If there’s one technology trend that is really hot right now, it’s 3D. Movie theaters are promoting it heavily, 3D capable televisions are hitting the market, and plenty of 3D games were on display at E3 2010. Unfortunately, accessing this technology in your own home is quite expensive, with televisions costing thousands of dollars and those fancy 3D glasses adding to the price. Majesco is attempting to make 3D gaming more accessible to all audiences with Attack of the Movies 3-D for the Wii and Xbox 360, which doesn’t require a new TV and even comes with four pairs of those paper glasses with the red and blue lenses. Unfortunately, the old school anaglyph 3D graphics are headache-inducing, and the gameplay is even worse.
Attack of the Movies is a rail shooter that takes up to four players though half a dozen B-movie scenarios, such as giant insects taking over a city. I’m guessing this made sense for the Wii with its remote controls, but playing it on the 360 is something of a nightmare. Your cursor is controlled by one thumbstick, and snaps back to the center of the screen the second you ease up on the controls. Up to four players can jump in and out at any time, though you might actually have to bribe your friends to get them to play this game for more than five minutes. With multiple players, the separate cursors will appear in different colors, but it’s still easy to lose track of which one is yours with everyone shooting at once.
With each level representing a different fictional movie, the objective of the game is to shoot everything in sight until there’s nothing left to shoot. Not everything in Attack of the Movies can be shot, and bullets leave no impact on the environment; it’s also sometimes be hard to tell what you’re supposed to be killing with enemies attacking from off-screen. Attack of the Movies can be incredibly cheap, the checkpoints in each level are scarce, and there are a limited number of lives; you may have trouble completing the game even at the easiest difficultly with less than four players because it is so poorly designed. In fact, it seems more like an old arcade game designed to suck up your quarters than a retail title, but there are no continues.
The atrociously unenjoyable gameplay is made even worse by the visuals, which are insultingly bad. Even with 3D turned on, there’s hardly a difference onscreen, and playing the game with red and blue glasses literally strained my eyes and gave me a headache. The 3D effects are barely worth noting, though a few objects did manage to look like they were almost popping out of the TV screen. Playing on 2D is easier on the eyes, but still not a pleasant experience. To call the graphics “last gen” would be an insult to the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube. I think Attack of the Movies is slightly better looking than most PS1 games, but in 2010 that’s completely unacceptable, even for a budget title. Hell, even if this was a downloadable game that sort of presentation wouldn’t be excusable. A cheesy voiceover announcing health packs and incoming boss fights adds to the B-movie feel, though it was sometimes hard to tell if the robotic voice was saying “first aid” or “press A”.
Attack of the Movies 3-D is one of the worst games I’ve played in a long time. There is no way Majesco shipped this game to market without knowing that, meaning that its sole purpose is to trick unknowing gamers into paying $30 for this atrocity just because it has “3-D” on the box. It’s not even fun in the way watching the cheesy movies the game was based on is fun; there’s no enjoyment to be had here, and even if you were the odd person who loves eyesore graphics and horrible gameplay, the entire thing can be completed in less than an hour. Don’t be fooled by the low price or the promise of 3D gameplay; Attack of the Movies 3-D should be ignored and forgotten.