Karaoke Revolution

Karaoke Revolution

Written by John Yan on 12/16/2003 for PS2  

Are you a karaoke fan? If so, Konami has a game for you. Get a microphone and hook it up to your PlayStation 2 as you get set to sing to your favorite tunes in Karaoke Revolution. Just make sure you’re alone if you have a really bad signing voice.

Karaoke Revolution features several gameplay features that lets you use your singing voice. You can choose from one of eight characters represent you on screen at eight different locations. The game features songs from various artists and various decades with an expansion disc available in the future. To play the game, you have to follow the rhythm and pitch of the song. Lyrics don’t count so you can sing anything you want. The game scores on how close you are to the pitch and rhythm. Substituting Weird Al lyrics yielded no differences. Difficulty levels determine how forgiving the game is so even if you don’t have a really good voice, you can play the game on easy levels and do well.

While the song plays, an arrow on the left side display the level your voice is to the game. As the words scroll by, there are also pitch bars that scroll along with it. A vertical bar lets you know when to sing what as the song passes by. There’ll be moments where you have to hold a note or sing a long section with varying pitches. The closer you are to matching the bar, the more points you score and the more the crowd is into you. You’ll also hear your voice lightly incorporated into the game’s audio. Cough into the microphone at the beginning and you’ll hear it echo out back to you.

And pleasing the crowd is a priority. On screen, you’ll see the crowd react to how well you are doing. The more people around you the better you are. If you’re really doing well the crowd will dance along with you. Your character will also react to how well you are singing. If the character is lively and dancing around on screen, than you know you are act is being successful. Slumping around and moping while singing will show that you’re probably going to be booed off if you don’t pick it up soon.

The characters are simple but nicely modeled and move very well. One of the videos on the game shows you some of the motion capturing they did for the game. Because of this, the characters move very realistically. The environments also have some nice effects and react to how well you do. . If you’re really rocking, some psychedelic effects or pyrotechnics will explode on screen. At certain venues, you’ll see some movements around in the background to make the environment a little livelier.

36 songs are available for your singing pleasure and they are from various genres and time periods. You’ll work your way from the slow and easy Don’t Know Why by Norah Jones to the ultra fast End of the World by R.E.M. With an expansion disk in the works, you can even request the song appear on it by going to the office website. With 36 songs, there should be a few to please most everyone and there’s a good variety of difficulty in songs to sing to.
Using the included Logitech mic, I did have some troubles with the microphone picking up my voice. Even going through the mic setup, there were times it did drop out and the game wasn’t registering my singing. I’m more inclined to believe its hardware based rather than software but I did find the best results resulted when I held the mic to my mouth rather than wear the headset. I do hope some company comes out with a handheld USB mic as it would fit the theme of the game, kind of like having maracas for Samba De Amigo or the dance pad for Dance Dance Revolution.

Karaoke Revolution has various unlockables that can be accessed by scoring enough points to earn either a gold or platinum album. From songs to outfits, you’ll be able to unlock new materials if your singing voice can make the grade. You can play a few hours and unlock everything there once you become accustomed to the nuances of the game.

A ‘career’ mode called Showtime allows you to take an avatar and go through eight different arenas in order to show off your talents and move up in the world. Starting at a local karaoke bar and moving to the big stage, you’ll also unlock the various environments for play after each stage completion in Showtime mode. It won’t take you too long to get through the eight environments. The Showtime mode is rather short and doesn’t really offer anything deep but will keep you entertained for the short time.

Just like other music games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Samba De Amigo, the game is at its best when you are in a group, preferably with alcohol in tow. You can also hold an American Idol like competition with the other participants placing secret votes on how well you do. If the embarrassment of showcasing your horrible voice isn’t bad enough, you can see what others think of your performance on a score based level.

The game comes in two flavors: with or without a microphone. The microphone is a USB microphone that’s by Logitech. If you already have one, you can save yourself $20 by purchasing the game itself. Otherwise the packages are completely the same.

Karaoke Revolution is a unique music game that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser for karaoke lovers. Even those that aren’t singing fans will probably find some fun in this game. You won’t need long to unlock everything there is and the game might even help improve your singing voice. Playing with a group is a blast and a great time can be had that way. There’s nothing too complicated about the game and it’s simple enough for anyone to enjoy.

It's fun at parties and can even help improve your singing. Karaoke Revolution's a unique game that has some fun qualities.

Rating: 8.6 Very Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

I've been reviewing products since 1997 and started out at Gaming Nexus. After writing for a few different sites that went under, it's nice to bring back a site that's not dependent on revenue and just wants to deliver news and reviews of products.

I'm  married, and enjoy first person shooters, sports games, and real time strategy games.


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