- Kinect Required
- Publisher: YooStar
- Developer: Blitz Games
- ESRB Rating: "T" for Teen
- Genre: Party
- Pros: Neat concept; cool when it works; great with friends
- Cons: Boring by yourself; funky graphical glitches; not a ton of content; finding optimal setup can be tricky; DLC
The basics of Yoostar 2 is that it is like a green screen used in movies and TV shows to digitally cut out the background and replace it with something else. It can be pretty finicky to set up - lighting has to be perfect (brighter is generally better), the room behind you can't have too much going on (best to play in front of a blank wall if you can), and you need to be a decent 6-8 feet from the TV, though you can sit down for many scenes. We didn't have any trouble setting things up, but as with all Kinect games, your mileage may vary.
Even when you do get it set up right, some things don't work all that well. It tends to create a blocky white outline around you in scenes, which is just ugly. Occasionally it will lose track of you so don't be surprised when you lose an arm or leg in a scene. Definitely funny, though.
You are scored based on how closely you replicate the lines or match poses from the scenes. The scoring is really inconsistent, though. It works like a karaoke game where it is just looking for tone rather than specific words, so you can mumble your lines or make things up and get better scores than if you had tried to actually "act". Frustratingly, it penalizes you for too much background noise, such as laughing / heckling friends, which sort of kills the party game vibe.
There are more than 80 scenes and backgrounds in Yoostar 2, which seems like a lot, but you'll burn through everything in a couple of hours and it isn't all that fun or interesting to play scenes more than maybe once per person. To counter this, the game offers a ton of extra scenes as DLC priced $2 for one scene or $7 for a set of 5. DLC is clearly meant to be the driving force here, but we don't feel it is worth it to spend that much money (or any money) on a scene you'll really only use once or twice. There isn't enough content here to justify a purchase, but a rental and maybe buying a DLC scene or two of your favorite movie isn't so bad.
It should also be noted that the game isn't 100% family friendly. There are some scenes with inappropriate language or content, but the game warns you ahead of time when you try to select them.
The presentation in Yoostar 2 is generally pretty decent. The menus are simple and easy to use. Scrolling through the scenes takes some getting used to since you just hold your hand slightly to the left or right to scroll left or right, but if you hold it too long you'll scroll several places over instead of just one. You do get used to it, though. One complaint is that the videos only play in a small little box in the middle of the screen. It would have been nice if they were bigger. And especially nice if they looked better. Like I mentioned above, the game puts a blocky outline around you which just looks terrible. We couldn't get rid of it no matter how much effort we put into getting things set up right.
The sound is fine in most cases. The audio mix is a little low for the movie dialogue, and then louder for your parts, which is sort of jarring. Overall, though, the sound is fine.
As far as Kinect goes, it is pretty well implemented here. The menus are good and responsive. The microphone picks up your voice just fine even when you're 7-8 feet away. And the video it takes of you actually looks surprisingly good aside from the blocky outline around you.