Friday, November 11, 2005

Karaoke Revolution Partaaay

Well, it has been a busy week for Harmonix. In addition to the apparently excellent Guitar Hero, they've come out with the also pretty good Karaoke Revolution Party. As you may have heard, ihd went out and bought this the other day. It is pretty good.

There is nothing revolutionary about this, the 4th Karaoke Revolution. Rather, it's sort of a streamlined, polished roundup of the previous three games. All the menus have been redone and they are a lot cleaner and easier to navigate. Instead of playing that annoying song with the camera shutter noises, it plays a random song from the song list over the menus. This is more refreshing than you might expect. It's got an astounding 40-some songs to choose from, with a few returning from previous installments.

I think that the people at Harmonix finally realized that nobody sits at home by theirselves and plays Karaoke Revolution. Thus, they have removed the Arcade / Career mode. This mode was retarded, because in previous games, it was the only way to unlock new songs, etc. Now, there is a handy list available in game of what you have unlocked, what you have to do to unlock new things, and all that jazzy stuff.

There is much ado about the Dance Pad support. Basically now you can play DDR and Karaoke Revolution at the same time! This is a really crappy mode and is about as lame as you are probably imagining it to be.

The game also supports the EyeToy, which is where the fun comes in. First, there's "EyeToy Theatre," which is a venue in the game which basically just puts the output of the EyeToy on the TV screen. Now you are looking in the mirror while making a fool out of yourself. Also, your audience can see you, and you can see them, which is one of the main drawbacks of the normal game, since the singer is normally facing the TV screen to see the notes. So you know, that's cool.

But you can also map your own face onto a polygon body! There's some crappy 3rd party software that takes your picture, then builds a 3D model of your face. Then you can decorate your freakish horror movie character with things like cat suits, parachute pants, and, yes, tophats:

Flickr Photo

There's me. But you really don't get the magic of it until you see your little avatar "getting busy" at the beach party. I giggled in delight, I will say that much. It's amazing the difference it makes watching yourself being cheered by adoring fans versus watching that robot guy get cheered by adoring fans. It's emotional. Here's me dancing after earning a Platinum record on "Fame (I'm gonna live forever)."

Flickr Photo

Anyways, if you like Karaoke Revolution, this is a game to pick up. Even if you don't have a dance mat, it is still worth it, since you will prolly never use it anyways. The EyeToy... well it is an awesome addition, but the game is still extremely playable without it; it's a great gimmick, but it's still a gimmick.

It is heads and tails better than the previous editions, except for the lack of "Under Pressure." Don't worry though, it's got "Take on Me."

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