Review | We Sing Encore
Sing When You’re Winning…
Format: Wii | Genre: Karaoke | Publisher: Nordic Games | Developer: Wired Productions | Release date: 20/08/10 | Price: £29.99/£49.99 with two microphones
Jennifer Allen sings like a miming diva with WE SING ENCORE.
SINGING. IT’S a lot harder than it looks isn’t it? So many people think that they can do it well, but in reality, it’s quite a small number indeed. It doesn’t stop us all trying though. Especially on a Saturday night when the alcohol’s flowing and Summer of 69 comes on instantly reminding you of just how great life could be. Or is that just me?
Regardless of what I happen to get up to on a night out, We Sing Encore enables players to experience the drunken fun of singing to your heart’s content, all from the safety of your living room sofa. Of course alcohol is optional. During testing, while the group of friends who played it were downing many a cheeky glass of wine, I resisted in order to clearly remember my time playing it. So, even sober, I learnt that We Sing Encore is a hell of a lot of fun when played as part of a group.
The basic concept behind We Sing Encore is simple – words appear on the screen and you sing along. Just like karaoke, albeit a karaoke machine that then judges you accordingly. Fortunately (for me at least) We Sing Encore is quite forgiving. It also seems to be quite accepting of players shouting down the mic which was handy for my friend who decided to just shout rather than sing. For those lucky souls who can actually sing however, We Sing Encore does appreciate the effort. There’s a ’sung pitch bar’ that shows how much higher or lower your vocals need to be whenever you fail to hit the correct pitch (quite often if you’re me). Mostly though, We Sing Encore never veers away from being simply good fun.
There are singing lessons available in the package if you really want to try hard. These vary from simply holding a note for a length of time to learning to breathe correctly while singing. I’ll admit to only giving them a passing glance though as after all, I want to have fun. I’m not convinced any amount of singing lessons could actually improve my singing voice anyway, so I’ll stick to drunken confidence ensuring I vocalise loudly and proudly.
It’s the multiplayer modes that are the most fun overall. While solo mode has the slight competitive edge in that you can collect awards as you go along, nothing beats a group singing session. I reckon there must be something in the process of singing that means endorphins are released as it’s hard not to smile as you sing along, even if it is to a distinctly dodgy track such as N-Dubz ‘I Need You’. There is a good mix of songs available however. While there are the karaoke classics such as I Will Survive, Gold and Total Eclipse of the Heart, there are also more modern tracks such as Cheryl Cole’s, sinks into your brain whether you like it or not, Fight For This Love and the even more addictive Umbrella by Rihanna. There are also plenty of contemporary hits such as S Club 7’s Don’t Stop Movin’ and Mika’s Grace Kelly. I could happily relive my youth courtesy of Lou Bega’s Mambo No 5 too which was a particular bonus. Initial concerns that maybe it was too varied were unfounded as my group of test subjects/friends seemed quite happy with the vast majority of tracks on offer and none of them polarised the group. Possibly my heartfelt rendition of Tainted Love scared them away, but that’s no fault of the game. No DLC capabilities is a bit of a shame but 40 tracks is nothing to be sniffed at and much of the fun will be garnered from the people you play alongside.
Besides being able to sing along in duet mode, there’s also the ability to sing against each other in various versus battles. If you’re cruel enough, you can even play 3 versus 1 thanks to We Sing Encore having 4 player microphone support. First to reach a certain score is also quite fun if you’re a competitive sort but it does get slightly frustrating as and when the song stops abruptly once the score has been reached. Unless of course you’re rubbish like me, then it goes on for a long time. Pass the mic is the scariest of modes but down a few more drinks and you won’t care. It’s a bit like a relay race, only with singing and added embarrassment thrown in as it becomes quickly apparent who is the weakest of the group. True experts can always switch to Blind or Expert mode where the lyrics are gone, and in the case of Expert, pitching advice has also been removed.
Of course, there’s the obligatory ‘if you’re anti social and/or only like shooting things, you won’t like this’ sentence. It’s true, you really won’t like this. We Sing Encore is a party game; it thrives on having a good, keen group of friends and a source of alcohol and party food. Singing isn’t essential in any way but not feeling self conscious is rather important. I can’t sing, few people should be subjected to my singing voice. But when you’re all laughing like mad and failing miserably to hit the right high note in Grace Kelly, it really doesn’t matter.