Many games have tried to take the crown from reigning karaoke king Singstar, and all have thus far failed. Lips, the Sing it! series, and the WiiU We Sing series have all failed to dethrone the Sony exclusive karaoke game.
Not one to shy away; the Now franchise, most famous for its “That’s what I call music” compilation series, has entered the fray with its rather elaborately named, Now! that’s what I call Sing.
Now! Sing, (which i will refer to ‘Now! That’s what I call Sing’ as from now on, and in my opinion is a far more catchy title), follows the outline of its progenitor, gathering together 30 of the latest hits, some more recent than others, but this time with the view to singing along competitively rather than just into your hairbrush
Singstar set quite a few standards with how to make a Karaoke game work, and Now! Sing doesn’t deviate from this formula, much to my disappointment and quite possibly to Singstar’s lawyers delight. Pitch tracking, although it did not originate on Singstar, is handled in exactly the same way, even to the point of bonus notes sparkling in the same way to notify you of the possible benefits of holding that perfect note. The scoring values, and even the score tally at the end of the song would fool even the most dedicated Singstar fan into thinking they were looking at their favoured series rather than a possible rival.
What Now! Sing does right, is in the game modes. The standards; solo, duet and battle all appear in this title, but they do bring something new to the genre, with the By Heart mode, which has you sing along without any lyrics displayed, Expert which takes it one step further and removes all visual cues and Elimination, which sees you go head to head with participants “eliminated” when their energy falls below a certain point when failing to hit notes, 20,000 which puts you in a race against your friends to hit the target 20k score. Finally, should you wish for some background music should you enjoy the songs available, the included Jukebox mode is a nice addition giving you your own personal music video channel.
With 30 tracks, I was hoping that there would be some recognisable, if not likable, tracks on the disk, but regrettably I was a bit too hopeful. There are no ‘classic’ tracks on here, with the focus purely on the pop songs of the last two years or so firmly in the sights over at Now towers, with only Maroon 5′s Moves like Jagger, LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem, and James Blunts You’re Beautiful fulfilling what Now! Sing classes as “old songs” This does limit its appeal somewhat given the massive catalogue of songs from many diverse styles and decades that you can easily obtain on its main competitor. With songs from Sia, Calvin Harris, Bastille, Avicii, Ariana Grande and of course the obligatory, Let it Go, there seems to have been a greater focus on acquiring modern “hits” rather than appealing to a wider audience, and this is one of it major downfalls.
Technically, Now Sing is extremely competent. note tracking and point allocation seems pitch perfect, with each successive note held adding to your steadily increasing total and at no time did I feel that I was in the hands of fate as to whether my score would match my performance, and even then there are some extremely challenging tracks in the mix, with Sia’s Chandelier being the amateur beater on all counts.
The fact that each song has a “new” tag indicates that Now plan to release either individual songs or song packs for individual purchase is of small consolation. With such a narrow appeal to begin with, I feel that they have hamstrung themselves somewhat, as the appeal to buy the base game is extremely limited based on the songs listed on the disc.
This, coupled with the rather wholesale copy of its competitor counts against what could really only be described as a competent karaoke game.
If you aren’t on Sony’s signature platform, this could be a sound investment for the future as long as you are happy that this is not, as yet, a game for all the family.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 6.5/10 Format: PS4/XboxOne Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Now! That’s what I call Sing by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of five days. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.