|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Zöe Mode||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Maria Montoro
This game was one of the most interesting game announcements we saw at Microsoft's Keynote in the last E3, at least as far as party games go. I even got to try it with some other journalists, and I couldn't help but be curious about what it would be like to play a few mini-games with my friends and then obtain a cool custom movie as a result. Unfortunately, I can't say the game turned out to be a success, but at least it's on the right path, and hopefully the developers will consider fixing its flaws in order to make it shine.
Wondering how this game works? It's simple. You just have to clear the living room so there's plenty of space available (just like if you were going to play Wii Sports). After that, set up the LIVE Vision camera in the middle of the room, and then start the game. You'll be asked to perform a calibration. All you have to do is make sure there's plenty of lighting and not too much stuff behind the made-up stage. If everything is set up correctly, you should be able to see your own silhouette on top of the game's background, just like if you were the weather man. Up to four players will participate in a series of mini-games, which are split up between a few rounds. When it's your time to act, you'll be called onto the stage and you'll have to do what the game says, whether it's swatting bees, doing a few dance moves, feigning surprise or terror, running and dodging objects, etc. There's no time to be shy; you just go there, do it, and return to your seat. Many times two players will compete in small duels, like rescuing a treasure from the sea by pulling a rope or racing to the finish line.
You're in the Movies has all the ingredients to make a nice party. First of all, people will be entertained with its funky mini-games, at least for a while; second, everyone gets to partake and make a fool out of themselves - the perfect formula for a good dose of laughs; third, it's memorable - after goofing around, the game will create a movie featuring all the players who participated in the fun. You can even upload it to the Internet and retrieve it via e-mail. Then, you can post it on YouTube or send it to all your friends. Who knows, it may even be a nice thing to have in case you ever have to resort to blackmail or something like that!
The biggest problem with the game is its low video quality and the low replay value. You may have a really fun evening with your friends, but chances are most of them won't be eager to play the same game any time soon. After all, You're in the Movies only offers about 40 mini-games, and after you've played them all, it will start to feel somewhat redundant and even annoying. If it wasn't for the fun movie you get to watch at the end, you may not even be motivated enough to perform in front of the camera again.
The low video quality and shape recognition is also bothersome. We all know the Xbox LIVE Vision camera is not that good, but the final result in You're in the Movies seems even worse. Mixing the players silhouette with actual movie clips contained in the game doesn't work great all the time. Perhaps the technology is not there yet, at least at the price we're paying for the game. On occasions, the game will work well until almost the end, and then, all of a sudden, it will decide to show a piece of wall around you or your friends. Other times it simply won't recognize the entire shape of the player, cutting off the player's arms or showing a hole in the middle of their belly. Seeing how the movie is going to get ruined just because the game or the camera decided not to work is frustrating. Things could have been much better with a replay button that would allow you to repeat the mini-game once the camera is recalibrated. Instead, if the problem happens and you want a clean movie, you'll have to start all over again.