I had a look at the pretty average Sing Party around the time of the Wii U launch. It was ok but lacked a huge catalogue of songs or a download store which could have boosted its appeal.
Joysound have today announced a new free app that will be arriving to the Nintendo eShop on October 4 which provides a mega catalogue of songs and a novel approach toward how you can access them and sing them. Wii Karaoke U uses the Wii Gamepad as both a song catalogue AND a microphone. You connect to the interweb, and then have to purchase a ticket which will allow you to access the 1500+ songs for a pre-determined period of time.
It isn’t cheap – it will cost £1.79 for an hour, but becomes slightly better value the longer ticket you purchase – with 24 hours weighing in at £4.49 and a thirty dayer costing £13.49. Joysound are generous enough to throw in a free one hour trial once you download the app, so new users can get to grips with how it all works and try some of the variety of songs on offer.
It may be pricey but we like the idea – and it sounds like there are some great modes to tinker around with and make things interesting:
As an application intended for both karaoke veterans and novices alike, Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND offers three different scoring modes outside of the regular karaoke setup, plus a Karaoke Battle mode whereby up to 10 friends divided into two teams can compete face to face in a ‘sing-off’ over a pre-defined number of rounds. In the Standard Rating mode, at the end of each song a user will receive a score out of 100 based on how close the performance was to the original song. Meanwhile, in the In-Depth Rating mode, users receive a detailed breakdown of their performance, focusing on the six different areas of melody, timing, smoothness, technique, vibrato, which refers to the slight up and down modulation of pitch when sustaining a long note, and glissando, which is the technique of starting a new line by singing the note just below the one shown, slightly before it begins.
The third mode, Online Rating, is where the competitive aspect begins! In this mode, users are scored in the same way as the In-Depth Rating mode, but each performance of any song in the catalogue is compared to other users around Europe who have sung that same song. With your current ranking flashing up during key points of the song, including your final rank – plus score – for the whole performance at the end, you can see how you fare against fellow performers across Europe. If you do reach the hallowed position of the top three in an overall ranking for a particular song, you will be displayed in a league table visible to all users across the continent. But make sure to use the Miiverse button on-screen to capture your position and show it off to friends on Miiverse while you can – with the ranking system ongoing you never know for how long you’ll remain in that position!
Whilst you sing, your Mii character takes centre stage on-screen, with users able to customise the environment in which they perform. Aside from a recording studio setting, you can select your Mii to perform in an Arena, a Festival, or a Club, with the ability to personalise everything from the colour of the speakers to the smoke effects mid-song. Also fully available from launch will be an array of costumes to deck out your Mii in clothing which may reflect the genre of your playlist or simply your musical tastes.
Being a huge fan of singing, karaoke and acting like a fool, there is a strong chance I will be downloading this one and letting you all know how it pans out.