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Playboy: The Mansion Review

publisher: ARUSH Entertainment
developer: Cyberlore Studios
genre: Management

PIII 800, 256MB RAM, 1.5GB HDD, 32MB T&L video card
ESRB rating: M

release date: Jan 25, 05
» All About Playboy: The Mansion on ActionTrip

February 02, 2005

2Lions: Quickly, what year is it?
Smapdey: Why?
2Lions: Fucker, just answer!
Smapdey: 2005.
2Lions: Good... Is Chuck Berry popular?
Smapdey: What do you mean?
2Lions: Is Elvis serving in the army in Germany? Is Kennedy alive?
Smapdey: Are you on drugs?
2Lions: No...
Smapdey: Are you sure, you have been playing Playboy: The Mansion for quite some time.
2Lions: That's just it!
Smapdey: What is?
2Lions: Hugh looks like a 30-year-old guy in this game! It's freaking me out!
Smapdey: So you *are* on drugs...
2Lions: Dude, look, he's break dancing and all... look at him spin!
Smapdey: That's disgusting. That's like seeing your grandfather have sex with a 20 something chick. You see something like that 5 or 6 times and it really screws you up.
2Lions: How's the therapy going for that by the way?
Smapdey: I'm still coping with her alleged reasons for doing it. She said it was to get back at me for cheating on her.
2Lions: Yeah, well, at least the fucker died.
Smapdey: Massive coronary as she was screaming his name... I'm still torn about what to feel. I know granny was happy about the coronary.
2Lions: So you think this game improves Heff's image any?
Smapdey: I don't know, man; I'd expect to see cars from Mafia and maybe some striped suits with shoulder pads. I don't know what the deal is with state-of-the-art sound systems and Hugh looking so young.
2Lions: It's a marketing trick, you idiot.
Smapdey: So what happens when a young person sees Hugh on TV and realizes he's 90 years old. Won't that person's mind explode or something?
2Lions: Not if they're on drugs.
Smapdey: So indirectly, you're saying that we should all do drugs if we plan to play Playboy: The Mansion. That game is so evil!
2Lions: I don't know, man, it seems like a logical assumption.
All jokes aside, however, the highest selling issue of Playboy sold like 7,000,000 copies. The guy deserves some recognition; it's all about what type of image you create for yourself.
Smapdey: No, it's all about me seeing GrandPa's wrinkled skin wrap itself around Sarah's waistline and it's making me sick.
2Lions: Dude, you have to fight your demons. I know that's a lot to take. He did buy you toys when you were a wee lad.
Smapdey: Yeah, hmm... so is the game any good?
2Lions: Hrrmmph... it's not too bad actually. Conceptually, it plays a lot like a cross between The Sims and Singles, though there is less micro management involved and you have the added feature of running your print mag. So it's more of a management sim than a pure lifestyle sim like The Sims and Singles.
Smapdey: You mean I don't get to take Playmates to the john and watch them pee?
2Lions: No.
Smapdey: For fuck's sake, one time I'm actually excited about that feature in a video game and they throw it out!
2Lions: They have partial nudity in the game.
Smapdey: Partial nudity? You mean you get to see the models topless, but you don't see their snatch.
2Lions: Exactly.
Smapdey: Fucking lame, rather contradicts the whole Playboy image.
2Lions: That's true...
Smapdey: Not to mention that you can't see your Playmates pee!
2Lions: OK, you should shut up now. Also, please stop rubbing yourself while looking in my direction; it makes me feel uncomfortable.
As I was saying, you get to publish issues of the Playboy magazine and take care of the content, as well as mingle with the celebrities so that you can get all the exclusive scoops. The whole thing works pretty well once you get in the groove of things. The interface is easy and intuitive and the way that the game evolves does have some upsides to it: you get to photograph centerfolds, snap pictures for the cover, and that process entails a lot of bouncing, pixilated boobies. The graphics and sounds are the spitting image of Maxis' little puppy, but hey, if it ain't broke, you know the rest.
The addition of the magazine management option does generate a fresh feel to the game and the whole Playboy hoopla surrounding Hugh, his mansion and herd of Bunnies is integrated well into the gameplay.
Smapdey: Yeah, well, if the game is so good, then why aren't you playing it more?
2Lions: Good question.... Damn! Crashed to desktop again! I get these random crashes that are really goddamn annoying. I mean, you'd expect the game to run fine on a high-end rig with all the latest drivers installed, but no, it keeps freaking crashing on me. It doesn't matter if I test it on a Pentium or an AMD-based rig. And besides, once the novelty factor of the Playboy license wears off and you're into your 10th issue, the mission-based gameplay becomes repetitive. I kind of lost much of my incentive to play on, and the topless chicks or the unlockable extra content aren't really helping me regain any of it.
Smapdey: So overall, 'Mansion' is not a bad game, but it is very unstable and it becomes repetitive as you put more time into it.
2Lions: Yeah, well, it comes off that way, yes.
Smapdey: Can Hugh wet himself and cry about it?
2Lions: God, you're hopeless...
Smapdey: Was just wondering, sorry. It won't happen again. I don't even like that sort of stuff really.


6.2   Above Average 

The Sims-like features have been integrated well with the management segment, does have a certain Playboy-ish feel to it;

Once the initial novelty factor wears off, you'll realize there's not a lot of content there to hold your attention; the game becomes very repetitive; highly unstable.



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