Cheats and Walkthroughs
Karaoke games get a bad rap: sure, there's nothing all that exciting about the concept, and if you're playing it at home alone, it's a little pathetic, but sometimes, when the mood is right, a little drunken caterwauling is good clean fun. Karaoke video games are also versatile: are you and the family feeling a little bored after Thanksgiving dinner? Bust out Karaoke Revolution and you can avoid uncomfortable conversation with Conservative Uncle Carl.
There isn't all that much to say about the basic mechanics of Karaoke Revolution: You pick a song. The words, pitch, and timing scroll, then you grab the mic and go off. So it's the details that make the difference, and from my brief E3 2009 look, this game gets the details right.
Thankfully, the gimmicks of the last Konami-made American Idol singing games are gone in favor of a more stripped down package. Karaoke Revolution will feature 50 master tracks, but the E3 build had 10. Among them: Modern English's "I Melt with You," Rascal Flatts' "What Hurts the Most," Lady Gaga's "Just Dance," The All-American Rejects' "Gives You Hell" and Laura Brannigan's "Love is a Battlefield." In short, something for everyone.
As for the vocal-chords-on part of this preview: I sang Modern English's "I Melt With You" on Expert and was able to boost the multiplier pretty high. My score was comparable to the score of Konami's demo guy. This is not because I'm a good singer. It's because the game is forgiving and I basically know the melody. Being forgiving is awesome in both girlfriends and singing games -- there's nothing worse than too-strict karaoke. The constantly rising multiplier is a great feature because it gives you something to strive for. You might find yourself practicing extra hard in the shower to see if you can break a 100X multiplier in the song.
Of particular interest to me was the competition mode, where you and a friend sing the same song and build up different point levels for your vocal stylings. Nothing like a little friendly competition to get the blood flowing, and trash talking someone because you just out-sung him on Laura Brannigan's "Love is a Battlefield" is so tremendously nerdy it goes right back around to being cool again.
As for the bells and whistles: Karaoke Revolution will feature the ability to customize your character, as well as customizing and sharing venues on the 360 and PS3 versions of the game. Konami is planning on releasing downloadable songs and stage settings on a weekly basis, but Wii players won't get these features. That's a tough break for Wii owners. I don't care about the stage settings but not being able to refresh your song list really takes away from the game. From what I saw, the singing mechanics are solid and identical on all systems, and the graphics are fine.
If you like karaoke and the final selection of songs is to your liking, I can't think of any reason you wouldn't buy this game. Way to not screw up a proven formula, Konami. Karaoke Revolution should be out on the PS3, 360, and Wii by the end of the year.