December 08, 2008
Many of us have dreamed or even aspired to be A-list actors for what can only be described as a lifetime; there is something about the lights, the fame and the free alcohol that is pleasantly appealing. With the vast majority of A-list actors (Kevin Costner excluded), these folks are called A-list for a reason as their talents can inspire even the most cynical of us. It leaves the rest of us reaching for dear life to hold on to B-list status. For most, not even that is true but thanks to a three way love affair between Microsoft, Codemasters and Zoe Mode, you can have your minute of fame, although it’ll only be on your TV, so don’t let it get to your head.
The latest family title out of the Microsoft camp is the suitably named, “You’re in the Movies” and thanks to the vision camera, players can now perform little mini-games and eventually seem themselves and their friends get portrayed in some short cheesy B movies. Whilst the concept is simple, the execution on the whole is pretty impressive.
First of all, you’ll need to make sure you have a big enough playing arena with a stable background and go through all the syncing tests to get yourself to stand out for the cutting technique. I’d love to say it worked perfectly, but the truth is, it doesn’t and a slight change of light or shadow can taint what would otherwise be a good experience.
The game will have you going through 4 rounds; either alone or with up to 3 other friends, performing simple, amusing mini tasks which will score you dependent on your performance. The mini games on the whole seemed a tad too easy, but one can imagine that’s to make it accessible for the whole of your family; from your granny, down to your ten year old cousin. In between each round, you’ll be asked to perform a pose that will eventually be used in the final cut but fear not, if you’re stuck on how to perform a certain emotion, as you will be given a visual hint in by the on-screen actor so you’ll never be lost. If you want, you can improvise the hell out of it.
The result of that exercise is a short 3 minute film taking most of your movements from the mini games and poses, and throwing them in to a truly cheesy B-movie-esque trailer. There are 5 genres to choose from; horror, disaster, action, classic and sci-fi; with 6 in each category making up 30 unique films.
I find it a bit off that Microsoft and co. class this as a family game, yet they still require players to play through a few movies to unlock the vast majority of content. So either the choice will be limited to start with when you have friends over or you’ll have to put an hour or so in before they turn up to unlock everything. Hardly ideal.
The movie mode is all well and fun but the novelty value wears off after a while as the general quality of the movies hardly inspires. Thankfully though, there are unattached mini-games that you can jump in to as well and a pretty extensive list too; some will have you karate chopping blocks and others will have you strutting your stuff on the dance floor. Plenty of variation is good, but the mini-game modes suffer the same fate as the movie mode; and that’s that you’ll be left with short term fun that becomes a bit monotonous and too easy after awhile.
A nice little addition for those looking for more of an enriching experience is the Director mode (which again needs to be unlocked by performing 4 unique movies). The director mode is a simplistic mode but one that people could literally spend hours in, as you get a creative license to create your own film. It allows you to use existing footage to put in to a timeline of your own in any order you so please; you can even add your own audio recording over the top, so long as you have a headset. When performing acts to add in to your film, the great thing is that you don’t necessarily need to do what the original actor is doing, so the opportunity for an amusing film can go as far as your imagination can take you. You’re in the Movies also grants you the ability to save and upload these videos (or even the standard ones), so you can share them online as you so please. The quality isn’t great but within minutes you’ll have a download link in the inbox of your Xbox Live linked account ready to share or delete as you so wish.
The achievements are so-so and don’t really require that much time or skill. Most of them are attached to maximum scores on various mini-games which as mentioned, are too easy. The rest are done for completing every scenario in the movie mode (30 in all) and you don’t even need to act well, so all in all, the list falls down where the rest of the game does; lack of depth. You’re looking at 10 hours if you can play through all the movies with 4 players from the off, something which may not be very viable for the vast majority of us.
You’re in the Movies is a neat little party game; it offers plenty of fun in short bursts, however, don’t expect your guests to be amused for long periods of time as the movies and mini games are just slight variations of one another. For one player alone there is an amusing, but fairly bog-standard editing mode and the ability to share films online is always welcomed. After all that though, You’re in the Movies will be taking a backseat to the other more gripping party games this year but hey, it’s good for once a year and everyone loves making a prat of themselves, right? Seems like a big investment though for a title that you’ll really only pull out when the family and friends come round.
Typical, cheesy, over-the-top voice work and general audio but they are meant to be B-movies after all. Nothing to write home about but you'll probably get sick of it after a few hours of play.
Seeing yourself on the big screen is a great ego booster but nothing really screams next generation about the backdrops ... especially when the capture methods detect a change in light (no matter how small) and ruins what was going to be a good visual piece.
Simple to play and great for parties. Something that the whole family can get involved in, especially considering how easy it is. Gameplay becomes a bit monotnous after a while and you'll find yourself getting bored quickly.
30 unique movies, plenty of mini-games, a director mode and a library mode ... That's about it though. Some online modes would have helped prolong the game and open it to a new audience, but without it means that the game will be a flash in the pan.
Standard bunch here and fairly easy. Getting a full 1k may not be possible unless you have 3 other friends willing to sit there and do every scenario with you ... I think not!
You're in the Movies is an interesting idea by Microsoft, Codemasters and Zoe Mode, and the capture method on the whole is solid. It's perfect in short bursts for parties or for family get togethers but other than that, I can't see much of a reason to bust it out any other time. No enough substance for my liking; you just need to weigh up whether the game is worth the purchase for the short few hours you may put in to it.