Still remaining to be the dominant force within the Wii’s karaoke scene, Nordic Games’ We Sing series has grown in strength since the original first released back in 2009. We Sing Pop! is its latest iteration, set to once again capitalise on the nation’s fondness for heroic warbling in the face of adversity.
After a psychedelic introduction sequence, your initial challenge is to choose between the game’s extensive modes. It’ll perhaps be ‘Party’ mode that will be most explored, the game supporting up to four USB microphones connected at any one point, ensuring that groups of friends can get in on the vocal action.
Within this ‘We Sing’ is your core non-competitive mode, seeing players singing together either in unison or as a duet. ‘Versus’ sees players go head-to-head, singing their hearts out to score more points than their opponent, with ‘Group Battle’ being similar to this but pitting two teams against each other. ‘First to X’ sees players select a score limit that they then compete to reach, whilst ‘Pass the Mic’ sees players cumulate their vocal talent by each singing sections of their chosen track.
The choice doesn’t end there either, with ‘Blind’ randomly hiding lyrics and sound at any given moment, ‘Expert’ removing lyrics and pitch bars entirely, and ‘Marathon’ allowing groups to sing through the entirety of a created playlist. Such diversity amounts to being the game’s greatest strength, its depth of modes suiting each and every party-based occasion.
A separate ‘Karaoke’ mode sees score and performance bars removed, allowing you to focus entirely on enjoying the experience without your competitive side getting in the way.
Across each, player(s) must sing along with the music, matching both pitch and rhythm as best they can to rack up points. On-screen indicators provide assistance in aiding you to achieve those elusive high scores, and three difficulty settings (Easy, Medium and Hard) all pose their increasing challenges – reducing the margin of error for the player and increasing the potential points that can be earned. Star Notes provide opportunities for you to gain a score bonus multiplier for particular notes, whereas a Rap Analysis Performance System (R.A.P.S.) also comes into play during certain track sections.
In between group sessions, there’s still plenty of content to be sinking your teeth, or most likely your vocal chords, into by yourself. Playing ‘Solo’ grants ‘Sing’, ‘Blind’ and ‘Expert’ modes, but, of more noteworthy attention, are Lessons. Here, the player can gradually improve their singing skills through practising the Solfege scale (Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Si). This, with regular use, will aid you with your pitching, which is of particular use to any aspiring vocal star.
As always, the tracks available for you to wail your way through will decide whether We Sing Pop! is worth a purchase dependent on your musical tastes. Nevertheless, the track list is suitably varied in an effort to cater for its overtly broad audience, selecting thirty chart-topping hits from the likes of Adele (“Rolling In The Deep”), Bruno Mars (“Just The Way You Are”), Enrique Iglesias (“Hero”), Hanson (“MMMBop”), Jessie J (“Nobody’s Perfect”), The Killers (“When You Were Young”), Lady Gaga (“Bad Romance” and “Born This Way”), Owl City (“Fireflies”) and Wham (“I’m Your Man”).
Peter Andre’s “Mysterious Girl” has also somehow made its way into the mix, but we’ll forgive Nordic Games for that particular atrocity of a choice…! You can view the full tracklist here.
The official videos for each track are also faithfully included (in Standard Definition thanks to the Wii’s lack of High Definition output) and are preceded by interesting trivia about the artists, tracks, or pointing out items hidden away within the videos themselves.
A series of thirty ‘Awards’ allow you to objectify and elongate your time with the game, tested through tasks such as creating your first playlist, completing all singing lessons, or scoring over 9000 points on every song.
‘Charts’ also ensure that you are able to track your high scores, achieved on which specific songs, across each of the individual modes. Customisation options also personalise the experience, allowing you to edit button colours, game backgrounds and even the menu music.
Even when you feel like taking a break, We Sing Pop! has you covered. Through the ‘Jukebox’ you’re able to view, and listen to, every track within the game through the in-game We Sing Television – creating playlists allowing you to watch eight of your favourites in succession.
We Sing Pop! is a worthy expansion to a continually well-established franchise on Wii. Its carefully considered and the varied track list is sure to appeal, delivering a ridiculously addictive karaoke experience fuelled entirely by fun.