The life of a Youtube star must be a perpetually stressful one. Between stifling the steady loss of viewership, engaging constantly with strangers on social media, going to events, and actually creating content, it’s a lot of work. Not to mention the constant need to get that next big payout. Youtubers Life 2 encompasses this hectic lifestyle perfectly – but does that make it a fun game?
One Step Forward, How Many Steps Back?
First off, players of the first game, aptly named Youtubers Life, will not exactly be right at home here. These games may share some similarities, but there are mountains of changes and additions here that more or less make its progenitor more of a distant relative – like a fourth cousin. If being a part of a recluse simulation was your idea of a good time, then Youtubers Life 2 might swing hard, but it might miss.
Despite their differences, Youtubers Life 2 is a sequel to Youtubers Life – albeit a rather strange continuation. The story starts…interesting, then devolves into actual madness as famous IRL (that the lingo nowadays?) Youtubers pop by to discuss the intricacies of the Metaverse or something. It’s shoehorned fluff at best, and honestly, I stopped paying attention almost immediately. The worst part is the Youtubers who make cameos don’t actually feel like the personalities they are portraying. It felt like an especially vacuous inclusion.
Story aside though, Youtubers Life 2 does have a fair amount to offer in terms of gameplay. It’s just a shame it’s all incredibly grindy in the worst possible way. The core gameplay from the original is still here – make videos by answering questions and splicing together clips. Those videos then earn you money, and you spend that money on upgrading equipment, or your living situation – rinse and repeat. This kind of loop can be incredibly addictive, heck, it was addictive last time around.
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Where Youtuber Life 2 goes wrong is with all the added content that bogs down the game in some obvious, and some not-so-obvious ways. My biggest gripe is the pointless inclusion of an open world. Whilst not empty, it is far from interesting. There are shops to peruse and people to natter too, but it’s all locked behind loading screens that are a bit too long, and far too frequent to be ignored. I am not exaggerating when I say a simple menu would have been preferable.
Alas, going outside is something you must do, and if you do it at certain times, you can find and complete quests, attend events, uncover new hashtags, and snap some groovy pictures to pad out your “Instalife” profile. You can also pick up Commissions, which will be your bread and butter for generating cash early on. There is a lot to do, but finding it is a mess, and honestly, most of it isn’t really worth it.
On Switch, the game looks ok. It looks like someone accidentally poured vaseline onto the screen when in handheld mode, but the chibi-ish art style has a charm to it, and the vapid community has a thematically appropriate sterileness to it all. If it didn’t load so damn much, it would have been alright. Musically the game is a dream – by which I mean it’s instantly forgettable once you look away from the screen. It exists, I assume it was passable, I just can’t recall a single note.
Youtubers Life 2 isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just bloated – like a waterlogged corpse. They’ve clearly done a lot to expand the winning formula of the original, but that expansion hasn’t really improved upon the foundation – it’s just warped it a bit. I simply couldn’t get into the grind, so I was left feeling rather bored.
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