Yoostar puts gamers opposite their favorite stars in movie, TV scenes
By MISHA DAVENPORT Staff Reporteremail@example.com March 8, 2011 4:50PM
Reporter Misha Davenport takes the wheel of the Bluesmobile with John Belushi riding shotgun as he acts out the “106 miles to Chicago” scene from “The Blues Brothers” on “Yoostar 2: In the Movies.” | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
‘YOOSTAR 2: in the movies’ ★★½
Reviewed for: 360 (also available for PS3)
Rated: T for alcohol and tobacco reference, language, mild blood, mild violence and sexual themes
Updated: June 21, 2011 12:20AM
Forget what you may have heard about John Belushi’s wild antics and demeanor on set. He was the consummate professional, hit his marks and nailed his lines right from the start.
I, on the other hand, required more than one take to get right the classic “106 miles to Chicago” scene from “The Blues Brothers.”
Thanks to the movie magic of “Yoostar 2: In the Movies,” I’m able to achieve a lifelong dream of appearing in a scene next to one of my comic idols. It’s pretty amazing, considering Belushi’s been dead for nearly 30 years now.
The video game uses the Kinect camera to superimpose you into moments from movies and television. You select a scene and a role to play, and the screen outlines the original actor on screen so you can match the physical outline.
Like on a karaoke machine, your lines change colors when you are supposed to say them, with the camera capturing both your delivery and performance.
I acted opposite Belushi again in the “fat, drunk and stupid” scene from “Animal House,” playing Dean Wormer (originally played by the late John Vernon). I’m no Vernon, but my delivery of the line “Zero ... [pause] ... point ... [pause] ... zero” seemed to amuse my co-workers.
Less successful was my delivery of Ben Stein’s monotone “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” If I had a few more takes, I might have been able to echo Stein’s delivery.
The game comes with 80 different scenes rated easy, medium or hard based on the actor’s performance and skill with the lines. You also have the option of ad-libbing your scenes.
Additional content is available for downloadable purchase.
Alongside iconic scenes like the one from “The Blues Brothers” or “Here’s looking at you, kid,” from “Casablanca,” there are less renowned scenes (Superman saves an airplane in “Superman Returns”) and scenes from less familiar films (“Employee of the Month” or “The Spiderwick Chronicles”).
There are a few female roles — including Dorothy meeting the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” and the slumber party from “Grease” — but parts for men dominate.
Scenes where an actor is in side profile don’t work too well unless you know a scene by heart or have a family member willing to write cue cards for you.
The game’s biggest problem? As anyone who has ever stayed to watch the end credits of any film will tell you, it takes an awful lot of people to produce a movie. Things like sound editing and lighting might sound trivial, but to seamlessly incorporate yourself into a movie scene, it requires matching the sound, timing and lighting of the existing scene. The original scenes were no doubt captured with cameras far more expensive and sophisticated than the Kinect, too.
You are supposed to be able to upload and share your clips via Facebook, but the Yoostar server was down at press time. (Clips are screened by Yoostar staff before they are allowed to be posted to make sure nothing vulgar or pornographic gets uploaded).
“Yoostar 2” works as a party game (provided your guests are hams), but loses points for a clunky user interface and for including those side profile scenes. Rent this one unless you are a complete movie buff or throw a lot of parties.