The realization that I cannot sing was harsh for me to comprehend. Belting along with the tunes in my car with the stereo cranked just loud enough to drown me out gave me a false aspiration that I had rhythm. Alas Karaoke Revolution comes along and smacks me directly in the face, reminding me why I write about games instead of being a lead vocalist. What fun can be had by all though with Konami’s latest Bemani game. Using the greatest instrument of all, your voice, as a videogame is pure genius and addictive as hell. Finally Americans will see why the karaoke craze is still rampant in the East, unfortunately we can now see why we do not do it in public.
For anyone familiar with Konami’s Bemani games you will know that Karaoke Revolution is based on timing. Hitting the right notes for the exact amount of time will create combos. What does set it apart though is that it actually judges pitch. So you cannot be singing with a deep voice or else the audience will boo you off stage before you reach the first chorus. The game comes packed with a USB headset that is identical to the SOCOM one except for the Konami logo on it. Plug it into one of the USB ports and you are ready to begin embarrasing yourself for hours. You can adjust the level of judging from easy to flat out harsh. If you complete a set of lyrics in the correct pitch and timing you will earn a great thus creating a combo which can be strung throughout the entire song.
The list of songs is impressive but at the same time I wish there were more here. Once you play through them all a few times they tend to get stale. Konami spared no expense when acquiring the songs however, everyone from Hoobastank to Michael Jackson make an appearance. Think you can sing along with the king of pop? What is odd however is that the game has no idea if you are singing the correct lyrics, so in essence you could simply make them up as long as you stay in pitch and rhythm. The songs are not sung by the original artist, but some of them are so damn close you would be hard pressed to tell a difference. There are tons of setting to adjust to your liking as well, you can turn up your mic volume, shut off the voices in each song, and even have your voice belting out of your home entertainment system. Make sure your neighbors can’t hear you, I can vouch for some awful sounds coming from within some of ZTGD’s sessions.
This brings me to the modes of play, there are plenty to keep you occupied for a while. The meat of the game will have you trying to become a pop superstar by passing certain venues. This will open up new stages to sing on as well as clothing items for your character. However the bulk of the game is best played with friends. The multi-player mode will pit you with up to seven friends in a sing-off of sorts. Each player can choose a song or go with the ZTGD method and just play random. There is nothing like hearing Gambus Kahn howl out the words to “When a Man Loves a Woman”. This is certainly a game that will keep the party going and even entertain your non-gaming friends.
Karaoke Revolution is a damn fine piece of technology that has limitless fun factor within it’s cardboard case. The promise of expansion packs for the future, and the endless satisfaction you get by watching your friends make complete asses of themselves is more than worth it’s price tag. Fans of Konami’s other games will certainly find plenty to like about this game, but in the end it is certainly not for the single player gamers. If you have plenty of friends and enjoy watching them make fools of themselves, by all means pick this one up. Otherwise you may find more amusement in something else on the shelf. Recommended for party gamers!