Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol (PS2)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Friday, April 4, 2008

Graphics: 7.75
Sound: 9.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 9.00
Gamelength: 8.00

Konami has brought the hit television show “American Idol” to the PlayStation 2 console with “Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol”, but it doesn’t quite live up to the name.

If you’re a fan of “American Idol”, this game is going to disappoint you for 2 major reasons, which will be explained later. If you don’t care about the show, however, this game is just another title in the “Karaoke Revolution” series and does the job just as well as the other games in the series. Pack your bags because we’re going to Hollywood for “Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol”.

This game is visually no different from past “Karaoke Revolution” titles. Everything looks clear, crisp and very “cartoony”. Everything seems intentionally unrealistic, aside from the judges themselves, which actually seem out of place for that very reason. Special effects are pretty cool here, though, from the stages and crowd to the glowing microphones when you sing really well. Everything looks great, even if widely unchanged.

Every single bit of music in this compilation is high quality, but not every song is the master recording and that does detract from the fun for serious fans of the original musicians. Still, everything sounds great and even the cover bands tend to do a good enough job of making the songs sound authentic. The only real issue here is the judges. First of all, Paula isn’t even included and is instead replaced by some generic female by the name of “Laura”, so Paula’s voice isn’t even included. Second, Simon’s wisecracks get repetitious, as they were all pre-recorded and there’s only a small handful of them included in the first place. Finally, Randy sounds good, but all 3 of the judges contradict themselves at times. You could receive the worst set of comments or insults, then be told you gave the best performance of your life. It makes no sense at times. Fans of the television series will be highly turned off by this, but if you’re only here to sing some songs and simply don’t care about the judges, this wont phase you and the game will remain an almost perfect karaoke title.

If you’re still with me, the chances of you enjoying this game are most likely very high. The majority of the single player game is spent going through the “American Idol” events, beginning at the audition process and ending on stage as the winning contestant. Throughout these events, nothing really changes. It’s just a glorified career mode in the same light of the previous “Karaoke Revolution” titles with a dash of “American Idol” flavor thrown in for good measure. You’ll play through all of the various songs in the game, unlock new outfits for your character and ultimately become the next “American Idol”. Voice detect is as wonderful as it always has been and the note charts work perfectly, even for the novice singers out there. The notes show up on a little chart at the bottom of the screen, scrolling from right-to-left right above the associated lyrics. The goal is to match your voice pitch to the position of the note bar on the chart. You can hum every note, in theory, and still come out on top, but what’s the fun in that? This is a karaoke game, not a humming competition. However, this creates a good balance of difficulty curving for novice and experienced players. A novice can set the difficulty to easy and clear every song in the game with little to no effort. A veteran player deserving of a proper challenge will want to jack the difficulty up to the Expert setting and go for gold. The maximum score is still a solid 50,000, but it’s very possible to score extremely low numbers, pass a song and not even get awarded so much as a bronze medal for doing so. Also, the 40 song setlist and the capability to play with friends in either a duet or party mode gives this game excessive amounts of replayability. This is a great game, even if the “American Idol” additions fall short.

Overall, Konami has done a good job yet again with this awesome addition to the “Karaoke Revolution” series. Let’s just hope they improve the “American Idol” end of things with the next iteration.

-Great special effects.
-Top notch sound quality.
-Song list is pretty well rounded.
-Great multiplayer enhances an already fun experience.

-“American Idol” additions are sub par at best.
-Not as many songs as past titles in the series.
-Where’s Paula?!

Bottom Line:
If you like “American Idol”, this isn’t the game to buy and will only frustrate you with the amount of flawed additions based on the television show. If you just want to sing, though, this is definitely a keeper. Buy it if you like to sing or if you’re a fan of the “Karaoke Revolution” games of the past.

Overall Rating: 8.50

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