It is no secret that, as part of the current generation of consoles, the Nintendo Wii has less oomph under its bonnet than its nearest competitors, but nobody seems to have told newbie development squad Le Cortex that. Their Wii-exclusive karaoke title We Sing has almost all of the visual bells and whistles of Sony’s Singstar or Microsoft’s Lips, albeit without the crutch of a high definition sheen. Almost all of the thirty (fully licensed) tracks play alongside their official music videos, load times are lightning quick, and all of the songs are taken from the original recordings. There are no sub-par cover versions here.
Both Singstar and Lips were hugely entertaining (and popular) releases, but they were slightly hampered by one thing – the lack of any functionality to allow for more than two players to take part at once. Even a cursory glance at any karaoke party anywhere in the world will reveal that this is rarely the way in which people tend to partake in such a pastime, and We Sing is the first ever videogame to allow for four people to play simultaneously. Its a full-on party game that doesn’t take itself even slightly seriously, and the atmosphere it creates is entirely infectious.
This is partially down (in no small part, actually) to a very shrewd selection of tracks. There is catchy-but-hip contemporary stuff from the likes of Lily Allen and Coldplay; less obvious but perfectly suited material from Moloko and Kaiser Chiefs; and a huge bevy of tunes that never fail to inspire an impromptu sing-song, regardless of whether a karaoke game is involved or not. We Sing may allow for four simultaneous players for the first time ever, but when ‘Our House’ by Madness or ‘Red Red Wine’ by UB40 come on, don’t be surprised if everyone within earshot steps up to join in.
And this is exactly why We Sing works so well. By accentuating the party vibe and playing directly into the hands of the audience who’ll get the most from it, it has ended up nailing the appeal of not just karaoke videogames, but karaoke in general. The four player aspect means that friends of a more shy disposition may be inspired to take part, there are a whole host of different modes included to mix things up (including Versus Mode and Pass The Mic) but if anyone prefers to do away with the competitive element altogether, they are free to just put the game onto Karaoke mode and warble away without having to worry about points or needless contention.
The interface is simple, and setting up and synchronizing the four microphones is a breeze, doubling the number of available USB sockets on the Wii with a simple USB hub that minimizes fuss. It may be easy to be impressed by the HD gleam of its genre brethren, but it is far easier to get excited by a game that unpretentiously places experience above aesthetics, and fun over fancy. We Sing is a party game par excellence, and it exemplifies and embodies all that is appealing about the immortal activity of karaoke.
Watch the We Sing trailer here…