Here’s looking at you, kid — literally.
PlayStation 3’s and Xbox 360’s new movie-karaoke game, YooStar 2, is the closest to Oscar gold that millions of us will ever come. Players superimpose videos of themselves onto the game’s 80-plus iconic clips, so Hollywood hopefuls can double as Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (“Ah’ll be bah-ck”) or do stand-up on the bridge of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
By scanning real-world backgrounds and tracking physical movements, the software records your performance, eliminates the backdrop and then substitutes you in place of the featured actors; performances receive scores based on timing, intonation and accuracy. “Both casual fans and hard-core movie buffs can tape themselves re-enacting favorite cinematic moments using the PlayStation Eye or Microsoft Kinect cameras,” explains Stephanie Morgan, vice president of social gaming for YooStar, the company that created the game. Amusingly, despite the occasional hiccup when configuring these gadgets (and its slightly grainy video output), hands-on tests reveal that the game is worthy of its title.
Case in point: During a recent demonstration, yours truly was able to join the cast of 300 and nearly burst a blood vessel screaming “This … is … Sparta!” While my agent (aka the dog) won’t confirm it, a running series of increasingly campy The Blues Brothers ad-libs may have been executed as well. You also have the option to upload videos to the Internet directly from the title — and share them on Facebook and Twitter. An original social network game (Yoostar Playground) even lets innocent bystanders follow your antics, rate your performances and help you unlock new goodies in set-top console editions.
With dozens of scenarios to download and use to demonstrate your undiscovered talent to the world, who knows? You could be America’s next Charlie Sheen. (OK, bad example.) $50, www.yoostar.com