A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that a few songs have suggestive lyrics that range from sexual references ("Wishing to be the friction in your jeans" from Fallout Boy's "Sugar We're Going Down") to alcoholic and cigarette references in Billy Joel's "Piano Man." Songs like this are in the minority, however, and this is a fun game that focuses on trying to impress the judges by singing along with your favorite songs.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In Konami's KARAOKE REVOLUTION PRESENTS: AMERICAN IDOL for the Sony PlayStation 2, you can sing along with more than 40 pop and R&B hits such as "Can't Help Falling in Love," "Hungry Like the Wolf," and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" with the aid of a supported USB microphone/headset (purchased separately or bundled with the game for $20 more). The game faithfully re-creates a virtual season of American Idol, so you first audition in front of the judges. If Cowell & Co. like what they hear, you're flown to Hollywood to compete. The game features the same graphics and music as the TV show.
You can create your own contestant by tweaking a singer's looks, or go with one of the pre-made characters. You sing along with the onscreen lyrics and the game's voice-recognition technology will determine if you're singing in the proper key. The judges will make positive, negative, or neutral comments about your pitch, consistency, and song difficulty.
Is it any good?
Paula Abdul is curiously missing, and you will hear host Ryan Seacrest, but will not see him. You can tackle the game solo or play against up to seven other contestants (who can each create and name their own character) and then take turns belting out the songs for the judges. Other than the main competition mode, players can also choose to play a Quick Play game, One Mic Party, Two Mic Party, and straight Karaoke mode (no scorekeeping).
Wannabe pop stars will love playing this game -- but only if you're willing to risk Simon Cowell's snooty put-downs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lyrics and the TV show's impact on pop culture. Do any songs send up red flags? Do you watch the TV show? Would you want to be a contestant or would you rather stick to karaoke? How would you feel about being critiqued by Simon? When you don't pass muster with the judges in this game, is it fun to make a stink about it or are you more resolved to do better next time?