Game: We Sing: Rock
Developer: Le Cortex
Publisher: Nordic Games
Available On: Nintendo Wii only
When I took a look at it recently, I concluded that the last update in Nordic Games’ dependable Wii karaoke series, UK Hits, was perhaps the best refinement of their product so far. There were a few tweaks made and some winning new modes of play introduced, making it the best way to embarrass yourself vocally for the console.
If I had a criticism about the game then it was down to the lack of downloadable songs, something which has never been a problem for other music party games, which I do not need to mention. To negate this, Nordic regularly release updated versions of the game, with a whole bunch of new songs. The latest of these promises a trip to the leather clad dark side, a journey through caterwauling six-string assaults on the ears, of throaty screams and piercing shrieks. Yes indeed, this is We Sing: Rock. “It’s time to sing like a rock God!” says the blurb. Does it provide us with enough pure unadulterated rock to satisfy our primal urges?
First of all, I would like to point out that absolutely nothing has changed since We Sing UK Hits, Le Cortex they have left things just the way they are. So this means you get an impressive eight different multiplayer modes, singing lessons, the cringe-inducing replay mode, crazy voice altering techniques and all of the cool stuff that I singled out for praise last time. There are an impressive 40 new tracks to attempt, each and every one of them coming with the original, official video.
A decent karaoke night will stand or fall by its choice of available songs. If the DJ turned up to your local armed only with the back catalogue of Tygers of Pan Tang, you would be in for a pretty poor evening. So when I am settling down to, perhaps a glass of beer, and belting out some classic rock tunes, I expect Nordic to be slamming me repeatedly in my face with heavy hit after heavy hit of guitar mayhem. A glance through the songs offered is in parts reassuring and in others alarming. On one hand you have the perfectly acceptable rock classics of ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’, ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, and, for the ladies present, ‘Alone’ by Seattle rockers Heart. There are some concessions to the frat rock “metal” of the late nineties with Limp Bizkit’s mindless ‘Rollin’ and the whiny emotionally charged punk rock that the kids are down with these days in the form of 30 Seconds To Mars and My Chemical Romance. Most people will allow these inclusions, but then you see the likes of Coldplay, Bloc Party, Elvis Presley (!) and The Cardigans, these are clearly not what I would classify as rock standards. Respite is almost to be had with ‘The Ace of Spades’, but then you see that KT Tunstall is involved, which instantly cancels it out.
Don’t get me wrong I am not saying that the songs included are not fun to sing, because many of them are, just don’t expect the roster of tunes to impress a long-time fan of rock and metal. Still, it has ‘Winds of Change’ by Scorpions, so I suppose I can let it slide.
VERDICT: If you don’t own any of the previous incarnations of Nordics superb franchise, then this is as good a place as any to start. There are some fun tunes, the game is as solid and dependable as any other karaoke game you can play, and it is good value for money to boot. I can’t wait to see how they cope with the forthcoming Gangsta Rap instalment…
…We may have just made that last bit up.