2011 Games: Yoostar 2 Review

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If you have ever cherished to act together with some of Hollywood’s greatest stars, Yoostar 2 can make that dream a reality. The game affords would-be actors to put in themselves into a huge variety of classic movie moments, act to their hearts content, and then see how the results pile up. Better yet, there’s no trouble about blowing a scene and wrecking a production or getting into drunken fights with paparazzi between projects.

Yoostar 2 offers a range of gameplay modes, like quick play and a goal-driven campaign, but the general experience is basically the same. Using Kinect or the PlayStation Eye, Yoostar 2’s software renders a green-screen effect without the need for hanging up a sheet in your living room. We spent a few hours with the Xbox 360 version of the game, and while the effect isn’t flawless, it’s leagues above what products like You’re in the Movies have offered in the past.

Film clips include scenes for one or two participants, with the real actors filling their roles when a friend isn’t handy. After choosing a scene from a wide variety of classics, comedies, dramas and TV shows, players select which of the preset roles they wish to take on. From there, it’s a simple matter of stepping into position and retelling lines through a karaoke-style scroller. After each scene is finished, players watch their scene and earn stars depending upon how well they presented their lines, whether or not they suck to their marks, or if they disturbed other characters.

Once they have had a few minutes to bask in the adulation of their fans, players could upload their videos to the Yoostar network. After being sorted for content by moderators, other players can look and rate okayed performances. There is also a social-networking element, with Facebook and Twitter integration, and the developer says it’s wanting to add YouTube support. Video quality is somewhat contingent on your lighting, and even after doing adjustments you are not going to mistake your inserted actors for part of the actual scene, but it’s certainly satisfactory.

Yoostar 2 isn’t a game for people who take themselves a bit seriously, but it has tons of party-game potential. Setting playlists of clips is easy and gives individuals a chance to test the waters, and the fact that there is no controller to worry about allows it to be accessible to fans everywhere. The Kinect version also does a nice job of filtering and cutting background activity, so you don’t have to treat your living room like a quarantine zone on shoots. If your friends aren’t allergic to fun, though, odds are they will want to take on a leading role instead of hovering in the back of the room, anyway.

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