Dealspwn Rating: 5/10
You almost have to admire Konami’s bold naming strategy here. Karaoke Revolution? Surely this then will be the domestic singing title to turn the market on its head and give the punters what they want? Which is, of course, the chance to grab a microphone and sing famous songs, either solo or with their friends. Unlike other karaoke titles which have allowed punters to, er, grab a microphone and sing famous songs, either solo or with their friends... Oh. Right. Yes.
If you’re anticipating more of the usual then, you won’t be disappointed and, to be fair, on that level, Karaoke Revolution does the job.
It might do it via a blandly ugly interface, but it’s not without its positives. There’s a decent song selection: 75, in fact, before you go online for any additional content. Game play is moderately varied, with the usual karaoke aspect bolstered by a career mode (of sorts), multiplayer elements – up to 16 – and the chance to customise your singing avatar or the venues in which they’re performing.
This particular game is also compatible with the PlayStation Eye which means you can watch and hear yourself looking and sounding like an idiot, a privilege usually left for your karaoke-ing mates and your neighbours.
Song variety is pretty impressive. It’s not just 75 screeching chart hits for the young folk, although the likes of Katy Perry, La Roux, Lady Gaga, Pink and Kings of Leon do feature heavily (the latter a particular challenge for anyone with a full working larynx).
However, they rub shoulders with the likes of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, a-Ha’s The Sun Always Shines on TV – both of which feature surprise falsetto moments, which older gentlemen may wish to remember before they confidently grab the mic – and yet older classics such as Space Oddity. Younger family members are also catered for with the addition of Miley Cyrus. Even the tone deaf can participate and probably hit fewer flat notes than Lily Allen did with Smile. On that score, it’s a crowd pleaser and, at under £30, a pretty solid bet that will see you through a few party nights. Wii owners should note that it’s also considerably superior to the We Sing.
Other pluses... Unlike other recent games (yes, We Sing, we do mean you. Again.) the challenge aspect actually rewards good singing. Blowing on the microphone won’t score you “perfect!” comments; you do actually have to hit notes and get your timing right.
The character and venue creation aspects are also good. Konami clearly spent more time on this side of the game than the main menus which we shall charitably call functional and move on. You can vary existing characters with ease, or have surprising amounts of fun creating, for example, your own, middle-aged, chunky, bald, beardy journalist-turned-rock god.
Sadly, the in-game behaviour of your creation doesn’t match the levels of creativity you can put in. When compared to the spot on mouth movements of, for example, Lego Rock Band, the Zippy-esque open mouth / close mouth animation doesn’t really cut the mustard.
There are less complaints, however, with the venue creation mode which, while simple and limited, is effectively handled, a neat interface allowing you to change speaker rigs, stage set-ups, lighting effects, etc.
As you’d probably expect, career mode allows you to unlock more character and stage design components. The tone deaf needn’t panic. The career mode isn’t based on improving your singing ability – which makes it quite realistic, I suppose – but completing odd challenges which will earn you bits of a record. Which, for you under-40s, is those big black vinyl CDs your parents have...
The venue creation and Eye interface, are neat additions for sure, but don’t really count as the “revolution” boasted of in the title. Then again, Karaoke Same Old Same Old probably wouldn’t get Marketing’s approval, would it?
- Decent song selection for all the family
- A scoring system that actually rewards decent singers
- The venue creation mode
- It’s all been done before and, despite the title, adds nothing new to the genre
- Those boring menu layouts
- Disappointing character animation
The Short version: For what it is, Karaoke Revolution isn’t actually bad. Those expecting a gaming challenge won’t find anything they haven’t seen before, but if you’re looking for a disc that will turn your console into a karaoke machine – and for under 30 quid – and a bit extra, you could certainly do a lot worse.