In the video game Hannah Montana The Movie, kids join Miley Stewart, who plays superstar ultra-ego Hannah Montana, in an adventure that is set in Miley's hometown of Crowley Corners, Tennessee.
This game combines a linear adventure with periodic breaks for musical performances, during which the player joins in by dancing, singing, and playing onscreen guitar, drums, and keyboard. Fans can also dress both Hannah and Miley, design outfits, play minigames and customize Hannah's touring bus.
The console version is available now on the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360, and Sony's PlayStation 3, with the Windows PC version coming later in the summer. There is also a DS version that is similar. We played the Wii version.
On the Wii, the game makes use of the system's unique motion-sensing controls. To learn all the motions used within the game, it is best to start with the Tutorial. There, you will learn how to keep fans happy as you perform as Hannah Montana. While watching Hannah onstage singing 11 of her hit songs, including five new ones from the movie, you will also see animated instructions. You will learn to hand gestures, like a lasso movement or clapping above your head. You will also learn to pose like a rock star. At times during the performances, you will jam with the band by strumming with the Wii Remote when you see a guitar fret on the screen or rocking out on the drums by following arrow commands. Playing the keyboard involves twisting the Wii remote so that it spotlights musical notes as they drift down to the keyboard. And "singing" involves flicking the Wii's nunchuk and shaking it.
After exploring the Tutorial, players need to start the Story Mode so that they can unlock the performances and minigames to play later. In the Story Mode, you direct Miley (and sometimes Hannah) on a series of "fetch" quests. She will talk to people who ask for her help. For example, in one she will need to find items to build a chicken coop and in another, she will need to locate a cheer squad's missing props in a limited time.
The adventure plays out over six locations including a County Fair (where you can play fun arcade games), a University, a Petting Zoo, Miley's grandmother's farm, the town of Crowley Corners, and Meadow Hall. Players can easily move between locations by use of a map.
This is a fun game for fans of Hannah Montana. It skews as young as age 6 because the controls are very easy, and most of the dialogue is spoken aloud. Miley has an onscreen organizer that reminds you of your next task. And when you are directing Miley (or occasionally Hannah), an onscreen arrow always shows you the direction to head. Plus the adventure is peppered with fun minigames, including one where you get to ride a horse and make it jump over fences.
Parents will like the performance parts of the Wii game because kids have to get up and move to play. Since your goal is to earn audience points by doing physical actions using the Wii controls, kids will be up and dancing along with Hannah. And kids will love singing to the 11 songs, including the very popular "Hoedown Throwdown."
But parents might not like the one of the messages this game sends: a constant need to shop and change clothes. While the story is about helping others, in this game, Miley is a shopaholic clothes horse. To be fair, she is usually looking for a new performance outfit for Hannah. And the game does allow girls to design some of the clothes and put together fashion looks.
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