25th Oct2015

‘Now That’s What I Call Sing’ Review (PS4)

by Phil Wheat

now-thats-what-i-call-sing-screen

Once upon a time I was a hardcore fan of the rhythm/singing game genre. Singstar, Guitar Hero, Rockband… You name it I’ve played it. However my experiences, and more importantly my love, of music games in recent years have waned. In fact I haven’t touched any of “karaoke” style video games since We Sing Pop debuted on the Nintendo Wii back in 2012; and it was that franchise alone which kept me interested in the genre well into this decade. The move to an online verion of Singstar – undoubtedly the grand daddy of the genre – certainly didn’t.

So here we are, at the tail end of 2015 and the release of Now That’s What I Call Sing. Perfectly timed to be a possible Christmas stocking filler (and an ideal one at that), it’s hard to believe that this game is now, apart from the ill-regarded Singstar Ultimate Party, one of the ONLY karaoke games available for todays generation of consoles.

Thankfully this latest iteration has two things going for it. Firstly, the name. The “NOW” franchise is, even after all these years, still recognised as the definitive go-to for a lot of fans of pop music – their compilations are world-renown, so attaching the name to this game should help sell some units; and secondly there’s the music itself. Now That’s What I Call Sing, much like the Now albums collects together the chart hits of a particular period, gathers together a number of hit songs – most from 2013 onwards (with the odd oldie, such as James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful), with one of the best mixes of pop music seen in a karaoke game in a very long time. The game even throws in Demi Lovato’s version of Let It Go from the ever-popular Disney movie Frozen to keep younger kids (and even some big kids) happy.

The game itself follows the standard karaoke game format. Sing the song, hit the right notes and score points. Nothing’s changed there. However where Now That’s What I Call Sing varies from other games of this ilk is in the extra game modes. Whereas typically duets etc., are al unlocked from the beginning, this game requires to to sing the songs to unlock extra modes – be it by scoring highly enough for them to, or by “buying” the extra modes with VoxPoints (VP), which the game gives out dependendent on your score. You typically acheive 1 VP for every 10,000 points you score on any song, which means that unless you really screw up a song you can at least score 3-5 VP per title.

Now That’s What I Call Sing also has a a couple of game modes for those hardcore karaoke singers:By Heart – where some of the song lyrics are omitted and you have to fill in the blanks AND sing them on-key to score points; and Expert Mode – which removes all the on-screen cues, making it all the more difficult to hit the right notes and keep time. And with up to four players able to sing along at once, the party can really get started with the Elimination, Pass the Mic, and 20,000 modes… Elimination sees players health bar decreasing the more they sing off-key; Pass the Mic is exactly that; and 20,000 mode pits players against each other, rewarding victory to those that score 20,000 points first.

The big plus for fans of karaoke games is that Now That’s What I Call Sing can be used with any USB microphone. So if – like us – you have an old Rock Band mic, or one of the Logitech mics included with the box sets of We Sing, lying around at home you can use those to play the game. Plus, if you don’t have microphones you can buy cheap USB mics and not have to shell out for game-specific ones as was often the case in the past.

As it stands now, the roster of songs in Now That’s What I Call Sing is a great starting point, but I do wonder if after a few plays the tracks could suffer from over-familiarity. Hopefully the game will get some extra songs via DLC soon – it definitely deserves to, as I’d like to see this particular party/karaoke franchise continue well into the future.

Now That’s What I Call Sing is out now on Xbox One and Playstation 4.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Off

Comments are closed.