Reviewed: December 2, 2005
Released: November 8, 2005
From the developers of Guitar Hero comes another karaoke party game for the Xbox, Karaoke Revolution Party. This version of Karaoke Revolution provides a broad range of songs—from classics like “Sweet Caroline” to more modern songs, like “Crazy in Love”—and includes more features than the previous two volumes, such as a dance component, customizable characters, and mini-games.
Karaoke Revolution Party features:
As promised by the game’s title, Karaoke Revolution Party makes for a fun "party game" for up to eight players provided that you’re not too shy to pick up the mic. The game is designed to accommodate a range of musical tastes and features fifty songs from various genres, from classics like “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” to familiar 80s tunes like “Time After Time” and more modern hits like “Crazy in Love.” The songs also range in difficulty, providing different challenge levels for both amateur and veteran players.
As with the previous Karaoke Revolution games, Karaoke Revolution Party judges singers by their accuracy of pitch, not by the lyrics sung, so players can technically hum their way through songs if they want to. Karaoke Revolution Party features a proprietary voice recognition technology, which judges and scores players on their ability to match pitch and rhythm. Real-time feedback is offered by the dynamic crowds that fill each virtual venue, either by booing you off the stage or cheering your every note.
Singing on pitch earns the singer higher points, which can then win the singer a gold or platinum record. Point totals, gold records, and platinum records all go toward unlocking extra game content, such as new songs (like “Brick House”), new characters and apparel for the characters, and trophies.
The custom characters are definitely a fun addition of the game, as you can unlock a number of odd and interesting outfits (such as the Viking girl outfit, Elvis costume, and cat suit) for your cartoonish avatar to wear. Players are given a lot of customizability options for their characters, such as body type, hairstyle, clothing, and accessories. It can become surprisingly addictive to sing your way to unlocking all the accessories to build your own personalized performer.
Additionally, there are a few vocal mini-games that you can play, such as Beach Volleyball (sort of like a vocally-controlled Pong) and Yo! Dude! Rock! (in which you sing the appropriate note at the right time to help dudes body surf their way through a crowd—you might have to experience this one yourself to understand what I’m writing about). There might be other mini-games you can unlock, but as of the time of this review, we have not found them.
As for the regular game, you have a choice of singing solo or with a friend, as well as choosing to just sing, or to sing and dance. The dance option requires a dance mat (namely, the ones used in the Dance Dance Revolution games) and incorporates simple, choreographed steps that scroll across the bottom of the screen, along with the lyrics. It’s fairly self-explanatory and easy to pick up. Also, of course, there is a pure karaoke mode, which allows you to sing along without being scored.
The graphics are clean, cartoonish, brightly colored, and overall, not unattractive. The backdrops are actually very detailed and contain a lot of animated elements that can be fun to watch. At the beach party locale, for instance, we were amused to discover that the weather changes according to the singer’s performance. My only complaint is the roughness of the character renders, especially facially, though this could also just be a matter of personal taste.
I have no complaints about the sound. The covers of the songs sound decent for the most part, both the instrumentals and the vocals. Some of the locations also have additional, appropriate sound effects. The use of sound is fairly simple, though, as the main attraction is, naturally, the singer’s voice.
Karaoke Revolution Party currently retails for a little under $40 at most stores, which is a bit cheaper than most games nowadays. Given the replay value (as the list of unlockable features in the game can be a bit daunting) and party-game nature of this title, Karaoke Revolution Party can be an economic choice for people who enjoy singing karaoke.
In reviewing Karaoke Revolution Party for GCM, I played this game with three other people, and we had a blast making spectacles of ourselves. Though we haven’t come close to unlocking everything yet, just playing the game for a few days has given us access to many new songs and character accessories.
This game will probably be most entertaining to people who enjoy singing, but Karaoke Revolution Party can also be a fun game to watch, so it could be a worthwhile purchase for those who enjoy similar party games.