Karaoke Revolution Preview
Konami may have been one of the original pioneers in the explosive music genre, but they’ve since taken a backseat to the likes of Harmonix and Neversoft (and publishers Activision and MTV Games). However, that doesn’t mean they won’t continue to make contributions to the ever-growing category in question, which is why Karaoke Revolution will be coming your way later this year. Following in the footsteps of SingStar, and of course, previous karaoke games released by Konami, Revolution should be the most polished and accomplished title yet. By now, the fans are familiar with the idea that once sounded alien; you simply pick up a surprisingly heavy plastic microphone and sing your fool head off. All you have to do is match the corresponding prompts on the screen in front of you, and you had best hope your pitch doesn’t waver. Well, it probably will, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun, right? Karaoke Revolution should be the quintessential party game.
We figure you haven’t been living under a rock, so we won’t explain the “gameplay” (if that’s what we can still call it) in great detail. Take a look at the screenshots above if you need a little hint, but for the most part, it’s all about matching the words, volume and pitch. On the screen, you will receive the appropriate directions and you simply have to respond with your best impression of your favorite celebrity singer. This brings us to the first change that will be exhibited in this new Revolution iteration: according to the recent IGN hands-on session, you will have the ability to silence the real singer’s vocals if you so desire. Basically, all you’ll hear is the background music and your own pathetic attempt at emulation…but then again, that might be exactly what you’re seeking. Besides, we can see this acting as a decent training method; a lot of people can match the pitch of other singers but few can actually strike those notes on their own. And because you can alter the volume of the track itself, you can really bring your own singing to the forefront. You know, if that’s something you really want to do.
The game will feature no less than 50 master tracks, including songs like “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects and “What Hurts the Most” by Rascal Flatts. There should be plenty of variety and diversity in the selection, so you’ll be able to sing your heart out in any number of ways. But perhaps the most appealing part of this new karaoke game is the ability to customize…well, just about everything. Not only will you be able to change your character’s appearance, ranging from facial hair to body tone, but you’ll even be able to build your own special venues! We’re not entirely sure if you’ll be able to build a venue from the ground up, but you’ll certainly have all kinds of control and decorating decisions are definitely yours. You can save up to six original creations in addition to the preset ones that come with the game, so if you’ve always wanted to design your own stage and backdrops, you’ll get your opportunity. Heck, with this option, some people may spend more time building than singing! It ought to be rewarding the whole way ‘round if you really get absorbed in the whole experience.
To enhance this personal feeling even more, you’ll be able to take your creations online and share them with other players (provided you’re playing on either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360; the Wii won’t support this feature). You’ll even be able to take the original music video from a particular artist and have it play on TV screens on your own freshly created venue. You will also have the option of a live feed via the PlayStation Eye or Xbox Vision camera, and offline, you can involve up to 16 players in the singing entertainment. As we said at the start, games like these really are designed for multiple music enthusiasts at once, although we imagine that big fans will certainly enjoy the rousing and in-depth single-player career. Blitz Games may have a winner here, but if it launches in November as estimated, it will have to go up against the big boys; Guitar Hero 5 is only one of many that are headed our way later this year. However, none of ‘em focus expressly on the timeless art of karaoke, so perhaps Karaoke Revolution will have a place on store shelves and make its mark.
Just be wary if you live in an apartment or condo complex, or something; this probably isn’t the game to play at 2 a.m. Have some respect for people who have to work in the morning!
6/22/2009 Ben Dutka