Karaoke Revolution

Somewhere, in an alternate universe where time travel is possible, a 17 year old Heavy Metal Willybone traveled to the future, only to find his 33 year old self standing in bathrobe passionately singing New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" in a girlie falsetto at his television. The young teen instantly shot himself in the head, causing a massive space-time paradox and that universe imploded.

Obviously, that didn't happen in this universe, but I did spend much time this weekend, straining my flu-soaked vocal chords through songs I'm ashamed to say I now know. I bought Karaoke Revolution for my girlfriend for Christmas.

The differences between this game and your local bar on Tuesday night are that drinks are much cheaper at my house, the embarrasment is strictly between friends (and any neighbors tragically close enough to hear), and your wretched singing is impartially graded. No amount of exposed cleavage, hip shaking, or free drinks can fool the microphone tracking your pitch and timing for matching the song. A little needle tracks along with the notes showing you where your voice is and should be, in a sort of piano roll notation. This leads to some hilarious warbling as you desperately try to zero in a tricky note. The game doesn't actually track what you're singing, just the notes. So, when the lyrics get tricky you can just scat or gibber into the mic with the right pitch and you'll do fine.

The game gives you a character in the game that you move through different venues. All the characters are built like Steve Madden ads, with big heads and svelte little bodies (except for one dingy Elvis wanna-be secret character), with the usual ethnic assortment, and look like they stepped straight out of Star Search. The venues start at an apartment party and lead up to the enormo-dome, signifying your rise to the top. As you sing, the crowd responds to your performance based on your accuracy rating. Sing perfectly, and they hoot and holler as you start glowing and strutting. Sing badly, and they'll start to boo and eventually stop the show. Mostly, you'll be focused entirely on the lyrics and pitch, but it gives everyone else in the room something to watch and the cheering feedback is nice.

The songs... Well, it must have been a tough job, trying to come up with a list that would appeal to the wide PS2 demographic. I confess that I've never heard many of the songs, and I suspect that some of them are "the emo" that the kids seem to love so much. As a former Metal Head geezer, I was happy to see "You Really Got Me" (clearly the Van Halen version). Chances are good that they'll have one or two songs you really like, but chances are also good at least half of them you'd turn OFF the radio for.

But, that doesn't matter, really. Like I discovered with another Harmonix title, Amplitude, when game meets music, sometimes game is more important. Songs I personally don't like to hear turn out to be great game songs. "Bizarre Love Triangle", a song that would send me wretching when it was current, is now my signature tune in the game. "Billie Jean" turned out to be a breeze for me, for some reason. I'm almost ashamed to say, I hold the household record for "Wind Beneath My Wings".

So, is it worth it?
Well, if you've got friends who aren't afraid to make total asses of themselves, yes. If you're some kind of closet karaoke fiend, but can't stand public humiliation, yes.
But, if you could never bring yourself to sing "Son of a Preacher Man" in the name of gaming, you know this isn't for you. The selection of songs will definitely force you to sing something you don't like at some point.
Lord knows I wouldn't have chosen memorizing Avril's "Complicated" all weekend without some animated, glowing, metrosexual, strutting in front of a screaming, sold-out colliseum crowd, letting me know it was all worthwhile.

Dude, I was going to make this exact thread!

My girlfriend got me Kareoke Revolution for Christmas and I have been playing the heck out of it. It becomes addictive trying to get better with each of the songs.

She is actually an awesome singer and she can max out the songs with ease. She gave me some basic tips to put me on the right track, and it became super fun. I can get gold records on certain songs, but also I have no shame and just enjoy singing. I like to mess around with music a bit, and this has really helped me to get a feel for singing.

Unless you have a really deep voice you shouldn't need your falsetto for Bizarre Love Triangle. Personally I learned that I have mad control with my falsetto, must have been all of the singing along to 80s metal. My Girls Just Wanna Have Fun is on point! Bille Jean is also sweet if you go from regular voice to falsetto in the middle. Complicated and Addicted are fun to sing. I HATE that Nickelback song, but I have mastered singing it.

This game is a total guilty pleasure...

I find that falsetto helps just about any song. Even my girl has an easier time when she switches to a higher, more nasal voice.
Which one is the Nickleback? I'm totally out of touch.
I find "Addicted to You" and "Complicated" to be some of the dumbest, whiniest, and most juvenile lyrics I've ever tried to sing. Avril writes just like most teens talk, like English is some pidgin tongue they learned on the docks somewhere.

That's the fun of those songs, you can kind of parody the teen angst while you sing them. Its enjoyable in a ironic kind of way...

Nickelback is "This is How You Remind Me". WAY overplayed on the radio in 2002.

Technically, girls don't have a falsetto, it is a distinctly male skill to be able to jump up to a new range. My gf was talking about how girls do have a "head" voice which is more nasal at the upper end of their register. I was thinking maybe falsetto is easier because the jumps between different pitches at higher frequencies are easier to feel since the require more energy than jumps atlower picthes? I don't know, thats kind of an engineering assesment that may be wrong...

Its weird how sometimes you can just be in the groove and hit every note, and then fall out and miss a bunch. Singing is a really subtle thing, and has much to do with what you are hearing. I turned down the voice that sings along because it is distracting IMO.

Big Pun is correct.

This is almost as bad as those DDR dancing fags.

You haters are just jealous of my huge fanbase, glowing microphone, and spiffy bathrobe.


i'll pick this up if my gf totally plays along

sounds like fun

Everytime I play this game, I get some hot kungfu cutie action immediately after. Chicks love a crooner.

We're gonna have a good time night. Let's celebrate. It's alright.
Come on now party people...