What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this newest edition of the long-running karaoke singing game franchise has, for the first time, real music videos in it. Those videos are sometimes filled with content and imagery that would be inappropriate for younger players. However, those videos are only seen in the background, behind the singing avatar, the back-up band, and lots of stage props. And they only appear in one of the many venues you can choose to play in. Even without the videos, though, many of the song lyrics can be deemed inappropriate by parents because of their sexual innuendo, drug and alcohol references, and bad language. Strong parental caution should be exercised.
What's it about?
Despite a lack of numbers, subtitles, or suffixes, this KARAOKE REVOLUTION is the latest in a log-running series of karaoke games. Players sing along to popular songs and are graded on their pitch. There is a multiplayer party mode and a single-player career mode (which is really mis-named, as it is simply a series of challenges that must be beaten and has no element of an actual career or story arc). Players wishing a no-pressure singing experience can play a score-less karaoke mode. And players can customize any avatar character or venue.
Is it any good?
The newest Karaoke Revolution has some big improvements over the previous incarnations. For one thing, you've got original master tracks of the songs (no covers), and the character creation is phenomenal. Also for the first time, you can edit (or create from scratch) the venues. You can choose to play on one particular venue in which the actual music videos play on a screen behind the singer, but for teens and younger, you're better off not doing so because of the edgy nature of these videos.
One major complaint is in the character animation, which seems very stiff and uses the same goofy dance moves that have appeared in the last 3 or 4 versions of Karaoke Revolution. The user interface and menu screens are also very blah; nothing was done to spice them up and make them more fun to interact with. Still, like its predecessors, Karaoke Revolution makes for a great party game for older teens and adults.
Online interaction: On the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions only (the Wii version has no online component), players can purchase new downloadable songs to use in the game, and they can challenge other players online to sing-off contests. Parents should always be sure to set parental controls to protect children from live chat encounters in online play.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the depiction of women in music videos. Many videos show women in revealing outfits and in a generally sexual manner. Why does this happen? Other videos in the game contain much better depictions of women. How does a video's depiciton of women affect your view of the performer?
Casual drug and alcohol references also give an opening for parents to discuss the dangers of drinking and drugs.
This is an avatar game. Parents can also ask their children why they designed their character to look the way they did.