Karaoke Revolution

The original Western Karaoke Revolution series of games was developed by Harmonix, who later went on to create Guitar Hero and Rock Band. This incarnation of Karaoke Revolution, however, has been unleashed on us courtesy of Blitz Games. The two previous Karaoke Revolution titles they developed (American Idol and American Idol Encore) didn’t make it to this side of the pond. This one did, albeit only on the PS3.

Gameplay sticks to the original formula of Karaoke Revolution that has since been emulated in both Rock Band and Guitar Hero. A piano roll displays the notes you have to hit, and each song is separated into ‘phrases’ – like SingStar and Lips, only scrolling. Multipliers are achieved by chaining phrases to get ‘star boosts’ and are not capped, meaning you can really rake in a high score if you’re on a roll.

The game does have quite an extensive track list made up of 75 songs. This includes many exclusives which are, at the time of writing, otherwise unavailable on other instrument or karaoke music games ranging from ‘90s Eurodisco like Gala’s Freed From Desire to Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. The spread of genres and decades makes for a great selection of songs with something for everyone. There are also quite a surprising number of foreign language songs to choose from too.

Music videos are present, but only if you have your stage set up to display them. It would have been a nice option to be able to choose to play in either avatar or video mode – or even switch on-the-fly.

Karaoke Revolution’s online store has a reasonable amount of songs considering the amount of time it’s been out. Only… they’re all covers. SingStar has never had this problem, and other music games like the Guitar Hero series sorted this issue out years ago.

Aside from the expected Quick, Duet, Custom Jukebox and Party modes there are Career and Online modes. Both are a little barebones. The Career mode has a series of challenges allowing you to complete the missing segments of a record but features no overarching story, although unlockables may keep you drudging through it. The Online mode leaves all choices in the hands of the host, so you may be at a loss if you aren’t playing with a friend.

The Create modes allow you to customise the avatars you play with, the venues you play in and set up custom playlists. The venue creator lets you deck out a stage as you see fit. If you choose to put screens on your stage you can project visualisations, music videos or even what your PlayStation Eye sees. You can add many stage furnishings, lighting and even manipulate the game’s camera with visual effects to make the screen look like a grainy old movie, or even Super 8 film.

The avatar creation system seen in Karaoke Revolution is much more extensive than Rock Band’s. All the ways to customise your avatar that you’ve seen before and more are on offer. The ever-politically-correct ‘race triangle’ (you know, like the ones you see on job forms… er…) assists you in choosing your avatar’s ethnicity. There are quite a lot of unnecessary options to play with, from deciding how asymmetrical you want your avatar’s ears or eyes to be, to how much you rotate their nose or mouth. You can give them bad teeth, an underbite and age them to be a wrinkly old person… if you are so inclined. Much like the way in which the PlayStation Home avatar creator makes you look like you’re straight out of a GAP ad, these ones can’t help but make you look ghoulish somehow.

It’s worth taking note that if you are thinking of buying the Solus version of the game, think again. SingStar mics aren’t fully supported. Whether you’re using the wired or wireless versions, you will have trouble getting the game to hear you even if the gain is set to max. The only way I could get it to work with the SingStar mics was by screaming my lungs out whilst attempting to hit the right notes. This does not work. If you choose to buy Karaoke Revolution, buy the version that comes with the official mics.







One response to “Karaoke Revolution”

  1. Interracial Teens avatar

    Hey, I hope you have a good day! Very good article, well written and very thought out. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

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