A worthy successor to the Singstar series
Game review: Now That’s What I Call Sing
Platform: Xbox One (reviewed) / Playstation 4
FOR several years, karaoke games have been synonymous with the Singstar series, a title that won many converts during the previous console generation. But its latest entry, Ultimate Party, drew criticism from longtime fans upon its release last autumn, and rightly so. The game inexplicably did away with the Pass the Mic and party modes, meaning it felt like a backwards step for the franchise.
With the coast clear for a competitor to stake their claim, developers Ravenscourt have launched their own take on the karaoke genre. Grammar pedants will find the name cloying and the title is hardly revolutionary, but with a group of friends, Now That’s What I Call Sing is a fun and uncomplicated offering that does all the basic things well.
The interface doesn’t stray far from the tried and tested karaoke game template
If you have played Singstar or Lips before, the interface will be recognisable. The game adheres to the same tried and tested formula which sees player sing out lyrics as they appear on screen and try to maintain the same level pitch as the original vocal. So far, so basic - but it does what it says on the tin.
What makes the game a real contender is the range of ways in which to play it. While Singstar has jettisoned much of its modes, Now combines classic duet and battle options with some entertaining additions. The highlight is By Heart, where some of the lyrics disappear during the playback, challenging players to prove they know the track inside out. Elimination is also fun, especially when a rival player is on the verge of dropping out Rock Band style when they are on a losing streak.
The microphone is responsive with no lag
Although a bundle is available which combines the game disc with a microphone, we used the mic from Rock Band 4 and any similar device will work fine. Crucially for a karaoke game, the interface between the game and the USB mic is immediately responsive with no lag or connectivity issues, meaning that if you are hitting a bum note or two, you cannot blame the technology.
The one stumbling block is the tracklist which focuses almost exclusively on pop and dance music of the past two or three years. A few curveballs are thrown into the mix - do forewarn your neighbours if you intend to belt out James Blunt late at night, or any time of day for that matter - but overall, the choice lends itself to younger audiences.
TIPS AND TRICKS:
Try and reach golden notes. They may feel outside your vocal range, but if you can nail them, extra points will come your way.
Expert mode is the game’s most challenging and rewarding way to play, with the lyrics and visual cues removed.
Jukebox mode is a good way of learning the lyrics and beats to each song before trying to master them.