|Karaoke Revolution Party (2005)
Available for: PlayStation 2, Xbox
It’s nothing short of impressive to see that the “Karaoke Revolution” series has lasted this long. After all, so many music-related games and/or games that require extra hardware often fall by the wayside. Only the “Dance Dance Revolution” series has gone on longer thus far. But hey, the whole karaoke craze tends to translate well into a competitive game, and this is where “Karaoke Revolution" excelled. Where it has fallen short is often in its song selection. Many of the series’ past titles have shared a number of the same old songs.
However with the latest entry, “Karaoke Revolution Party,” all this has changed. You won’t be singing “Beat It” yet again, even though that one was pretty easy to rip through. Nope, this time you get some 50 tracks to tear up your windpipes on, including such chestnuts as “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Uptown Girl,” “Who Can It Be Now,” “The Game of Love,” “What I Like About You,” and a bunch of others. It’s a pretty decent mix, but for those of us who really don’t key in to all the disposable current pop and rock hits that come down the line, there are still a few too many tracks here that just don’t get played much. But hey, “Karaoke Revolution” has always been about catering to everyone as much as possible.
This time around, all the arenas are already unlocked. More songs are unlockable by winning gold and platinum albums for your performances. Players can also design their own characters as well, either by using the models already included, or by hooking up the Eye Toy peripheral and putting their own faces into the game. What’s more, you can also hook up your “Dance Dance Revolution” dance pads into “Karaoke Revolution Party” and play a new segment of the game where you sing and dance at the same time.
And that’s where this game just goes a little too far. Some folks may want that complete “American Idol” type of experience, but really, there has always seem to be a pretty broad line between “DDR” and “Karaoke Revolution” players, and mixing the two experiences just isn’t that fun in either idea or execution. If I want to sing and dance, I’ll do it in my bedroom in front of my mirror with the door closed and the stereo blasting away.
Also of little note is the inclusion of a couple mini games. In these, you use your voice to move objects around on the screen, and this just isn’t much fun either. You’ll try this option maybe once or twice and then forget all about it pretty fast. It’s as if Konami is trying to gather too many disparate groups of gamers in to sing a little karaoke. Hey, you’re either into it or you’re not. You’d never catch Scorpion or Sub-Zero with a mic in their hands singing “Brick House.” You get the idea.
Still, the karaoke portion is solid. You still get to do duets as on the last “Karaoke Revolution” game, or you can battle it out. The harder levels are still ridiculous to come close to being good at if you’re just an average Joe singer, but there’s enough good times packed in here for pretty much everyone. The only complaint I still have with this series is that Konami should come out with decade or genre-specific song discs instead of cranking out a whole new game each time around. I have a feeling that even more people would get into playing this game if that were the case. But since it’s not, “Karaoke Revolution” certainly ranks as the best out of the series on song content alone. Just don’t count on playing all that extra fluff that’s included.