After a fairly lengthy dry spell it looks like we are on the cusp of the next big batch of Kinect games. Aside from a couple of random ones here or there, they haven’t been on a consistent release schedule since around launch. However wave two is on the way it seems and one can only assume that developers have used those extra months to really dig in and take full example of the hardware correct? Before you answer that, what if I told you that two of the games coming up are Fantastic Pets and Carnival Games: Monkey See, Monkey Do? That should immediately tell you that no, no developers definitely didn’t do that. There’s always wave 3?
However, there is at least one decently bright spot to be found in Yoostar2: In the Movies, a game that takes the basic premise we saw used in You’re in the Movies a couple of years back, and turns it around by actually making it fun to play.
Although Yoostar2 does require Kinect to play it, beyond needing it as a camera it really isn’t making significant use of the device. It doesn’t so much track your movements as it does point at you in a stationary way and record your voice. From what I’ve seen, scenes never require you to mirror any of the character’s movements. I only say this in case people are expecting this to be a reason to show off the Kinect, it is definitely not that.
However if what you want to show off is your acting ability, then you are good to go my friend (hey-ooooo!). The core concept of Yoostar2 is that you pick a movie scene and then you are inserted into the shot in place of one of the characters. You can choose to do the scripted scene, where you will be scored based on how accurately you are able to play out the scene as intended. You will be judged on delivery, timing, and a number of other factors. You can also choose to Ad-lib the scene, where you can say and do whatever the hell you want and you aren’t scored at all.
The selection of clips that come on the disc is decent. There are 80 in total and a lot of them are undeniable classics. You get wax on wax off from the Karate Kid, a little This is Sparta action, some Casablanca here’s lookin’ at you kid goodness, and a lot more. On the flip side there are a lot of strange picks. Remember 2007’s Dane Cook opus, Employee of the Month? You say that not only do you not remember it but aren’t even sure if you’ve heard of it to begin with? Well it’s on this disc either way, and it’s not even a scene that features Dane Cook! There are a few more odd cases like this. Did we really need both Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers here? Or did we need Along Came Polly at all?
Thankfully there are more good scenes than bad and they have done a good job of selecting the clips from each movie you would most likely want to act out, with a few exceptions (how does the CSI Miami scene not feature David Caruso?!). Plus there are huge DLC plans so I’m sure plenty more scenes from both these movies and new ones are on the way. They haven’t been too specific about DLC however they did say there would be 100 clips for download right at launch. This most definitely was not the case so we’ll see what happens next I suppose.
A lot of the trailers for this game may end up misleading some people in terms of just how high the quality of the clips is. Some of the previews I saw made it appear like the player would be integrated seamlessly into the scene however you should know going in that is definitely not the case. Unless you are playing this in a perfectly lit room that also features a green screen, you will notice a considerable dip in quality where the footage cuts to you. During my time with it I usually looked grainy and depending on how much moving around I did, parts of my body would often vanish into the background. So it’s certainly not going to blow your mind, but it works well enough that it did not ruin the experience. It can see you, it can hear you, if that’s not enough for you, perhaps this is not for you.
What makes a lot of that easier to overlook is that once you start to get into Yoostar2, it’s a great deal of fun. It’s of course best experienced with a group of friends so you can point and laugh at each other as you each try and do your best Terminator impression. Plus coming up with different ways to adlib through a scene can prove to be surprisingly addictive if you’re with a creative group of people.
Although it might not be ground-breaking on a technological level, there’s no denying that a lot of fun can be had with Yoostar2. If you get the right people together it’s a blast to act out the scenes and thankfully the selection of clips contains more good than bad. It’s definitely worth a look.