We Sing Robbie Williams Review
Developer: Le Cortex
Published By: Nordic Games Limited
Available On: Nintendo Wii Only
It’s music game season again people! With the releases of Singstar Guitar, Guitar Hero 38, Singstar Dance and Rock Band 3 it would appear music games are back, if they ever went away…which they didn’t! Nevertheless, a karaoke game involving the greatest hits of Mr Robbie Williams could well be a great laugh, with a career that started out on the heels of Oasis-esque indie rock and progressed into a more electronic sounding direction, there should be something for everyone! Is We Sing Robbie Williams worth your money? Is it different enough to garner some interest? Read on to find out
GRAPHICS: It seems that Le Cortex like the colour grey very much, at it’s pretty everpresent throughout We Sing Robbie Williams! However, the main draw of the game, visually speaking, is the music videos playing whilst you are singing the songs and, whilst they are pretty good overall, you can visually see the compression at times which is probably due to the age of some of the older material on the disc.
Other than that it’s a fairly sparse affair, the Wii remote has a nice effect on it when moving around the screen, but other than that, it’s pretty colourless and bland for the most part. The menus are well executed but, thanks to the quite basic layout, the game has the appearance of a karaoke DVD.
SOUND: The sound throughout the game is consistently good, but not great. The obligatory cheering sounds when you perform well are present and in line with any other traditional karaoke game of course, but there are some negatives as well. For example, when browsing the photograph sections there is usually a Robbie Williams song playing underneath, but as you browse, scrolling with “+” and “-” buttons on the Wiimote, there is an awful clicking, clanking sound every time you press the button. It’s totally unneccessary and baffling really as to why it’s in there. When you take into consideration that you’ll probably be playing the game at a respectible volume, it’s actually really jarring and out of place.
Sound is of course the key feature of any karaoke game and if you like or love Robbie Williams, you won’t feel short changed by the audio treatment. Tracklisting wise it’s very much a greatest hits compilation in line with the “In and Out of Consciousness Greatest Hits 1990-2010” CD that has also been released. You’ll find 26 songs on the disc by Mr Williams randing from “Old Before I Die” (1997) all the way up to the more recent (2010) single “Shame”. In between them you’ll find a few live tracks to perform as well.
GAMEPLAY: It’s hard to find new ways to describe a karaoke game and if you’ve ever played one before you’ll know exactly what to expect, especially if you’ve played a Singstar game on the PlayStation 3 or Lips on the Xbox 360, as the gameplay is very similar.
So, you’ll sing along to the words on screen whilst the official music video (or live performance in some cases) plays behind it, grabbing score multipliers on certain phrases to boost your score. Getting good performances unlocks footage from “the famous” Knebworth performance and other features; photo galleries for instance, but there really isn’t much to unlock and you’ll probably unlock it after two or three songs if you are a half decent singer.
The thing that differentiates We Sing from other games in it’s genre is the way the game shows your performance. Instead of splitting the screen up for each singer, We Sing shows each person’s vocal stream in a different colour, so if someone is underperforming you’ll see exactly who is letting the side down because their colour will be above or below the stream!
Featured within the game Mr Williams himself makes an appearance as a Mii at times, coaching you and offering pearls of wisdom now and again. However, this feature just feels very strange and, at times, awkward.
The game also contains a training mode which is sadly rather lacking. You have to sing (“Do Re Mi Fa Sol La” etc) but there is no example given, you’ll just have to find the note by going up and down the scale until you find it. It doesn’t really seem very helpful in conjunction with the game and in truth, if you are thinking of grabbing We Sing Robbie Williams then you are more than likely already a fan and have sung along to the songs a thousand times already!
Everything else you’d expect to find in a karaoke game is present and correct. You can partake in duets, have a bash at the party mode or just watch the videos of the songs and give the rest of the house a little break from your singing! There is absolutely no online component to speak of though. No leaderboards, nothing!
LONGEVITY: The amount of time you’ll spend with We Sing Robbie Williams is directly in line with how big a fan you are of Mr Williams himself. If you are a big fan (and again, surely you must be if you are considering this title) then you’ll probably get quite a bit of fun out of it. To add to that, if you have a group of like minded friends there’s no telling what kind of drunken escapades you’ll get up to after the children have gone to bed and the keys have been thrown into a bowl.
VERDICT: You can’t be too down on a game that has a limited appeal in the first place and it’s definitely an arguable point of view to say the game achieves what it sets out to do. However, in a crowded environment, when a title is clearly aiming for a niche market it’s hard to recommend the game without reservations. If you are a massive Robbie Williams fan that owns a Wii, then it’s pretty much a no brainer of a purchase. If you are a casual observer who likes karaoke games, then…well, it’s still hard to say “Buy it now”. Whilst We Sing Robbie Williams is a good game, it is let down by a mostly bland aesthetic and some other small negatives. You could do a lot worse than getting We Sing Robbie Williams, but with the likes of Singstar and Lips currently available on store shelves, you could also probably do a lot better.