you have to shoot the same scene repeatedly, but it gives you a chance to fully read the dialogue and get an idea of what the movie is about plot wise.

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You still have to clean tables and reload the stock, but the game rewards you for it by giving you extra points for each level.  That’s right; this game actually rewards OCD players such as me.  You also have to find the mouse in each level and complete an event in order to earn diamonds and purchase trophies.  You have to get the first star in order to advance through the game, but go for all three if you feel lucky.  Purchase upgrades in-between levels and use an item as often as possible in order to unlock all of the products.  You can also unlock achievements by completing various tasks in the game.

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Unlike Mary Le Chef, Maggie’s Movies actually tells you how close you are to unlocking certain products and trophies.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 8 out of 10, a brilliant commentary on Hollywood sexism.

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Hollywood U: Rising Star (iOS Store)

A mysterious benefactor offers you enough for Hollywood University, the most prestigious college for anyone who wants to make a living in show business.  Will you attend as a movie star, fashionista or a director?

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Even though Pixelberry abandoned this game for Choices, you can still download it on your smart phone or handheld device.  This game does have a story attached to it, such as finding out whom the mysterious benefactor is paying your way through Hollywood University.  You also have your own enemies to deal with in the form of Bianca and her father.  The MC and Bianca have a rivalry similar to Jem and Pizzazz from the 80s cartoon show.  However, there are two differences.  For instance, Bianca knows how to turn everyone against the MC and make herself look like the innocent victim.  This is something Pizzazz could never pull off.  The other difference is that the MC doesn’t get everything handed to her as Jem did.  He or she has to struggle through various obstacles in order to succeed.  Let me tell you, it gets rather tough.  I can’t recall how many times I’ve empathized with the MC and actually felt frustrated or upset with what he or she goes through.

The game does not shy away from certain issues found in Hollywood.  For instance, one of the characters, Addison, used to be a movie star until she had an affair with a director.  The director in question lied to her about leaving his wife and, when the affair became public knowledge, he lied by claiming that Addison seduced him.  However, if you ask me, even if his version turned out to be true, he’s still at fault.  These incidents happen in Hollywood with one example being Kristen Stewart’s casting as the title character in Snow White and the Huntsman.  The news reports revealed that the reason the director cast her is because of an affair.  Many people slut shame her though, since I don’t know the whole story, I won’t pass judgment.  I do know that it cost Kristen Stewart her job while they still kept the director.  Some people call a double standard but, personally, I believe that it’s because Kristen Stewart was more expendable.  I’m sure you can find many other stories of such instances all throughout Hollywood but, more often than not, people blame the woman and it ruins her career.

Another instance from real life the game drew inspiration from is Miley Cyrus in order to create the character of Lisa Valentine.  She is a former teen pop star who played the main character in a children’s show called Lisa Mermaid.  Now that Lisa’s all grown up, she goes out of her way to remind everyone of this, something her mother and manager disapproves.  While most works would portray Lisa’s mother as the sympathetic one and Lisa as the evil slut, this game does not fall victim to such thinking.  Instead, Lisa is the one in the right and the game implies that, if she wants to be a party girl, that’s her choice.  No one has any right to judge her for it.  As I said, the game drew inspiration from Miley Cyrus for this after her Hannah Montana days were far behind her.  Except I always suspected that her father encouraged her to act crazy in order to stay in the spotlight.  Now that Miley Cyrus is voicing one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t think she needs to act crazy anymore.  I am not kidding; she voiced the robot in the credits teaser showing the original Guardians.

The game play is that of a typical smart phone game, with you assigning characters to task.  It can take up to 24 hours to finish tasks, so you’re free to clean house, do homework and take care of anything else while you wait.  I call it the video game version of the Crockpot.  You can also throw parties to attract certain character types and go on dates.  You can hook up various characters in Couples Corner and send the MC on dates in the Amour.  You can also purchase buildings and collect money.

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Oh, and those character types you collect from partying each come with their own side quests.  The game comes with many extras, such as A-Listers and side quests, but you have to pay in diamonds, which costs real money to purchase.  Let me tell you, the game is very addictive and you’ll want to see everything it has to offer.  After you’ve collected all the characters and done all of the side quests, the game loses most of its appeal.  By then, you just want to continue playing to see what happens in the story.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  It deserves 9 out of 10, emotionally affective but not enough for a full mark.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (iPhone App Store)

You’re just working a boring job as a sales clerk when Kim Kardashian shops at your store. At first, you thought it was just something you could brag about to all your friends until she offers you a modeling job. Can you keep up with the hassles of celebrity life?

That’s right; I downloaded a celebrity fashion game on my iPhone. As someone who fantasizes about celebrity life, I couldn’t resist. The game’s simplistic in its nature. You take job offers where you can get them and try to become the number one A-list celebrity. You can also go on dates and check your Twitter feed. Changing your outfit every now and then will also get you even more fans. After a while, you eventually get to number one and there’s no reason to play it anymore. I think they should add an update to where, if you don’t do anything for a while, you’re in danger of losing the number one spot. It would be motivation to keep playing.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 3 out of 10; nothing more than an escapist fantasy.

Gotcha: Celebrity Secrets (Gamehouse.com)

Gaby was just a little known celebrity blogger until an anonymous source texts her tips on finding the biggest Hollywood scoop. Can she make her blog popular enough to win the competition and interview Erik Von Hunk?

That’s right; I’m reviewing a video game about a blog on my blog. The storyline is about the lives of celebrities and some of them are parodies of real life ones. The lives they lead go from marriages to plastic surgery and all the way to sleazy affairs. I know, it’s not very deep but it is fun.

The game play is a unique take on the hidden object genre. The game separates each level into a blog post. You collect people and some of them will give you information. After you’ve gathered everyone you need, you get to complete a mini-game and read the post Gabby makes at the end. During the game, you can collect items in order for you to purchase different designs for the blog.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 8 out of 10; a fun take on celebrity life.

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