Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hannah Montana: The Movie Review

If you're an achievement or trophy whore like myself and have a healthy appreciation for crap, then Hannah Montana: The Movie is definitely worth a rental. Otherwise, I can only presume that you're a sane person and therefore, this game is not for you.

Even when considering that this is your typical licensed kid's game, it's still surprising that Hannah Montana: The Movie's story is as shallow as it is. Playing this game makes the Wikipedia summary to the movie it's based on feel like Shakespearian literature, full of internal strife, betrayal, and overarching themes about the nature of happiness. What's even more surprising about both properties though, is the awful message they send to the kids they market to.

Rather than teaching kids that trying to be something you're not will only lead to despair and hurting the people you love, they completely reverse that message in the final moments by having Miley's entire hometown pressure her to continue on with her double-life. But I guess that's to be expected from a game that has its main character, after ruining her relationships with everyone she cares about, whole-heartedly deliver the line, "Maybe shopping will make me feel better!"

As far as what you actually do in this game is concerned, the on-stage performances are where you'll have the most ironic fun. The game makes a valiant effort to map Hannah and her band's actions to the controller, to varying degrees of success or failure. With Hannah Montana's infectiously cheery songs about shoes and being a small town girl blaring while you match her ridiculous poses with the controller, it's hard not to smile, at least to recognize that yes, this is what you're doing with your spare time.

The off-stage stuff doesn't fair as well, usually amounting to fetch quests, boring mini-games, or shopping. The most tedious part about the whole experience is that Miley can't run. I'm convinced that this was a conscious decision by the developers to ensure that the whole game couldn't be beaten in an hour or two. But, and maybe this is just me, I'd be willing to accept the trade-off.

If you're the kind of person that wouldn't mind friends seeing that you got the platinum trophy in Hannah Montana: The Movie, then give it an overnight rental. But if you're looking for a good game for your kids to play, keep looking.

Hannah Montana: The Movie / $29.99 / PS3 [reviewed], 360, Wii, DS, PC

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