Yoostar 2 is a video-karaoke game. You take the role of the actor in a number of well-known and iconic scenes from some great movies (and some with Eddie Murphy in as well, for balance), and receive a rating according to how well you’ve performed. It’s that simple. So, here’s everything you need to know.
Graphically the interface is top-notch – a series of scrolling tiles offering you different sections – challenge mode, quick play, social, the store, and it all responds well to your movements on the Kinect. When it comes to placing yourself in the film there can be some issues depending on light levels in the room so you’ll occasionally end up with a glowing outline, like the Ready Brek kid, but in this case it’s not from a warm breakfast cereal, it’s from your back wall. I also found that occasionally the focus would change so that even staying in the same spot I’d be a different size on a reshoot. That’s quickly fixed, however, by turning off the zoom function in the options.
Soundwise, you get all the bells and whistles you’d expect when it comes to getting a score. The theme is very reminiscent of a movie trailer and everything else is provided by the movies themselves.
And then you come to the gameplay. This is why I’ve got the aesthetics out of the way. The gameplay is what makes or breaks this one and, to be honest, how you play it will determine if you like it or not. You have to be prepared to act it up or you’ll get nothing out of this title. Sure, you can stand in your living room and just read the lines – it worked for Daniel Radcliffe I suppose – but the real fun comes when you start to get into the role. One of the scenes from 300 – the “This Is Sparta” scene – involves the raising of the sword. Enter into the spirit of it and use a butter knife or, as I’ve seen in the community videos, strip to the waist and make a cloak out of a sheet. That’s where the fun in Yoostar lies, you will get back what you put in.
I’d urge you to browse the user videos before you play, or before you buy (the Yoostar Playground is available through Facebook) and see if that’s the sort of thing you want to be doing because, believe me, you’ll get a lot more out of the game if you’re willing to look like a bit of a knob in the process. And you don’t have to stick to the script – turn on Ad Lib mode and go for it. Do what you want. I’ve seen car chases become adverts for brake pads, a scene from The Mummy become a first date and a lame one about a polar bear with a northern accent who was bored with snow.
Yoostar 2 is fun. It is entertaining. But only if you’re willing to invest some time and effort in it. The community videos are chock full of people who’ve made costumes and put a bit of flair into the performances and the difference between that and a dull reading of the script really shows. It’s a massively social game, whether you’re messing around with your friends locally or across Xbox live competing to get the most fans for your emotionally stirring recreation of Dorothy meeting the Tin Man. The thing that can make or break this game isn’t on the disc; there won’t be any developer’s patches.