Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lights, Camera, Party! A New Family Game on Playstation!

Games that feature a variety of mini games incorporated into it seem to be the ideal choice for families. Compilation games such as Lights, Camera, Party! From Frima Studio is the latest of these games released on the PlayStation Network using the PS Move. Mini-games such as this tend offer something for everyone. The family can all play together and, most of the time, there’s little, if any, violence. There are also a variety of animated avatars to choose from, spiking interest in even your youngest family members. Now, getting beyond the type of game it is, let’s get into the real review. Is it something you should buy for your family?

Lights, Camera, Party! is geared towards families to play as a group, laugh and have fun. It cannot be played individually unless it’s play in challenge mode. The purpose of the game is to be played in groups of up to 5 to encourage competition and laughter frantically passing the one controller back and forth to each other. As with many games, you have to play a lot in order to unlock more games. There's not a lot of games unlocked when you first get the game but, once you unlock the rest (a total of 50 all together), you’ll have plenty of variety to entertain a good crowd. There are 5 avatars but, in party mode, up to 8 can play and there will be avatars repeated. Not a big deal but it’d be nice if there were at least enough avatars for the number of players that are play together.

The main characters (avatars) in Lights, Camera, Party! are the Funzini family. The games is based around their story and the day their life changed. They were hanging out in their yard when a tv satellite falls into their yard and crashed into their home. The tv studio owner tries to make amends with the family by inviting them to participate in a game show on his network. The game show features lots of wacky games that you as the player get to play! The prize for the Funzinis if they win is a dream house!

In the game, players compete against one another in a variety of mini games. The games are played with one shared Move controller. The game is divided into rounds and, whoever wins the round wins the chance to design a portion of the house with their selected character in mind. For example, Billy Funzini is a fan of cowboys so his room would be western themed.

There are 5 characters to choose from. When you chose a character, that character’s face will be on your profile in story mode and will be used to style the sections of the house that you choose. There are different modes to play in as well. In story mode, up to four players can play together. If you have a larger group, choose party mode where up to 8 players can play.

Each of the mini-games is played as most motion initiated games are played. Players move the control up and down, they rotate it, they swing it and they do whatever they need to in order to win that round. The game is similar to most PS Move, Xbox Kinect or Wii game involving motion controls and, honestly, this game doesn’t have anything unique about it that hasn’t been done before. Having had the Wii for several years before trying this game out, however, I was impressed by the response in the motion controls. They respond very well and as accurately as you could expect.

In addition to the usual shaking all around as with most motion games, with Lights, Camera, Party! players also have to perform some tasks that include motor skills including placing blocks into corresponding holes of the same shape and matching shapes and other somewhat educational attributes to it.
The game itself is fairly simple to play. Each game and mode is thoroughly described prior to the game starting. The games are all directed by an announcer that will guide you through and continue to “cheer you on” throughout. The game encourages competition between the crowd, cheering you on as you play. The ability to beat high scores on each of the events played keeps the intensity up and the boredom away, at least until each player masters the game.

Overall, my family and I found the game to be quite entertaining. The graphics are great, the story is funny and the competition is definitely there. It’s a fast paced set of games offering variety to keep players from getting bored. The whole game takes approximately 30 minutes to play and the mini-games are short. The more games you unlock, the less repetition there will be. Once all 50 games are unlocked, Lights, Camera, Party! seems like a game my family (and our guests) can enjoy for quite a long time.

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