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Custard pie games never seem to work in practice, although this one did look promising -- but oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. It's not that this is really such a bad game, but it is damn frustrating. If the Kops hadn't been so eager to clobber poor old Buster then it would have been much better to play. The music is very atmospheric and graphics are well up to standard, but the playability is still pretty naff.

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This would be a good game if it wasn't so (unnecessarily) difficult. After many hours play I wasn't getting much further than the third floor and I soon found myself becoming too frustrated to continue. If the ghosts and security guards were less aggressive then
Hollywood or Bust would be fun. But it isn't and even at two quid I wouldn't recommend it -- unless you enjoy being driven round the bend by unplayable games.

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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Hollywood or Bust
1986 Mastertronic
Programmed by John D. Ferrari
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eighteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: September 11th, 1986).
 

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HOLLYWOOD OR BUST
Mastertronic, 1.99 cass, joystick only


Lights, camera, action! Roll 'em! Take a trip back to the roaring twenties, the Charleston and the first movies. Ah, those early films -- the excitement of the chase, the hilarity of the custard pie battles and the robust tunes that were pounded out on the keyboards below the screen. Hollywood or Bust attempts to capture the flavour of the twenties in a madcap arcade adventure. You play the floundering Buster Baloney, desperate to make his way into the movies. Having walked on set, it's his task to find five Golden Oscars which he can take home and place, with due care and attention, on his mantelpiece.

As play begins, the screen is split between a playing area at the top and a neat animated status window below. In the latter, the director waits pensively for the action to begin. Action! Buster stands on a street, which scrolls left and right according to his movements, and then begins his search for the Oscars. Buster's life is not as simple as just pottering around a film set. For one thing, he's plagued by crazy Kops (a la Keystone) in full chase. The only way to combat them is to throw a custard pie in their direction. This will stun them for a moment and while they spin dizzily around, it gives Buster a chance to escape up one of the ladders onto another floor.

The set is also inhabited by ghosts and contact with them is fatal. However, they can only attack from behind so as long as Buster is up against a wall he'll be safe. Points are awarded for the amount of time Buster remains on set without being clobbered. There is also a window showing Buster's pay, which shoots up at a remarkable rate for every piece of film that is taken. The set is littered with doors and passages -- some lead inside the film set while others take Buster into the street scene.

From a small playing area, the action switches to a full screen, viewed from above, plunging Buster into the middle of a Keystone Kops custard pin shoot-out. Before Buster can return to the set, he must wait until 1000 shots have been taken; meantime, he must survive as best he can. Once more, he must use custard pies to defend himself from the Kops who will clobber him if they collide with him. However, if his supply of pies runs out before time there's always the tap, situated at the top right-hand corner, which will let the custard flow through to an outlet at the bottom left of the screen. Buster, like most mortals, is only in possession of one life so if he gets bashed on this screen then he won't be able to return to the studios and continue his search for the elusive Oscars.

     

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The graphics are really nice but the game itself . . . ugh! It's a weird game with a mixture of all sorts of things, none of which are really worth mentioning. My main gripe is the ghosts which pile into you and terminate the game without giving you a chance -- really frustrating. The other thing is you can stay on one screen and score zillions of points -- silly. The sound is quite jolly but the game isn't one I can heartily recommend.
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Presentation 82%

Very pleasant.

Graphics 77%
Big, bold and colourful.

Sound 84%
Several jolly ragtime tunes create a suitable atmosphere
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Hookability 60%
Despite high initial frustration there is still the urge to explore.

Lastability 44%
You'll probably want to bust rather than go for Hollywood.

Value For Money 52%
Another mediocre addition to the Mastertronic range.

Overall 46%
Nice graphics and sound let down by an unplayable and frustrating game.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (28 Feb 2010)

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