When I first read about the game You’re in the Movies I was unsure on what it was going to be like, and if the game could really take off on the 360 platform; with the previews and video footage really leaving me pondering would it have not been best suited for the Wii, the console for all the family. But after playing the first few movies, I saw that this was maybe a smart move by Microsoft to try and market their console to a family.
The game has the user performing a series of mini-games, which it then makes into a trailer for a movie. Now this all sounds fun and a good idea for a game, but the question is does it really work, and does it really have a lasting appeal?
The gameplay of You’re in the Movies does offer some great laughs, but be warned you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself. As mentioned previously the game basically consists of a number of mini-games per movie sequence in order to capture the footage used for the trailer of the movie you’ve selected to record, and to be fair there is a good mix of them in order to keep the gameplay side of the game entertaining.
The mini-games that the players carry out in the name of making a movie vary vastly. They include running from a group of monkeys by running on the spot, with the speed of you arm movement determining how fast you move, or just the simple task of pulling off some poses; as shown by the assistant in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. These are just two examples of the activities you will be tasked in completing, to show what it is the game has to offer.
The amount of people that can play the game spans from 1 – 4 players; meaning it is a good game for all the family. Now to make the gameplay more rewarding, rather than just complete mini-games for the fun of it, you also get scored on some of the games, this score than relates to the reward ceremony at the end of the games, and after you’ve viewed your movie. These points will then decided who receives the award for best actor/actress; unfortunately if you play the game on one player you always win the award.
With You’re in the Movies being based mainly on mini-games, there was not really that much to be done in regards to graphics with the game, but what they have done is made the interactive parts of the game very attractive and colourful, which although it does not make that much of a difference to the experience it at least makes them more enjoyable, rather than just seeing a plain background. As shown on the above screen shot when it comes to the simple posing mini-games it does use a plain looking background, but this is for the best.
The sound the game offers mainly comes from interaction with objects in the mini-games, with the best example being the interaction with instruments in one of the mini-games, which has you playing the instruments on the screen. The only other in game sound comes from the director, making comments on what you need to do in order to complete the next take. After the whole mini-game element comes the recorded video, and the quality of the filming and the sound is great. So the game obviously benefits in this aspect when it comes to sound, and the final outcome of the gameplay, graphics, and sound elements of the game is rewarding.
In regards to the lifespan/longevity of the game, the game could be something that you could play a lot with friends and family. However, if you got it to play just as a single player game it will not last long, and the fun will shortly wear off, as the game could become tedious. With friends and family who are willing to make fools of themselves, the game will be a great laugh.
So You’re in the Movies makes a great game for friends and family when it comes to the gameplay, and the final outcome, but it does suffer from a high number of bugs which can ruin the experience in a heartbeat, and they are ones that make the game suffer greatly.
Although the game was made for home use, it seems to expect a studio setting to work at its full potential. With the quality of the game depending on lighting and surrounding, making it in a lot of the cases bugged when playing the mini-games. First of all is the background issues, it is made clear quite early on that the best outcome will only be made if you have a green screen in your house.
With the blending issues causing a massive problem whilst playing it, on a personal note when I first played it I had a white t-shirt on which blended with the background I was playing against, this caused parts of me to become see-through as it was recognizing my clothes as part of the background on my surroundings.
Possibly the main issue is the lighting, again it seems the only way to get a perfect outcome is by having studio lighting. A slight change in the lighting can affect the whole outcome of the recording of your cutout again, so you need to keep the lighting constant, otherwise part of you will become see through, or the cut out area will alter, which in most cases will remove part of you. On a personal note on this bug my head was often removed in the cut out area, when playing it with the brightness of the sun changing, this was even with the curtains blocking the sun; this is how little lighting change can affect it.
The use of bold colours makes the best of the situation with some rather bland screens.
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Mix bad design with bad hardware (the camera) and as a result, you’re in a bad movie.
When you can add your own voice, that’s quite cool and gives it a very personal touch, but the sound effects and dialogue they produced could do more to step beyond mediocre.
Some features to add play time, such as Director Mode, but essentially the game lasts as long as the gimmick.
Bad meets mediocre in many places, once the gimmick gets old, the game misses out on the box office, and heads direct to DVD.