Occasionally, publishers look into their forges and only find the most rubbish videogames waiting to be published. These unholy games are then put onto shelves with one intention, and one intention only: to make money. However, contrary to popular belief, people are smart and don’t fall for these schemes; thankfully for us, they look that game up, read reviews, and talk with others who have played the game.
Thankfully, Hannah Montana: The Game is a title that deserves to be in the library of any self-respecting gamer. Stop reading this – or scroll down to the score, if you really insist on further convincing – go to your local retail outlet, and pick it up immediately. It’s that good.
Hannah Montana promises a lot – and it delivers on every single one. Since childhood, we’ve been entertained by Disney through countless classic animated films, musicals and live-action movies. Snow White; Beauty and the Beast; The Lion King: Disney never disappoints, and maybe that’s why this time they have proudly put their stamp of perfection on the cover without even putting the developers’, n-Space, name on it. The game’s graphics can be described as “simple”, but before you think that means they’re bad – it doesn’t. The graphics merely represent the character of Miley, who is just an uptown girl, enjoying farm life and avoiding the stardom which haunts her. Speaking of farms – check out the animals; they realistically walk left and right non-stop, and the pigs even “MOO” when you walk close to them.
Ah, but what about the gameplay?, you ask. You even dare to ask me about the gameplay? It’s near perfection! Walking to places is just so fun to do, because walking is a natural human function which releases endorphins, making you feel better. Whether you realize it or not, at the end of a session playing Hannah Montana: The Game, you’ll be left with feelings of happiness and self-fulfilment.
The game delves into life’s biggest problems: emotions. The feature of talking to the boy you like is done so perfectly – without any options for the player. This not only symbolises the way in which you begin your life without choosing your features, but also is a way of you discovering that life is not about how you begin it, but how you end it.
For fans of Hannah Montana, and the character so touchingly and convincingly portrayed by Miley Cyrus, this game is pure heaven. You get the chance to dress her the way you want, walk her across town, and even talk to her dad Billy Ray Cyrus(!) – who, unfortunately, is voiced by someone else; but that’s the magic: we have nothing but Miley, and the beauty of her universe, for us to explore. A pink arrow helps you on your journey across the campaign, which will take you through all the different stages in Miley’s life – which is very complicated, due to her two personas.
Going back to the gameplay, you also get to play as Hannah Montana herself. Now, you can sing 11 songs with the legendary Miss HM, who has the best animation since Mickey Mouse’s Steam Boat Willy [circa 1943-ish]. The movement of the arms, always staying adjacent to the mic whilst the most thought provoking lyrics are sung, leaves an impending impression on the player who will not forget this trip into the persona of Hannah. This contrasts with the Miley sections, as you get driven back into the uptown-girl world of Miley with her animals, her pet horse Blue Jean and that pink arrow which never leaves the screen. The pink arrow is symbolic of Miley’s life – always pointing to the next goal, forever moving forward with no room for second-guessing. Its presence is just one of the many ways in which the developer has layered deeper meaning into every single design element.
Forget Bioshock; Hannah Montana: The Game is the most intellectual experience in gaming.
Whilst people may feel that the 6 hours in Miley’s world are too short, the replay value is high. The town, its carnival games and singing mechanics are brilliant, and the mix of each is so contrasting that it stops itself from ever feeling old. As you play through it again and again, you discover subtle layers that you didn’t notice before, layers which will make you lean back in your chair and just pause as you consider their ramifications. This is a perfect showcase of why the human mind craves the unknown; being thrown into the different worlds of Miley is just so interesting, and keeps the player’s mind happily occupied.
It’s one thing to commend a game for doing something well, but it is a big achievement for a game to understand its players’ mind-set in the mechanics – catering to not only a small target audience but human beings in general. Hannah Montana: The Game is a beautiful creation in art and maths alike; after you’ve finished playing, you’ll come away from it knowing more about yourself than you ever thought existed.