As in the game's previous installment, Karaoke Revolution Party
tests your ability to sing along with songs as lyrics appear across the bottom of the screen. In order to do this, you'll need either the Live headset or Xbox microphone (which shipped with the Xbox Music Mixer
). You'll also need a Dance Dance Revolution
dance pad, but more on that later.
Along with the game's impressive song list comes an impressive list of modes, including two-player duets and competitions. The number of modes helps to make Karaoke Revolution Party a great party game since you can always find something to suit your needs. One Mic and Two Mic Party modes are available, each of which is broken down into multiple modes. One Mic Party can be played either alone or with friends passing around one mic and playing Arcade, Medley, KR Challenge or mini-games. Arcade mode has you singing against a group and Medley has you singing three songs back-to-back. KR Challenge mixes up modes with players competing for the title of Karaoke Revolution Champ.
Two Mic Party options are where the game becomes competitive. All of the One Mic options are available in Two Mic Party (only now they’re duets instead of solos). New modes Knock Out (or Knock Out Medley) and Sing Off join the other three modes. In the Duet modes, pairs of singers compete to see who can sing together the best and Knock Out sets up head-to-head competitions and Sing Off has two singers trading off verses to show off who has the better vocal range.
Both One and Two Mic variations of the game score you based on a number of judging parameters. High scores earn you Platinum and Gold records, which in turn unlock new items. These include new avatars, outfits for your avatars and even a few new songs. Some special unlockables can also be earned by completing special challenges, like earning "X" number of Platinum records or hitting certain point totals.
If singing gets old you can also check out a number of voice controlled mini-games such as "Yo! Dude! Rock!", which has you controlling stage divers by yelling out "Yo!", "Dude!" or "Rock!" at certain times. A Pong-like volleyball game is also available. Mini-games are fun the first time you play them, but ultimately feel like they were tacked on at the last minute.
The big addition to Karaoke Revolution Party is the Sing and Dance mode, which involves using both the microphone and that dance pad I mentioned you might need. The idea here is to not only sing along with the song, but also dance -- giving you wannabe Britneys and Justins the "whole experience". A great idea on paper, the Sing and Dance mode suffers from a few problems that may have you ditching it once the novelty wears off. One of the main problems with the mode is that you're simply doing too much at one time. It is hard enough to make sure you're always on pitch, but now you also have to make sure you're hitting the right steps. The timing of dance steps to music is a little off, so even if you've memorized the song, it is hard to keep with the rhythm. Plus you have to worry about running out of steam while playing, which is always going to affect your singing ability.
There is, however, a silver lining to the mode's dark cloud. Each action's judging requirements can be altered independently, so you can play to your strengths if you're dead set on doing both at the same time. The better option is to designate someone as a “backup dancer” and have them dance as you sing, allowing more people to have fun at one time, which is something every Karaoke Revolution Party host should aim for.
Xbox Live support is available, though Karaoke Revolution Party only supports content downloads for new songs. This is an option that will find use mainly by the game's more hardcore fans. Most of the songs that are available are re-releases of songs available in the first game as well as a few new ones meant mainly for the game's added modes. Songs aren't free, so you'll have to make the call on whether or not you think they're worth the download.