Glee Karaoke Revolution gives you the chance to sing along with some of your favourite songs from Season 1 of the super hit TV show. This game seems custom made for the Glee audience, more than likely people who like to get up and have a bit of a sing (often while watching the show...cough)...so how does it play?
At first glance, the interface is a little...weird - unlike 90% of other Wii titles, this uses the D-pad of the Wii-mote for navigation around the menus, rather than pointing the remote at the screen. Once you get past that, the menu is pretty simple and easy to follow, and, if you like Glee, you will most likely enjoy the song selection. The main modes are Quick Play, Scrapbook and Shooting Star.
Quick Play is pretty self explanatory...pick a song, select the number of people you want (there’s a few duets you can do, or songs intended for one person that you can sing together), and get stuck in.
Shooting Star mode is designed to be more in the ‘party fun’ category, and involves up to six players (2 singing and 4 catching) who...catch stars. Choose a song, just like in Quick Play, and then start singing. Shooting stars fly across the screen, which you can catch with the Wii Mote by pressing B. Not having enough willing Gleek participants during the review period, we weren’t able to test this ourselves with a full group - but the premise sounds entertaining.
In Scrapbook mode you can pick characters and sing their particular songs, racking up points and achievements as you improve. However, many of the songs are sung by the whole cast, so a lot of the songs are repeated ad nauseam across all of the minor characters. This has the effect that if you’re cruising through the menu looking for a cool song to sing, you are going to keep seeing the same ones again and again. (i.e. Somebody to Love)
That said, there are some really good songs which are a lot of fun to sing, including Don’t Stop Believin’ - definitely the best known song from Season 1, which will be forever synonymous with the show.
Other highlights include Gold Digger, and Bust a Move.
Of course, unless you know the Glee versions of the songs off by heart before you pick up the mic, the ad libbing or variations between these versions and the originals may throw you at first; you will, however, learn and improve as you get to know the songs.
As the songs unfold, videos of songs and scene highlights from the show play, which is definitely going to be appealing for fans. Of course as the Wii is limited by processing power, these videos are not in HD.
As with other music party games, like SingStar and Rock Band, you can just be hitting your groove when a distracting “you’re awesome!” or “77 note combo!” comes up, completely putting you off. This is often quickly followed by ‘the audience’ booing at you. In Glee Karaoke Revolution, it comes in the form of a loud “GLEEEEEEE!” sound bite and large graphic on screen, which did throw this humble reviewer on more than one occasion.
The song selection for this game seems to be very targeted towards the intended audience, with very few musical theatre songs (the only exceptions being Don’t Rain on My Parade and Defying Gravity) and more of the big feel good songs (Such as Don’t Stop Believin’ and Somebody to Love) that presumably ‘the kids’ would identify with, having enjoyed them in the show.
As a side thought on this topic, Glee the television show has taken a noticeable change of direction in Season 2, in doing much more recent songs (often just as they hit the charts), with less emphasis on older material - more Beyonce and Katy Perry, and less Journey - so it will be interesting to see if this game produces a sequel in the future, will it feature the more modern music? I for one would love to have a crack at the Rachel/Sunshine Telephone duet...
So how to sum up? It’s an enjoyable game, and I have had the songs stuck in my head for a few days after playing it. If you’re a fan of Glee, and enjoy having a sing along at home, you will most likely enjoy this. There are 29 songs to sing and learn, and improve, so it could well be a title you pull out again and again to enjoy. This gets one thumb sideways from me..L shaped on the forehead of course.