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Let The World Know With Def Jam Rapstar's Social Side
by Jeff Gerstmann on
The video sharing side of 4mm's latest will let you challenge players around the world.
Much like the game itself, a lot of the things in Rapstar's community side feel like they've been informed by Sony's PlayStation 3 versions of SingStar, which let you save out clips of your performances and post them online for ratings and comments from other users. That aspect of SingStar will be present in Def Jam's game, but it's taking things further with the concept of battling.
You'll be able to challenge other users to battles from the site itself, and these battles essentially put your video from a song up against your opponent's performance. The in-game score is shown, but users will vote for one performer over the other, so it'll be more than just a simple score battle. Battles can go for up to three rounds, with other users commenting on the proceedings along the way. There will also be some regionality to the proceedings, too, with various coasts and other areas battling for online supremacy.
For rights reasons, the game will limit your video clips to 30 seconds, but you'll have tight control over which 30 seconds you upload, and you can also edit the clip further by applying various stickers and other effects to the footage. So if you want everything to have a red tinge and you want to make a totally sick pitbull appear on-screen for a few seconds, that's all within your power. Some of the items you can apply, like a little boombox, will animate. It all looks a little goofy, but if you want to get noticed online, some slick work with the effects seems like it could be a good way to stand out. At the very least, you can use a variety of graphics and effects to make the bedroom you're rapping in look a little less, well, bedroom-y.
It's easy to see the potential of Def Jam Rapstar's community side, especially if you've spent any time digging through Sony's huge library of weird uploaded SingStar videos. I fully expect we'll see puppets, dudes dressed up like Ghostbusters, and everything in between... but this time they'll be dropping rhymes instead of pretending to sing.
I also went through and played a bit of the game myself, performing 2Pac's "I Get Around." The lyric detection seems to be working just fine, which is a huge relief. The way you're scored and how accurate the judging is feels like a make-or-break feature for Rapstar. Additionally, it's worth noting that the game will use radio-friendly versions of songs. For tracks that merely blank out the cursing, this doesn't make any meaningful difference, since you can say whatever you want over the blank spots and it won't have an impact on your score. Songs with altered lyrics, however, expect you to know those words, and you'll get graded down if you spit the real lyrics in those spots. That's a little disappointing, and it'd be nice if the songs secretly knew the explicit sections and could score you appropriately. But that's life under the ESRB, I suppose.
Even with the radio edits firmly in place, it's easy to get excited about 4mm's plans for Rapstar. Def Jam appears to be firmly behind it, and from the sounds of things, everyone involved is taking the idea of regular downloadable content very seriously, to the point where over 400 songs have been cleared for inclusion in the game. With that in mind, it's easy to see how something like Def Jam Rapstar could take up your entire holiday season and then some.