Developer: Nordic Games
Here we go again. We've got a lot of love for Nordic Games, hell, we'll doff our caps to any independent company willing to mix it up with the major publishers on their home turf and support the Wii in the process. But while they've been making great strides in the dance genre, their platinum-selling We Sing franchise has begun to stagnate over these last few months. After the extremely solid yet breathtakingly formulaic We Sing: UK Hits released last month, another iteration has launched just in time for Christmas; boasting the same engine, a couple of incremental upgrades and a new setlist. You'd be forgiven for tuning out and surfing elsewhere... but keep your URL firmly where it is, because there's a twist in the tale.
We Sing: Rock! has locked down one of the best karaoke track lists I've ever seen. This is going to get interesting.
The We Sing framework is instantly accessible, honed throughout the last couple of years into a slick interface, intuitive menus and a bevy of modes. Solo performers can learn the tricks of the trade in the singing lessons, but the meat of the experience is to be found in the four-player multiplayer that lets a group of friends belt out their favourite tracks while watching the official music videos in the background. Pitch detection mechanics still work very well indeed, and the tried-and-tested singalong format allows you to keep your performance in tune in real-time. Replays, performance stats, leaderboards and unlockable awards all provide a little extra value. It's nothing new, but We Sing: Rock! is everything you could want from a karaoke game - good clean fun with no messing around.
By far our favourite new feature is the ability to add various effects to your voice, which can be listened to during replays. If you've ever fantasised about singing in a cathedral... or like a robot... you'll probably get a kick out of it.
A music game lives or dies on the strength of its setlist, and as mentioned, We Sing: Rock! does the business. Its forty varied tracks include classic rock mainstays like Mortorhead's Ace Of Spades, Poison by Alice Cooper and the eminently vamp-worthy All Right Now from Free - as well as newer and immensely enjoyable tub-thumping pub anthems. Growling out Kasabian's Underdog, giving the diaphragm a workout with Take Me Out or breathily grinding through The Prayer is a great change of pace from the usual preppy pop rubbish that tends to infest the genre. Cheese is aptly delivered by Limp Bizkit, Europe and The Offspring. Critically, every track is unique and great fun to sing, making it one of the most impressive song selections to have featured in a music game. Check out the full list here.
Admittedly, there are a couple of strange inclusions that seem to pander to "that guy/gal." You know the one. The wallflower at the party who doesn't want to get involved because they don't like the tracks or genre. Or, just as likely, Nordic Games secured a couple of tenuous distribution rights and figured that they'd stick them in anyway. KT Tunstall has no business here. Likewise, Sheryl Crow, Coldplay and Elvis' Suspicious Minds should have made way for some more hair metal.
But we have to take games as they come, and We Sing: Rock! provides a truly brilliant and inclusive selection. There's something for every taste and every vocal range - so long as you're willing to lose your inhibitions and belt them out the way there were intended.
All of this adds up to a seriously enjoyable, dependable and eminently affordable Wii exclusive that's perfectly timed for the holiday season's family get-togethers and drunken nights in. The We Sing franchise will soon have to innovate in order to stay relevant, but for now, there's a lot to like in this unassuming little package.
- Great tunes
- Easy setup
- Seriously, what more could you want?
- KT Tunstall
- Where does We Sing go from here?
The Short Version: We Sing: Rock! is everything you could want from a Wii karaoke game: a great setlist and an accessible infrastructure honed from years of practice. If you're up for belting out some brilliant tracks this Christmas, Nordic Games has delivered.