23rd October 2015
Recently I had the opportunity to review a brand new karaoke game for the Xbox One called “Now That’s What I Call Sing.” I had never even heard of this title before and at first I thought for sure it was a typo. However, it turns out that is, in fact, the name of the game. I feel the name itself is almost as terrible as my singing is. Nevertheless, I decided to take a stab at this game and went in confidently with my head held high. The last time I did karaoke in a bar I sang “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the following events played out like a scene out of the movie “Frankenstein” with angry patrons chasing me down the street with torches. I can’t imagine a worse outcome than that.
Now That’s What I Call Sing is a brand new Karaoke Game developed by Ravenscourt and published by Koch Media. No instruments are needed here aside from a microphone that can plug into the USB port on your console and a controller. You can connect up to four microphones in the game to play with friends or just use the one for yourself and a partner. It’s very important to make sure you have a microphone with a USB connector. If you don’t you will be unable to play the game. You can not use your Xbox One headset or turn on your kinect for your voice input. There are copies of the game that sell with the microphone included in the event you don’t have one.
I have to admit I was personally a little disappointed in the track list. That’s not to say it was bad, just not my style. The majority of these tracks are recent releases and the bulk of them were somewhat unknown to me. Scrolling through the titles I was able to recall the sounds of some of the hits but just glancing at the song titles, I didn’t have a clue. The most prominent title for me was “Uptown Funk.” My three year old loves that song like nobody’s business and on the first run through wanted the mic to sing through it. Demi Lovato’s “Frozen” also made its way onto this list. If you’re a parent, especially a parent with a little girl, then you probably secretly wish the song frozen had a face… so you could punch it. The oldest track on here is James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” which was released in 2004, a year after I graduated High School. Other music stars include Ariana Grande, LMFAO, Calvin Harris, ColdPlay, Maroon 5, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Bastille and more.
One big positive about this game is the variations of game modes. These variations really add replay value to the title and keep it interesting. The most basic mode is “Classic” and it plays out just like typical karaoke with the music video playing in the background while the cues and lyrics pop up on screen. Once you have scored high enough on a song, the “By Heart” mode will unlock. Your skill will begin to be tested here as the lyrics are completely removed from the screen in which case you should know the lyrics… by heart. The most difficult mode which follows “By Heart” is “Expert” mode. This mode removes all lyrics and cues from the screen. If you’re nailing these then do that mic drop and sign yourself up for American Idol. These single modes alone will keep the karaoke enthusiast busy for some time.
There are also several other modes available in Now That’s What I Call Sing so friends and family can jump in on the action too. You have “Pass the Mic” in which an onscreen visual cue will let you know when to pass the mic to your partner to take turns belting out parts of the song. “Duet” mode gives you a chance to sing together. A fun little competitive mode is “Elimination.” In this mode you each have an onscreen meter of energy, which will slowly lower when you miss a note. Once your meter is depleted, you are out and back to performing your act at the bus stop. No, not really, but you get the idea! “20,000” is a straightforward race to be the first to reach 20,000 points. The combination of these extra modes, in addition to the single player options, certainly will give you a bang for your buck in the purchase and would definitely be enjoyable to play with a group of friends.
One last fun little feature that helps to propel this title is the “Jukebox.” I am someone who enjoys having music on when doing housework. It helps me keep my mind off things like how much I hate doing dishes and the music calms my rage when I find little orange goldfish stuffed into my work boots. JukeBox will play through the tracks in the game, providing you with your very own music video set list. You won’t need a mic plugged in for this as no gameplay on your part is required. Just sit back (or clean!) and enjoy the music.
Console owners have no doubt noticed the lack of karaoke games in the console market, with the exception of the recent release of Rock Band 4. In that game I could at least hum my way through the majority of things and still survive until the end. Here you’ll have to release your inner American Idol to get through and that’s what helps set this title apart – you’ll need to sing. While there is a variation in the genres of music, most tracks have only been released within the last few years which will narrow the audience that may be interested in the game. A friend of mine in his 30’s who mainly plays First-Person Shooter and has a limited social life had virtually no idea what any of the songs were and gave up about halfway through the one song, he did know, “Uptown Funk. Although I’m sure in a party setting with a little “liquid courage,” he would give it a more thorough playthrough while playing with friends.
This review was based on a code that was supplied to Mouse n Joypad by the Developer, Publisher or their PR Company. To see our full review breakdown please click here.
Variation in Game Modes.
Fun Party Game.
Limited Track List.
No downloadable content?
“Let it Go”.