Posted by Female Gamers on Jan 13, 2010
Playboy: The Mansion – Review

Playboy: The Mansion – Review

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Ohhhh yeah… lets get it ornnnnnnn! – Why would any sensible educated female be interested in checking out Playboy The Mansion? Add to that the fact that said female reviewer studied gender studies, believes wholeheartedly she’s a feminist and detests any kind of degradation of women. Oh dear, it’s not looking good is it. A game which is based on Hugh Hefners Playboy Empire which lets face it, is almost every mans fantasy, just couldn’t possibly offer anything for females… right? Nope. Wrong. I really like this game. I have no idea why but for me it is completely addictive and damn good fun, probably a lot like going to the Playboy Mansion I should imagine.

Playboy The Mansion is like sexed up Sims without the mundane aspects. Basically you play the role of a young Hef trying to build up his Playboy Empire by becoming the swinging bachelor that everyone now knows him to be. Your task is to hire staff such as photographers, journalists, bunnies and so on to help you get the best stories, centerfolds and covers for your new magazine. By throwing numerous parties and mixing with the right personalities you’ll learn how to get the best articles and essays to make your ‘zine stand out from the crowd. By analyzing the market, you’ll learn which genres are most in demand such as sports, politics and many more, however in fairness there aren’t many men I know who buy Playboy for the articles.

The core area of the game all happens at Hefs mansion. As you progress through your tasks the mansion will be filled with more and more goodies such as a pool (perfect for those outdoor centerfold shots), extra items such as expensive electronic equipment and a ton of other customizable additions. As your fame and money grows, you’ll find yourself being introduced to even fabbier celebs and models who will hopefully grace your magazine with their words of wisdom and your stardom will continue to rocket. This is the main goal of Playboy The Mansion and yes it can be a little repetitive but anyone who likes The Sims will be used to this style of gameplay. The beauty of this game is that you don’t need to bother with the mundane tasks of showering, toilet going, eating and sleeping. Hef can quite literally go like the Energizer Bunny (no pun intended) and he stays awake all day and all night should that be required and trust me, it normally is with the amount of parties that are being thrown.

So, I’ve mentioned sleeping, which in some weird mind map way leads me onto beds, which of course is something anyone reading a Playboy review may well link to sex. Come on, admit it, we all know that nobody sleeps in the Playboy Mansion. This game has sex in it. Ok, there you go. We’ve said it, it’s a game with a ton of sex in it, IF you want to play it that way. The women are cheap, if you butter them up enough they’ll soon agree to have sex with you, on the couch, the bed or wherever really, but I have to say that I actually only did this a few times. I didn’t feel the need to watch them have weird sex all over the house although I’m sure alot of players would want to. I also managed to hook up two chicks together but never two men together. Apparently that’s just not done in the Playboy Mansion, at least not in my game. Now, the sex isn’t what I would term graphic, but it is visible and it’s definitely clear what they’re up to. Also, a lot of the women will walk around topless so if that makes you grin with glee and you like to get excited over some nudie pix(els) then fair enough. You’ll enjoy this.

The graphics aren’t the most amazing graphics you’ll ever see on your Xbox but they’re pretty good and appear to be fairly similar to The Sims. I didn’t have any problems with glitches or bad camera angles and the fact you can control the camera to suit your game makes it much better. The women are sculpted and drawn very nicely and they’re all perfect, yes of course they are, this is the Playboy Mansion after all. They all look like porn stars funnily enough and all the feminists are going to complain that they don’t represent real women but I have to say here that the Playboy Empire is built on fantasy, male fantasy and the designers of the game are clearly being true to this. It isn’t something I like, I think it’s stupid and makes real women look less than perfect, however, look at Lara Croft and tell me she’s realistic.

The sound on the game is actually really good. Put aside the fact that the sims in it once again speak in some kind of simmish language. You can play numerous genres of songs on the funky stereo you’re kindly provided with at the beginning of the game. These have quite a range from modern rock, hip hop, jazz and so on to your very own customized soundtracks ripped onto your Xbox HD. A nice addition and it’s pretty cool having parties there with your own choice of song in the background. Try and ignore the obligatory ‘breakdancing’ moves that Hef pulls off every time he changes the stereo though. Annoying and embarrassing. Most of the tasks and goals are subtitled on the screen so there’s no problems here for deaf gamers and it’s definitely friendly with its menu options and so on.

Ok, so the female gamer aspect. Now, I could go on here about the oppression of women and the perpetuation of the female as whore mythos however, I’m looking at this as a game. I am not about to spout a whole thesis on how Playboy as a cultural phenomenon is derogatory and is a spear into the heart of feminism and the continual struggle for female equality. This game is not a positive representation of females. There is very little in here aimed specifically at the female gamer, however, it is fun to play. If you can forget the overarching demeaning aspects of this title you will have fun. You will enjoy playing this game if you like the sims. Don’t play all the sex if you don’t want to if you find it insulting. There is no need to use it. If you want to simply do the tasks and proceed through the game then for gods sake do that and don’t whine on about how it’s terribly cruel to women in general. It’s Playboy. It isn’t going to represent you. End Of Story.

Overall I liked this title way more than I expected. I’m a huge Sims fan which definitely helps. If you’re not into the Sims then you’re probably going to find this game extremely repetitive and dull. It is goal oriented and you are doing a lot of the same things again and again, particularly with building relationships and maintaining all those girlfriends. It is fun though because making the magazine with the best possible content is actually pretty engaging and I did find myself wanting the best interviews so that my edition would be highly rated and make me the most money. One of the biggest problems with this title is that it gets to a saturation point very quickly and even though you have the choice of playing either the classic or modern mansion there’s not enough depth to keep you interested over a period of weeks. The main type of person who I imagine will like this game is indeed the stereotypical geek guy gamer who doesn’t get out much and hasn’t had a girlfriend even though he’s 30. Is this offensive guys? Sorry, but take it with a pinch of salt just like us girls have with regards to this game overall.

Review by Tracy

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One Response to “Playboy: The Mansion – Review”

  1. hilda says:

    Games plike Playboy the Mansion are a blight on the female gaming community, you should have scored it a 1.

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