Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
Feb 28th 2005
Introduction:Arush Studios has brought dreams to reality by simulating the lifestyles one of the most popular icons of our time, Hue Hefner. Playboy: The Mansion is all about living in excess from the profits of a revolutionary magazine.
The Game:If you've passed this game on the store shelf, I'm sure you where curious about the contents of the little little disc labeled Playboy: The Mansion. If you're in a stable enough relationship you should be able to throw the Playboy disc in your console and play until you've overloaded in smooching, boozing and floosies. Watch out, some section of the species really had a hard time dealing with the innocent girls of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. How are they ever going to deal with truly half naked girls doing the nasty all over the house?! If you're single, no worries... pick it up and get set to enjoy the wonderful world of Playboy.
Playboy The Mansion plays like The Sims without worrying about trivial human functions like eating and showering. Bah! Who needs to worry about showering when you have a dozen honeys at your disposal. For the game you'll basically just walk around as Hef spending most of your time socializing and building your network and magazine to new heights. Since each month you will need new content for your magazine, you'll have to throw parties and try and get your guests to do the work. This might be surprise to some, but it's more than just perdy girls. You will need a Pictorial, Cover Girl, Centerfold, Essay, Interview and an Article to have a complete issue. Each of these parts is throwing into special areas of specialization like Arts & Literature, Technology and Sexuality. Depending on your goals you'll want to focus each magazine towards a single market to try and maximize sales. There is a little bit of marketing in the game when you browse through your magazine menus. Every month there will be a hot spot which will sell the most issues of Playboy, focusing your sales on this is how you'll go from rags to riches in no time. This is the best part of the game although it could have been a little more in-depth for my tastes.
The other gameplay option is the actually picture taking of the girls. Since you'll need a Cover girl and a Centerfold you're best to switch up their outfits and locations where you snap the pictures. You get to pick a spot where you would like the model to perform then you go into camera mode where you can snap away, up to 8 pictures of the beauty. You also get to dress the girls however you would like and instruct them to pose. If they are near an object they usually will interact with it for more variety. For example set a girl up near the couch and they will naturally move onto the couch and strike a pose for the lens. The strategy involved is getting someone with the best physique for your cover and centerfold, but you should also find and specialize your cover girl with your theme. So if you're doing a music focused issues, invite a popular musical artist to your house and smooze them up until the want to take it all off for the readers of Playboy magazine.
There are two main modes of play in Playboy one is mission based which gives you a few missions to complete before you rank up in levels. The other option is free form playing which lets you go at the game with challenges you can aim for if you would like. Depending on how you like your people simulation type games you'll probably prefer one to the other. The mission based is more challenging and brings in some real life celebrities into the mix and free form is more if you want to just play the game without worrying too much about doing one thing before the other.
Like Hugh Hefner in real life most all your time is dealt with inside of the mansion which gets a little dull but you can unlock other areas which help with variety. The Clubhouse is my favorite addition to the mansion and trust me on this one. check out the pinball machine! In the new areas you'll be able to unlock new objects to interact with and the Clubhouse has to be the coolest place of the mansion outside of the magical Grotto.
Graphics & Sound:The graphic content of Playboy the Mansion is visually similar to Electronic Arts The Urbz videogame which is an over exaggerated version of The Sims. Playboy doesn't go to the extreme like the Urbz but it does have a comical feel. The game isn't about ground breaking graphics that is obvious. The qualities in the graphics come in the form of character animation, although it's almost nothing we've seen before, minus the hoochy cootchy (sex). If Cyberlore attempts a sequel to this year Xbox, I hope they put more time into the graphics to give this game a more realistic touch.
Playboy The Mansion sound is excellent regarding the music portion of the game. There is a large selection of music from industrial, rock, hip hop, jazz and more to listen to while sipping martinis. They also have added the custom soundtrack feature which is a great asset and it helps to pass the time. Other then the music then sound is pretty weak in Playboy. They use the same tired gargling sound strait from The Sims game and the other sound effects besides voice work are shabby. There are numerous times where the vocals didn't queue up properly with the animation which is something little, but none the less effects the overall quality of the product.
Innovation:Developing a game around the Playboy empire is a hard thing to gauge, but I think Cyberlore did their best on this one. It was a great idea to use the foundation of The Sims and the game has that same addictive feeling. The innovation is mainly woven into the adaptation of this, The Sims with a magazine company and social gathering game. The game doesn't break too much new ground, but rather gives a nice twist to something old.
Mojo:You should already have guessed the mojo score! Do I really need to say that Playboy: The Mansion ranked high on the scale. Although not a 10, the Mojo of the become Hue does score a bountiful mark which helps the overall ranking severally. Although it's awesome, and a dream of the Downtowns to live on day as the Hefster there is a little letdown with the games shortcomings. For a game a magazine filled with naked girls why aren't their any naked girls in the game? It's really not my hormones asking the question, as you might believe. If you have to be 18 to buy this game, why not just go and pick up the real magazine at your local corner store to see the real deal for a lot cheaper.
Lowdown:Depending on what you want out of Playboy the Mansion you'll either be disappointed or satisfied. On a sexual level there isn't much to get the members rumbling, but it does the trick for a Sim like experience as on of the greatest men of our time. Playboy should be something you rent before you buy, if you're set back by the onslaught of negativity reviews. I was pleased with the game and overall I got my hours out of game.
Gameplay: 7, Graphics/Sound: 6, Innovation: 6, Mojo: 8. Final: 7
- A fully 3D environment with a dynamic camera. Zoom out and admire the majesty of each Mansion area or zoom in and view the excitement up close.
- Multiple Playboy estate areas, including the inside of the Mansion, Back Lawn, Pool and Grotto, Gym, Tennis Court, Zoo, Game House and Garage.
- Hundreds of "Celebrities," including actors, athletes, authors, business executives, comedians, fashion designers, models, musicians, politicians and racecar drivers.
- Campaign Mode - A dozen missions that chronicle Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion 's rise to international fame.
- Empire Mode - Select your own goals (fame, circulation, guests, etc) and then work over a series of months or years to achieve them.
- The Playboy Philosophy - You're rewarded for living the good life, having a positive sexual attitude and promoting tolerance and individual freedom.