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Movie Studios Party is one of the similarly titled Party games from Ubisoft. It delivers a strong set of Hollywood themed minigames that use a combination of gestures, pointing and rhythm action moves to win.
Mini Games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relativley short time requried to complete a level or two.
Movie Studios Party is unique because of its sets of Hollywood themed minigames. Each group (that includes Pirates, Haunted House and Space) not only has an unique set of characters and visual style, but also offers a single and multiplayer player story. This combines to create a strong sense of each location and accordingly benefits the enjoyment and achievement of each game.
The emphasis is on quality over quantity here as each of the 20 minigames offers a good degree of depth. Some are full implementations of well known games like Bejeweled (Puzzle Quest DS), whilst others offer the ability to score combos and trick shots to increase your score.
The single player game focuses more on the story while the multiplayer enables you to jump into any of the games with up to three friends. It's here that each game's depth is really shown off as each player strains to get the high score.
There is some repetition with similar games showing up in the different movie locations. The presentation is thankfully good enough not to make this matter too much, although it does reduce the total number of minigames to more like 15 (than the advertised 20).
Players will be drawn to Movie Studios Party because of the strong movie themes. Who could resist donning an eye patch to be a pirate recovering his treasure, or a super spy or even space man. These iconic settings combine with the simple yet involved minigames to create some great multiplayer scenarios. We've had some nail biting finishes to our favourite dancing stages with all four of us hopping around the living room in an effort to snag a few more points. The simplicity of the running levels that involve the player shaking the Wii-mote to escape some threat are then wonderfully enhanced by the later requirement to stop running at the right moment. Finally, the sneaking levels where you have to stop moving when the enemy is looking is a great use of the motion controller - particularly as kids seem to find it almost impossible to stay still.
Because the games here are strung together in groups, you are likely to want to complete each in one setting. This can take a good thirty minutes or so (more if you need to unlock them first). Shorter one off games are also an option, but don't really satisfy as well. You also have to have strong will power if you are to avoid the game's just-one-more-go tendencies.
Young players may find some of the themes a little unsettling. The pirates setting involves both shooting and skeletons - although both are suitably cartoony and no-one actually dies. They may also struggle with some of the more puzzle focused games that involve Wii-mote pointing. Other than that though (and these issues are diminished in a group) this is a great game to play with the kids.
Intermediate players of any age will lap this up. The combinations of action, puzzle and dancing minigames not only provides a lot of variety but also caters for a wide range of tastes. Something best seen in a family setting.
Expert players may find the graphics a bit kiddie - but in multiplayer mode there is plenty of fun for them too. Those looking for more versions of these games could check out Puzzle Quest DS, Guitar Hero 360 and Wario Ware: Smooth Moves Wii.
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