The Good, The Bad, and The Bottom Line
The Bad Stuff
- The scoreboard. Admittedly I managed to make it onto it yesterday, but that was probably because the song had only been relseased a day or two before. If you have Xbox Live, you'll get used to seeing the same few names at the top of the rankings and wondering how the flip they managed to get THAT many points. If they're not cheating they're singing gods.
- The game programmers sometimes forget you have to breathe to live, and that casual singers have not worked on breathing techniques. I refer you to Lady Gaga's 'Just Dance' and Fall Out Boy's 'Thnks Fr Th Mmrs'. If you've ever seen live clips of Panic! At The Disco, you'll be aware that sometimes it's simply not possible to sing the album version without taking massive breaths and missing a word or two.
- Sometimes finding the right note can be frustrating. For me it's with tracks like James Morrisons 'Broken Strings' with the switch between vocals. The Frays 'How To Save A Life' verses are frustrating, as are the dips in the verses of Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' (personally I'm quite sure his voice doesn't dip that far).
- You can use 'freestyle' mode to play your own songs. There are, however, no lyrics and no particular scoring system. As someone so eloquently said on GameSpot Forums:
The Good-Bad Stuff
THERE IS NO SCORING SYSTEM ON FREESTYLE WITH YOUR OWN MUSIC. AS LONG AS THERE IS A SOUND GOING IN, YOU WILL GET POINTS FOR IT.
HELL, FART INTO THE MIC FOR 3 MINS, AND YOULL BE A KARAOKE GOD, ACCORDING TO MS!
The Good Stuff
- The voice recognition. It works a treat, and even though it's open to abuse the ease of use is perfect if you're not looking for anything too taxing. I'm looking at you, SingStar.
- It has fun two player games. A moot point if you're a soloist (or, like me, you have friends who can't comprehend what 'tip the mic up' means) but for the social singer or the party-goer this is fantastic.
- Song Add-Ons. I'll leave you to decide if they're worth the Microsoft points, but it's easy to search through the catalogue and find any you want.
- The Microphones light up. Not just one colour, but many. Pretty: as is the whole game.
The Bottom Line
It's a pleasant game if you're looking for some fun. It's got the same easy-going, laid-back, easy-to-use feel most Microsoft games seem to carry. Just please don't try farting into the mic for three minutes...