We Sing Encore (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 27.09.2010 5

Review for We Sing Encore on Wii

There are plenty of karaoke games on the market now, with the likes of Karaoke Revolution and U-Sing being two of the more popular ones. However, We Sing has continued to cause a storm in the charts across Europe. Last year Cubed3 reviewed the first We Sing from Nordic Games, stating that whilst it was indeed a fun experience, more was definitely expected of future releases. Now the developer has hit back with an updated version, We Sing Encore, which launched back in July. Does it manage to right the wrongs of the first outing?

There are a few key ingredients to making a karaoke experience highly enjoyable. The first is undoubtedly getting a few friends over, the second is ensuring everyone is in the party spirit, and the final aspect has to be the song selection on offer being varied enough to suit all tastes. We Sing Encore allows step one to be fulfilled by allowing a USB hub to be used for four-player microphone shenanigans, whilst the second element must obviously be supplied by the owner providing a healthy supply of alcoholic beverages and tasty snacks. The third part of the important equation, however, is only partially there. With other games of this ilk boasting a plentiful supply of songs, as well as extra downloadable content to let people pick and choose exactly what they want to exercise their vocal chords along to, this Wii karaoke experience is limited to a pre-determined forty tunes with no option to go online afterwards to flesh out the line-up.

We Sing Encore does attempt to bulk things up, though, by including lessons for players to practice hitting the right notes, or even change the difficulty of each song to test your singing skills further, yet the majority of people will purely be playing this with up to three other ‘starlets’ who want to delve straight into the songs (all of which come complete with full videos playing in the background, apart from a couple of tracks from the era when no videos accompanied single releases). In this respect Nordic Games has made the wise choice of allowing gamers to by-pass any intricate menu options and get straight to the heart of the product, launching into song within a matter of seconds. The minority that want more than a throw-away experience, however, will be happy to hear that Nordic Games has introduced new features to increase longevity in the absence of a music download service.

Screenshot for We Sing Encore on Wii

The developer should be applauded for trying to not only add new features to please fans (a duet mode; a ‘real karaoke’ option that removes all backing vocals entirely; the inclusion of points attributed to rapping in songs; replaying songs sang and messing around with the quality of your voice; special ‘Star Notes’ where extra points are gained for hitting tough notes; a Party Mode where four players can have even more fun; as well as a jukebox where all the videos can merely be watched without any interruption).

We Sing Encore continues to be ahead of the pack in terms of its four-player compatibility, and attempts to make amends for the lower-than-normal track-list by having ten songs exclusive to the British, German and Swedish versions of the release (such as The Lightning Seeds - Three Lions, S Club 7 - Don’t Stop Moving, Kasabian - Fire, and The Saturdays - Up), yet still struggles to sucker punch its competitors mainly because of the forty songs in total simply not being quite enough to warrant a long life-span (despite classics such as Right Said Fred - I’m Too Sexy, Lou Bega - Mambo No.5 and Spandau Ballet - Gold being on there). It is hoped that Nordic eventually decides to include Wi-Fi download support to let owners purchase new music to save onto their SD cards, or else punters will most likely turn to other alternative products on the market right now. For now, though, if you can find this for a bargain price it will certainly give enough enjoyment to carry Wii owners through to the impending release of the Robbie Williams version of We Sing.

Other than wailing away, possibly quite drunkenly, into the microphone, listening to your voice blare out of your television speakers, there is an actual aim to We Sing Encore in that you must adjust your voice to the same tones as the vocalist on the song itself, matching the on-screen bars that appear above the lyrics. The more times you manage to achieve the perfect tone, the more points you rack up overall. Most of the time, though, no matter how badly you sing, if the game believes the correct tone has been matched, the worst singer in the world can get comments such as ‘Give up your day job, you’re a natural!’ or something similar. Clearly the results are to be taken with a pinch of salt, and that phone call to The X Factor should be postponed slightly...We Sing Encore definitely improves upon the original in many ways, yet stumbles compared to competitors on other formats. On the Wii, though, it sits happily alongside the likes of Sing It, High School Musical and the duo of the latest Guitar Hero and Rock Band releases as a good choice for groups of people looking for some light-hearted fun in the confines of their living room.

Screenshot for We Sing Encore on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

We Sing Encore manages to edge past its predecessor to become the most engaging pure karaoke experience on Wii, yet still has quite a fair way to go before surpassing its competitors on other formats.

Developer

Nordic

Publisher

Nordic

Genre

Singing

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date TBA   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

"Sounds" fun, but not so sure about karaoke on the Wii. The setup and selection does have its appeal, but I've tried Singstar and don't think I'll be going back.

Expandability is key for music games especially, and with only 40 songs it'll likely grow stale fast, very fast. The Wii is the perfect machine for this kind of game, but is being restricted heavilly by downloads. That said EA and Activision are treating the Wii better with recent RB/GH games, so don't expect any different with karaoke titles.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

I would love to buy a karaoke game for my Wii but it doesn't sound like this will be the one.

Biggest problem I have is the cord. My Wii sits dead centre on top of my tv (58'WS) between my surround sound and cable/DVD boxes. I can't stand seeing cords hanging down in front of the telly.

Also, I just want to sing the songs and not be graded/judged/criticized (I know I CAN'T sing!!!).

Skip the extras and just give me more songs (with the option of buying more), entertaining visuals (be it music videos or scenic landscapes) and a cordless mic.

Anything like that out there for the Wii right now?

Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not.

Hmm, not sure about wireless mics, but don't the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero now feature karaoke modes? Failing that, there's Konami's Karaoke Revolution that you may want to check out.

Maybe someone else more well-versed in the genre can give a better response...

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Hmm, for karaoke on Rock Band / Guitar Hero you can play with the mics alone and optionally switch to 'no fail' mode to ensure that song's don't cut off. It's not really a karaoke experience in the way that SingStar or We Sing are, as they're not showing the music videos or just the words, it's the same as normal gameplay only without the other instruments on the screen as well.

I liked We Sing last time, so it's nice to hear that they've expanded it a little. Here's hoping that it continues to improve.

A barebones karaoke game would be fine with me, as long as it's got enough songs and the option to download more. That's the major lacking thing with these sorts of games, really.

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

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