Youtuber’s Life 2 Review (PS4)
If only it was this easy *cries in 0 views*
Available on: PS4/Steam/Consoles
Genre: Life Sim
Publisher: Raiser Games
Being a sequel to the first Youtuber’s Life, you don’t really have to play the first game. Though, it does play into the story here. It turns out your character in the sequel, Youtuber’s Life 2, was playing the first game on their computer and got to the very end (I’m calling it, Youtuber’s Life 3 will have Youtuber’s Life 2 be a dream). You suddenly get a message from someone named Xavier who reveals that Youtuber’s Life was a social experiment to find promising future Youtubers (or Newtubers as they quickly switch to). You’re then moved to Newtube City, where only Newtubers live, where you can cultivate your new channel and get to the top of the ranking board. And well, you quickly gain subscribers and climb the ranks (which, definitely wouldn’t happen haha), with your first goal going to Play-con (a conference for the consoles that are supposed to be Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo) and getting to 10,000 subs in 25 days.
This time around, instead of starting out from your family home as a teenager who still needs to study for school, you start out with just needing to grow your channel. Luckily, you are gifted with your very own drone bot that follows you around, which gives you an easy way to take pictures and record vlogs, an editing station, and a gaming corner station to start out. While in the first game it was focused on staying inside, this one puts a lot of focus going outside as well.
First of all, making videos (mainly gaming or about gaming) and editing those videos. The minigame for these seems to be the same as the first. After selecting a video type (which I’m not sure how to unlock), you’ll go to your character recording and a fill-in prompt. You then select a reaction card out of the ones in your hand, which seems to either appeal or not appeal to these emojis on top (which I’m guessing is supposed to represent how you present yourself or if you hit those viewer types?), though for some reason some clips will get corrupted. You can then see how well you did on your video, with the Recording being based on how many emojis you filled up, and how many trends (and the ranking of those trends) you hit. And then editing is basically connecting these clips with the nodes on the sides. Each clip has a number value, which seems to be the render points it requires (which you start with 8) and later on you can unlock effects which will take up more render points (which will require you to upgrade your computer). And then adding your title by either adding your own, doing a random one, or a clickbait one (which affect your subscriber morale, whatever that is supposed to mean), and just watch how many initial likes/dislikes it gets and how many viewers/subs/money you get from it in the next couple days.
I was not able to get this far, but I also heard that once you level up in making a specific video type, it becomes harder to fill up the emojis and thus harder to reach stars. Which, doesn’t really make sense. Leveling up implies that you’re getting better at making those videos, not worse.
Most of your time will most likely be spent outside. There are three neighborhoods, which you choose which to live in when starting out, with different stores, people, and landmarks. There are various NPCs you can talk to and befriend (which have friend quests if you get far enough) as well as these spots where you can have your drone record you doing a vlog, an interview with someone, or on rare occasions a livestream (which takes energy as it goes on and is basically a rhythm game without the music). You’ll also be travelling here when you take on commissions to get fast money outside of making videos, however it’s basically the same “deliver this package” and “take a photo with this trend attached”. However, it doesn’t compare to the most important aspect that Youtuber’s Life 2 introduces: trends (or hashtags). As you’re walking around, hashtags will even pop up for buildings, landmarks, and events. Everyday will have different trends, which you need to try and hit to get the most views on your content. This may be on a specific game, but this can be on events or random things like cats. And this leads to the other new addition…
Instalife (or Instagram) which you can take a photo almost anytime and post it and you do get some poses so you’re not just standing there. This is an easy way to hit those trends as taking a picture by something that will have the trending topic will be attached to the photo (though I found this to be finicky at times, needing you at a specific angle as it sometimes won’t detect it even though its right there). Sometimes you’ll have to check Instalife for other’s posts to see where you can capture an event trend. This is also a way to capturing trends that stick to you (unless you need to participate in the event), which will then attach to the next video you make in the same day (it’ll disappear the next day) as you presumably talk about it in the video. There is a lot of focus put on Instalife and trends, so if you don’t want to bother with this I wouldn’t recommend picking this up.
The time feels like it goes by too fast as well. Around 8 seconds equals 15 minutes in-game from what I can tell, which doesn’t give you much wiggle room. As you can’t really have the map out while running or have a GPS-like guiding system, not knowing where you need to go can really eat up your time. And some people have expressed that some quests won’t tell you where to go when you’re being asked to get something for a character. At least for me, it discouraged me from really exploring or talking to anyone. I understand wanting days to feel snappy, but it feels like you need to rush through to get anything meaningful done. Especially considering you need to upgrade your drone to take photos or record outside past 7pm. Getting a scooter license will let you travel faster when you get one from one of those scooter stations, but it doesn’t do much to help with this feeling.
Every action will take Energy, which you run out of quickly. I’m guessing this was to combat how in the first game you can basically skip needing to sleep or eat, but it does get annoying when you can barely do anything. The only way to refill it without going to sleep is to eat, but you’re out of luck if you’re too far away from a restaurant as it’ll take in-game hours to walk there or if it’s after their closing hours (unless you stocked up beforehand) as you can’t get delivery (at least not as far as I got to). You’re not really told this unless you happen to talk to the NPC in the gym, but you can increase it by exercising, but I’m not even sure it made a difference or if you’re supposed to do it multiple times before it increases.
Sadly for those that wanted a non-gaming channel, like the first game, you’ll be disappointed. While technically you have the option to do commenting, vlogs, and interview videos (which gives you an easy way to hit the sticking trends as I’m pretty sure they take up less energy than doing a gaming video), this is mainly focused on a gaming channel. And in fact, everything is focused on console gaming. For a game where one of the selling points it has is being able to customize everything, you can’t customize your channel. And it would have been the perfect opportunity to add ASMR and mukbang channel types (I would also say V-tuber too, but you don’t have much money starting out unless it’s one where you use a cheap-o version until you can afford a more professional one) as well.
I’m sure everyone knows that this game’s main selling point was that it was getting real Youtubers. It seems like they’re ingrained within the story, or side quests which gives you mini-story segments. You meet Pewdiepie first, due to a game going around which the local game store doesn’t sell and a lot of other Newtubers are posting the same message about. Looking like it steals your account, you choose to investigate it, which turns out to be really shady. For some reason, you have to get approval from a famous Newtuber (which why they don’t just give it to everyone seeking them when they just offer you 100 coins to spam it is beyond me). And that famous Newtuber is Pewdiepie, who you team up to bring them down. This doesn’t turn into a game that steals your account, but just a really bad game that put most of its budget into having Newtubers spam it everywhere enough for it to trend and you expose those behind it.
Granted, I couldn’t get very far, only met Pewdiepie, but I wouldn’t really get this game just because it has real Youtubers appearing. I was mainly interested in the game, I only really knew Pewdiepie from the listed real Youtubers, as you will still need to like the gameplay. I can’t say how much they’ll actually matter in the game, but the story/main side quests seems to be written in a way that meeting these real Youtubers and having them help in some way is tied to your progression (so if you hoped you didn’t have to interact with them, you will) and I’m sure they’re supposed to be popping up in the Play-con. But in terms of collaborating with them? Again, I’m not sure how it’ll be further in, but it seems to be only with taking photos with them and them awkwardly standing behind you while you make a video. I guess you can just ignore them, but you’ll also be missing out on new Reaction Cards and having something happen in the world. I’m not sure what was sacrificed to be able to use these real Youtuber’s likeness, but at the least non-gaming channels were taken out (as all of them are/were gaming channels). I almost wish this stuck to just fake in-game ones.
Aside from this, the game suffers from bugs. In my couple hours I got to play, I encountered multiple bugs, two crashes (when loading a save and when the game seemingly autosaves at the end of the day), and the save file corrupted. Which basically put me back to the beginning of the game and just… no thanks. The saves shouldn’t be corrupting and I would not want to risk it corrupting again. I never had a console game corrupt on me before now, and while my PS4 seems fine right now, I wouldn’t want to risk it a second time.
This could also do with some improvements as well. Have a better tutorial. What does the emoji’s when recording mean? Why does a clip corrupt? What does the clickbait titles do and what does the emojis on those mean? What’s the consequence of eating unhealthy food? If food has a numerical value of Energy it restores, why is there no way to see the numerical value of your current Energy/max Energy? Maybe have the character names show up on the map (you can look at your contacts to see where they work at though). And lets have some non-gaming channels. I was excited to have a (fake) cooking channel and was quite disappointed when it wasn’t here. It also seems like there isn’t a different script for interview videos (as it’s like the default vlogging ones where suddenly there’s a ghost or a hater comment) and it seems some events aren’t trending like it would be (there were car crashes in multiple places one day in the city where you can interview firefights and for some reason it wasn’t a trending topic). I also felt like the day past too fast, which discourages you from doing anything other than hitting up the trends or whatever as there isn’t time to explore and socialize to build friendships. I would also say the initial goal of 10,000 before Playcon on the 25th also seems like an unrealistic goal, but I couldn’t get that far.
Originally, I was thinking of giving this an average, hesitant recommend as I was still around the beginning of the game and while it was boring, there was some aspects that I was enjoying and it was a good game to catch up to podcasts to, but now? I’m sorry, but I can’t recommend Youtuber’s Life 2. For a $40 game, I have better expectations than a game that has jittering/stuttering issues, doesn’t let you at least have different types of channels like the previous game, and where you’re gambling on the game crashing when loading/saving and if your save will be corrupted. I wouldn’t want to pay $40 on a game where the saves corrupt and I wouldn’t want anyone else to.