One of the great things about videogames today is the incredible depth, detail and complexity that they feature. Some games are so open-ended that you can go anywhere and do almost anything. But on the flipside, there’s something to be said for not having to spend an hour reading an instruction manual or spending the first few hours of a game in a tutorial mode, learning the game’s controls and features. Sometimes you just want to plug in and start blasting away and that’s where a game like Attack of the Movies 3-D from Majesco comes in. This game shies away from complexity the way the Chicago Cubs shy away from winning baseball games.
Attack of the Movies 3-D is a fond throwback to arcade games like Area 51 and House of the Dead. It’s a first person shooter where you go along for the ride as the camera whisks you along through various environments. The only thing you need to do is blast away at the enemies. It can’t get simpler than that! The game’s six levels are comprised of takes on various well-known films. Level one is an attack by giant insects, harkening back to the days of sci-fi films like “Them!” There’s an Indiana Jones style level that takes you through an Aztec-style temple; a Terminator-style level where you battle various robots and robotic weapons; and a haunted house level where you face off against hordes of skeletons, mummies, and bats. Each level concludes with a boss battle.
The game is playable in either standard 2-D or 3-D modes. For 3-D it comes with four pairs of those old red and blue tinted glasses but as is the case of 3-D movies of this type, the effects are mixed at best. Add to that the fact that wearing those glasses for long will almost guarantee a migraine and you’re best served by going with the 2-D version. The game can be played with one to four players cooperatively however, in a shortsighted development blunder, all the players share the same health bar so when one’s dead, you’re all dead. I suppose this is to make up for the relative ease of the game. Playing on the Easy difficulty setting the first time around, I was able to finish all six levels in about an hour. Obviously replay value is almost nonexistent.
In each level you’ll blast not only monsters but also various power-ups that increase the fire rate of your weapon, score multipliers, as well as health icons and 1-ups. Even though your weapons may change (slightly) in each level, they are essentially the same in that there are single fire, 3 burst fire, and fully automatic rapid-fire, whether you’re using a regular weapon or a futuristic laser gun. You can use your Wii zapper if you have one but it’s not necessary.
While the six levels all offer a diversity of enemies and designs they are fundamentally the same. The player has no control over where to go. The only actions you’ll take are firing your fun and then shaking the Wii controller to reload. Simple yes, but a bit too simple for hardcore gamers. Attack of the Movies 3-D is a nice diversion for kids or for older players looking for a retro-arcade experience but ultimately it fails to engage for any length of time. Rent this one…