After releasing three Karaoke Revolution games on the PlayStation 2 and one for the Xbox, developer Harmonix has finally decided to release a Karaoke Revolution title for the GameCube. Together with Konami, Harmonix has released the most immersive karaoke videogame to date, which includes over 50 songs, microphone and dance-mat functionality, and a range of different modes. The song list is quite diverse, but itâ€™s debatable whether that is good or not.
Karaoke Revolution Party is played with the microphone peripheral for GameCubeâ€”the microphone is available with Mario Party 6 and 7, and can also be bought in conjunction with Karaoke Revolution Party. The goal in Karaoke Revolution Party is to sing along with the songs incorporated into the game, which vary from Whitney Houstonâ€™s I Will Always Love You and Beyonceâ€™s Crazy In Love, to Hilary Duffâ€™s Fly and Wild Cherryâ€™s Play That Funky Music. The songs are not actually performed by the original artistsâ€”because of the licensesâ€”but the cover artists do a worthy job of minimizing the differences between the original and the cover. The diversity in Karaoke Revolution Party can appear to be both a pro and a con, because while players can certainly enjoy the variation of the songs, they will more than likely have a strong performance preference for certain songs over others.
Before testing their vocal skills, players must first choose an avatar in the game, which is then displayed on screen singing. Players can choose a preset avatar or create their own with the gameâ€™s character creator. In the character creator, players can modify the head, body shape, clothes, and accessories of their chosen avatar.
Actual gameplay is dependent on how well the player sings; an on-screen crowd meter turns red, yellow, or green according to performance. The game doesnâ€™t judge the key you sing in, only the pitch and length, so off-key singing isnâ€™t frowned upon in terms of performance. An on-screen bar shows what the pitch should be of a certain word, which is then followed by an arrow. Thereâ€™s also another performance-related bar that fills depending on the length of time the player sings in the correct pitch. A song is divided into segments and, when each segment ends, the bar with the playerâ€™s performance empties while representing a given score. At the end of each song, the score determines whether the player receives an award (Gold or Platinum) for their singing performance. With the attainment of Platinum awards, players can unlock new avatars, outfits, and songs.
Karaoke Revolution Party offers a lot of different modes, such as the classic one-player arcade and two-player party modes, but also modes for teams of up to eight players, modes where the player must knock out the competition and several mini-games where players must guide stage divers and volleyball players with the pitch of their voice. While the inclusion of these different types of modes is certainly a welcome feature, players will more often than not fall back to the regular one or two-player modes, where they can just sing without too many difficult settings or menus. Another new feature is the ability to sing and dance simultaneously. To take advantage of this, players will need to buy or borrow a dance mat for GameCubeâ€”which is also available with Dancing Stage: Mario Mix. Luckily, the difficulty for singing and dancing can be set separately, so players wonâ€™t need equal skill in singing and dancing. The inclusion of dancing with this game has been a great feature, and certainly takes the karaoke experience to a new level.
While a karaoke game doesnâ€™t necessarily need to have good graphics, the graphics in Karaoke Revolution Party are certainly worth mentioning. During gameplay, a visual stage can be chosen to perform in. In these stagesâ€”varying from Las Vegas to garagesâ€”a crowd is displayed, together with the playerâ€™s avatar and accompanying band. The avatar moves about the stage according to the music, and even facial expressions and movement of the mouth change along in time with the music. This is a nice detail in the game, because it couldâ€™ve easily been rushed with the avatar merely standing stock-still and swaying a little.
While Karaoke Revolution Party certainly is the biggest karaoke videogame to date, the perhaps overly varied song list and gimmicky game modes detract somewhat from the gameâ€™s obvious greatness. Maybe limiting the song list to 10 songs for 5 genres wouldâ€™ve been a better idea, since many gamers wonâ€™t like a lot of the songs in Karaoke Revolution and will stick to those songs they favor. Karaoke Revolution Party is a great karaoke game for karaoke fans, but ranks as just above average for the more casual gamer.