Release Date: July 13, 2004
Buy 'KARAOKE REVOLUTION VOL. 2': PlayStation 2
Nightlife in the U.S. is almost nonexistent, as it's rare to find places that are open around the clock. Contrast that with Asian countries, where nightlife is a given, and streets are aglow with the massive amount of lights and neon signs advertising "KTV" (karaoke bars). Most of us can't really take off on an international journey each time we want some late night partying, but we can always find viable alternatives. There are a few karaoke bars out here, but they are expensive and rather unimpressive. Thanks to Konami's Karaoke Revolution Volume 2, we don't have to leave the comfort of our homes in order to enjoy screeching good times.
The Karaoke Revolution series is basically your own karaoke machine for the PS2 console, requiring either a headset or the elusive microphone. Grab those ear plugs and prepare to listen to some of my horrific attempts at singing!
The game seems to be a repack of the original Karaoke Revolution, only with different songs and few new modes of play. It also seems that Harmonix has fine-tuned the game, requiring the player to be more vocal and sing louder than before. This, in turn, becomes torture for my roommates, as well as the pets lurking around, but I will sing till the last verse, trying with all my heart to pass these songs. Passing the songs is similar to the first volume: you must match the pitch required by the song so if you are good, you can just whistle or hum along. In addition to matching the pitch, you must hold that note for a set amount of time, playing identical to Dance Dance Revolution, but it’s no longer just a simple tap of the controller. It’s now all grades through the headset or microphone, and thankfully, Konami did take into consideration that everyone is different, so as long as you are hitting the same note on a different octave, it will still register correctly. This is especially helpful for the song “I Got Friends in Low Places,” since the singer goes so low that it’s unbelievable. My voice cracked a few times here and there, but thankfully, not all of the songs are that hard.
KR2 also features songs from Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Elvis, Aaliyah, and a few popular rock bands. Aside from the octave adjustment and new songs, how else does this title differ from the original?
The other differences you will see are: more characters, different venues, a new short song mode, and a multiplayer Medley Mode. To be honest, even with these modes, I feel that the game plays the same. Multiplayer Medley mode allows you to face off against fellow friend(s) in singing short versions of several songs. For those who have the time to pay attention to the background characters rather than the lyrics, you will notice that for once, the heads of the singers aren’t grotesquely large!
Graphics obviously aren't really the main focus of the game, but it’s something to keep us gamers occupied while we listen to our friends rock the song, or rip it apart. The models aren’t all that spectacular, but they get the job done.
The audio of the game differs depending on the ability of the singer. If you have a tone-deaf singer like me, I’m sure you will either get a laugh out of it or have some major ear damage. When the singer is accomplished, the audio is just amazing, and the PS2 seems like a true karaoke machine. Konami found a very impressive bunch of impersonators to sing the songs, and at times, you wonder if they are the real singers. I’ve even heard that the impersonators sing the song better than the real singers. If you do get the chance to hear that audio track you can clearly hear that the audio is superb and a job well done. If you really want to make this seem like a true karaoke machine, you should invest in a Logitech microphone.
The Logitech microphones are pretty hard to find; it took me ages to finally track down an online retailer who carries it, and it'll run you about $20. The mic better projects and captures your voice than the headset, since headsets remain quite close to your mouth and may not capture the correct tone. On the other hand, the headset has an earpiece that allows you to listen to the song at the same time you're belting out the tune. This is an optional accessory, but you may enjoy it.
Overall, this game is well done and lives up to its expectations. With better new songs and new modes of play, I’m sure the following for this title will be bigger than the last. With the announcement of Karaoke Revolution Volume 3 due out in December, this one is more than enough to tide you over for the next few months. If you're in the market for an excellent party game, be sure to snag this one.
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