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PS2 / Review / Playboy: The Mansion
Playboy: The Mansion
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Publisher: ARUSH Entertainment
Developer: Cyberlore Studios
Release Date: Available Now
ESRB Rating: Mature
Graphics: 3.0
Control: 3.0
Click here to view Playboy: The Mansion screens!
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Playboy: The Mansion
Playboy: The Mansion
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Review by: Manny LaMancha
Posted: 02/02/05 [view screens]

There's no way around it: Successful games breed copies and knockoffs. For example, after Tetris hit it big, a ton of comparable puzzle/strategies fell like rain; when Quake got hot, you couldn't fire a railgun in a game store without hitting a dozen first-person shooters. Without a doubt, Playboy: The Mansion might as well be called The Sims as Told by Hugh Hefner. The Playboy game is a relationship simulator (just like The Sims). The Playboy game has the characters speaking a gibberish language (just like The Sims). The Playboy game has you coordinating photo shoots of topless women and creating a monthly skin magazine just like&hey;, wait a minute.

Keep Abreast of Your Goals

You control a virtual Hef as he starts with a small mansion and a few friends. The 12 "missions" require you to build Hefs empire by hiring staff, assigning articles and pictorials, organizing lavish parties, making celebrity friends, and getting your romance on. Achieving the myriad goals earns big bucks, unlocks more of the mansion grounds, and lets you find out firsthand the definition of the word "voluptuous." You couldn't get more booty if you bought a can of booty bait, jumped in your booty wagon, and drove down for some fishing in Booty Lake.

Getting To Know You&

You also learn a lot about Playboy's 50-year history as you play. The game features blurbs of info on loading screens and content (such as classic covers) that can be unlocked with points you earn for meeting objectives. Plus, you have encounters with several "real" Playmates and Bunnies who graced the magazine's pages--who for the sake of the game are glamour models turned 3D models.

But mostly, it's all about meeting as many people as you can and keeping them happy by maintaining high levels on their casual-, business-, and romance-relationship gauges...again just like The Sims. And, frankly, the gameplay ends up being more than a little tedious and repetitive as you try to juggle the growing number of relationships while attempting to achieve higher numbers of required goals.

You'd have to be a boob not to find Playboy: The Mansions soft-core entertainment titillating, at least for a little while. Unfortunately, the enjoyment can't keep up, likely resulting in a premature ejection of the game from your console...but remember: It happens to nearly every gamer at some point.

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