Review: Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore

Karaoke Revolution American Idol WiiBy Canaroo

Okay. Wow. That title is amazingly long. That aside, I decided to write this little review because after a mad search of the internets (yes, all two of them), I was unable to find a single solid review of this game. Which, sadly, I wish I had because I would have read it and understood — quite plainly — that no one should even come within 50 feet of this game unless you enjoy tossing money away. Which, of course, I do.

With that said, on to the review.

(Wii) Online? We don’t need no stinkin’ online!

Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol (KRAI) is a disappointment the moment you pick the box up from the store. The Wii version of this game seemed to forget to include any online component. I say forgot because I am kind. In reality we all know what happened. While the Xbox and PS3 version got the royal online downloadable content treatment, Konami decided to kick the pooch with the Wii version. Perhaps they felt the online support just wasn’t there from Nintendo’s end. Or perhaps they felt that DLC just wouldn’t make sense for our small little white boxed friend. Whatever the reason, if you are looking to keep this game fresh by updating the game with new songs — think again.

American Idol Wii Graphics: Welcome to 1998

Yes, we have all heard the whole “Wii is just two GameCubes duck taped together” thing. We get it. But, even with these criticisms the Wii has shown that it can pump out some pretty “pretty” games. Endless Ocean, Mario Galaxy, or Metroid Corruption anyone? Sadly, the feat that those games achieve with artistic design is nowhere to be seen in KRAI. And yes, I know what you are thinking: but Mr. Reviewer, this isn’t an “art” game, this is a “real people” game. Fine, I get that. But trying to make anything look “photo realistic” on the Wii is an instant fail. Apparently Konami didn’t get that memo.

The judges look like they were just ported from the N64. As do every single other person in this game. I mean, looking at this game, the textures and shadows and jaggies — oh, the jaggies!! “Dear Konami, You cut me deep. You cut me real deep.” If one of the graphic artists came up to me and told me that they spent endless hours making this game look good, I’d slap them. Hard. There really isn’t much else to say about this department other than this: If you ever bought the Gamecube version of Karaoke Revolution, you have the better game.

American Idol Wii Game play: Pass the Saving Grace. Oh, we’re out?

It’s all about the game play, right? If there is one thing that can save a game despite the horrendous back steps it may have taken in every other department, it’s the game play. But, does KRAI deliver? Well, think of it this way, remember when you used to go to the store with the folks and beg and beg for some awesome new toy and finally after countless repetitious begging sessions get the thing only to find out that now that you have it, it really sucks. Well, that is kinda how the game play is here. Well, let’s be honest, that is exactly what the game play is here.

The Wii so desperately needed a Karaoke game. After the debacle that was Boogie, the Wii faithful were still hungry for some song belting action! So, when Konami announced they were releasing KRAI, well, hell, everyone was a little excited. Yet, here we are. The same mechanics of previous Karaoke Revolution games are here. You sing. The fancy meter thingy keeps you on pitch. And then, you get scored. And all is well in the world. Well, should be. But, unfortunately, KRAI has that whole American Idol thing attached to it. So, instead of just the fun sing-like-a-fool game play — you have all this American Idol crap to deal with. And, what a pain it is.

Look. I know you can “skip” the scenes in the game where Randy repeatedly calls you “dawg” or Paula compliments your outfit in a weird awkward sexual robotic way, but, for the love of all humanity, it is still there. Embedded in the game. The game is dripping with American Idol gooeyness and it is all the worse for it. [Side note: Yes. I am aware that this is an American Idol game. That is still no excuse for the major suckage that is the implementation of the franchise. I’ve seen street side hookers display more class than Konami does implementing the whole American Idol thing into their game].

“It Ends Tonight” and Other Closing Lines

In the end do yourself a favor, if you really feel the need to play a karaoke game on the Wii, buy any of the Gamecube versions of Karaoke Revolution. Not only will you save yourself money, but all in all, you will get yourself a better game. The graphics are cleaner and the game play is a hell of a lot more fun. No need to deal with the slapped on afterthought of American Idol.

Or, better yet: Wait. Just wait for something, some game, somewhere down the road that will realize that Nintendo fans too are familiar with the concept of DLC and–brace yourself here–are willing to purchase songs to keep the game fresh. Honestly, if KRAI had online DLC access like all the other versions, it would not be such the flaming piece of monkey poop that it is now. With DLC, it’d probably be only slightly flaming.

Graphics = death to eyes. Need I say more,?

I picked this game up because I enjoy a good round of “sing like a fool”. And yes, despite everything else, this game does provide those moments with some decent songs. But, in the end, I cannot in any way justify the 60 dollar price tag. Not even with the included microphone.

Oh, and way to not use the motion controls at all or the IR of the Wiimote. I’m not asking for much here, but let’s at least put SOME effort in separating this game from the other platforms besides lobotomizing the online function. Personally, I like the whole point and select manner that Mario Galaxy utilized. That, of course, is not seen here. How about some cool use of the Wiimote for dance moves? You know, like a boogie move here or there….you know, a Boogie move? Nope. It’s as if Konami didn’t care at all. But they wouldn’t just dump a game like that without caring, right? [Editor’s Note from Jack: Yes, ye they would].


2 wiimotes out of 7 (Why out of 7? Why not?)