There are some things we simply will not do in public – they just go against our nature. First on that list is dancing, we don’t dance in public. It’s not that we don’t appreciate good dancing, it’s quite the opposite in fact – we do appreciate good dancing and know that what we do isn’t close to good. One other thing we won’t do in public, handstands. We won’t do those in private either, and that more has to do with the potential to cause grievous bodily harm to ourselves and others than anything else. Our list extends beyond those two however, with things like wearing a hat in a restaurant, eating a Bhut Jolokia pepper, and saying a bad word about TiVo all appearing on it.
Somewhere on that list resides “singing” as well. We love to sing, we do it in the shower, in the car, and just about anywhere else that no one can hear us. We simply don’t do it in public because people tend to wince and stick their fingers in their ears when we do. Oh, we get where they’re coming from and they’re not wrong – we may love to sing, but we’re no good at it whatsoever.
It was therefore with some slight trepidation that we parked ourselves in front of Karaoke Revolution: Glee at Konami’s Gamers’ Day. We have played other Karaoke Revolution titles in the past and quite enjoyed them, but we’ve never done so in public. Our rule remained in full effect at Gamers’ Day, something which saddened us, but we still took a moment to familiarize ourselves with the game and to listen to others belt out songs rather, well, gleefully.
The first thing anyone should know about this version of Karaoke Revolution is that it’s a Wii-only title. Yes, we’ve seen PS3 and Xbox 360 get other entries in the franchise, but apparently not this time out – if you want to sing Glee, you’re gonna to need a Wii (Dear Nintendo and Konami, feel free to use that as a slogan. No charge.).
The game itself is divided into several sections: Quickplay, Shooting Star, Video Shuffle, and Scrapbook. It was this last one that was on display, and from the Scrapbook menu there were several different characters we could choose… or, there will be in the final game, the only one available in the demo was Amber Riley’s Mercedes Jones. After selecting her, a whole bunch of song choices, including medleys, appeared (do we need to say that they were from Glee?), and once one of those was chosen the fun began.
During the actual karaoke singing, the bottom of the screen carries the traditional Karaoke Revolution lyrics and notes, letting one see where they are and how the song should be sung. The background, rather than being an avatar on a stage rocking out to the music, was the Glee cast singing the song as they did on the show. The video quality itself wasn’t outstanding, appearing something like a streaming show on Netflix – it wasn’t bad, but there were definite compression artifacts. Sing well and cute little icons appear on the screen in addition to your points going up. Sing badly and you’re liable to get the two-fingered “L” symbol or a slushie instead. It was all very Glee oriented and amusing.
Those who were willing to show off their singing voices in public seemed to have a great time playing. We even found ourselves quietly, under our breath, doing slightly more than just mouthing the words (although we’ll deny we said that till our dying day).
As a television show, Glee did a good job in its first season of selecting a relatively eclectic mix of music, which means that there will be a pretty good variety of songs from which to choose in the title. However, we are only looking at up to 35 songs in the game (the last Karaoke Revolution title released on the Wii had 50). Whether that makes it feel a little bit limited or if the overall fun of the Glee experience wins out is something we won’t know until we review the finished work. Stay tuned, Gleeks!