Review: Attack of the Movies 3D

Attack 3D Xbox CoverT.jpg Games don’t come any more broken than Attack of the Movies 3D for the Xbox 360. This budget on-rails light gun shooter was clearly designed for the Wii’s point-and-shoot motion controls first, with the 360 version slapped together as an afterthought. Until Project Natal comes along later this year, the Xbox 360 simply is not equipped for a proper light gun style shooter, and this game proves that many times over.

Attack of the Movies 3D has you pointing and shooting through six different film settings modeled after common B movie themes, such as insect infestations, zombie invasions, deep sea shark encounters, and more. The idea behind the game is actually pretty neat, and there are some redeeming qualities buried beneath a broken control scheme I’ll rip into more thoroughly in a second, including four-player co-op support, a variety of weapon power-ups, and a cheesy spirit that succeeds in being so generic and cliché that it’s actually kind of charming. In that regard, it reminds me of Earth Defense Force 2017.

But what could’ve been a fun game is ruined by a broken control scheme that, for me, rendered the game unplayable. I’m usually not one to review a game without completing it, but in this case the game’s flaws inhibited my ability to do so, so I have no other choice but to take it to task.

The game is presented like any other light gun shooter, with stages that pull you along on rails and ask that you aim at the screen and shoot any hazardous objects or beings that jump out at you. This is where the game falls apart, because to aim at enemies you have to tilt the analog sticks to move the targeting reticule into position, and this control system simply doesn’t work.

You are constantly at odds with an automatic snap-back mechanic that fights to pull your crosshairs back to the center of the screen, crippling your ability to line up shots with the speed and precision that is often needed to pick off foes before they lob off a projectile attack or suddenly leap at the screen out of nowhere. Even on the easiest difficulty setting, I found it impossible to complete one single stage, and I tried over and over again until I failed for well over the twentieth time and finally called it quits.

Further proof that this port was cobbled together without care came to light when I searched around for alternate settings, only to discover that the developers failed to provide sensitivity adjusters or configurable control options of any kind. So the twitchy mess of a control scheme can’t be tweaked whatsoever. I know this is a budget game, but come on, there is no excuse for leaving out such basic options.

The game’s other failure is its 3D gimmick. Yup, Attack of the Movies 3D is yet another cash-in attempt on the current 3D fad, packaged with a set of four 3D glasses so you and a few other players and/or bystanders can see all the nasty bugs, robots, zombies and sharks popping off the screen. At least that’s the idea…

In execution, the 3D effect falls flat. It is a lame attempt to mask the muddy, chunky graphics, and to my eye the game didn’t look any different than when I played in 2D mode without the glasses. On the contrary, playing in 3D with glasses on only made the experience more disorienting and uncontrollable. To be completely honest, though, I’ve never understood the point of 3D, so I probably wouldn’t have liked it even if the effect was presented perfectly.

So there you have it. Attack of the Movies 3D was a failure at the point of conception. Bringing a light gun shooter to a platform without a proper light gun peripheral was just plain silly, and the move smacks of a money grab. It’s as if the publisher said “Hey, it’d be a cinch to put this on the Xbox 360 too, so let’s just have it ported over and try to squeeze out a few extra bucks!”

On the Wii, I think this game is probably good, cheesy, get-yo-popcorn-ready fun, but on the 360 without a suitable method of control it is a total waste of time and money.

SkipIt.jpg

Pros:
+ Cheesy B movie style

Cons:
– Broken controls
– No control configuration options whatsoever
– Lousy 3D effect

Game Info:
Platform: Reviewed on Xbox 360, also available on Wii
Publisher: Majesco
Developer: Panic Button
Release Date: 5/18/2010
Genre: On-rails Shooter
ESRB Rating: Teen
Players: 1-4
Source: Review copy provided by publisher

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!