Yoostar 2 Hands-On

We fulfill our lifelong dream of being the Terminator and happily make a fool of ourselves in the process.

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While the original Yoostar was a somewhat niche PC-only title, developer Blitz is aiming for a wider audience with Kinect and Move support for the sequel Yoostar 2. While the idea of a karaoke movie game may seem a little strange, in practice it’s incredibly amusing, if sometimes embarrassing.

"I'll be back."

The game works like this: You are challenged to reenact a famous scene from a classic Hollywood movie. There are more than 60 movies to choose from, ranging from classics such as Casablanca to more modern films such as The Matrix and The Terminator. Once you’ve picked a scene to act out, you’re given a chance to watch it in its entirety to learn the lines and movements. You can choose which actor from the scene you wish to be, with two people able to play as different characters. Once you’re ready, you’re asked to stand between dotted lines on the screen, after which the scene starts.

Instead of seeing the original actor in the frame, you are superimposed in his or her place. Your lines are shown at the top of the screen, along with a typical karaoke-style bouncing ball to guide you. After you demonstrate your brilliant acting skills, the game applies a number of effects to match the recording with the movie, which is then played back to you. The results are often hilarious, with our attempt at the famous "I’ll be back" scene from The Terminator being particularly cringe-worthy.

Your performance is then given a score based on how well you read out the lines as well as your physical movements in the scene. You’re then awarded a fame score and are given the opportunity to share your video on sites such as Facebook and YouTube. It can also be uploaded to the Yoostar Web site, where other users can rate the video. Positive ratings on the Web site are linked back to the game, awarding you with higher fame points. If you’re feeling particularly creative, there’s even a freestyle mode, where you can unleash your acting skills on a variety of unscripted scenes.

While we were a little skeptical at first, the technology behind the game renders scenes surprisingly well. Your footage is integrated naturally, with little evidence of an obvious cutout effect. The results are often very funny, particularly if you or your friends are graced with less-than-perfect acting skills. Though there are just over 60 scenes in the retail release, more will be added at a later date via DLC in special packs and individual downloads.

Yoostar 2 is due out later this year on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Look out for a full review soon.

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