We Sing 80s Review

We get a blast from the past with a cracking set list in a mediocre singing game.

How time flies. In trying to refresh my memory of the critical journey I’ve taken with the many We Sing games available on Wii, I found an old review of mine for We Sing UK Hits. It’s hard to believe a whole year has past since I was belting out Queen to myself under the pretence of “work.” Times don’t always change though (as Queen are ironically on this game as well), the only difference this time being a distinct focus on keyboards in the tracks I’ve been singing this past week.

We Sing 80s offers a decade-focused expansion on disc for those who need even more variety for their karaoke and, whilst it’s not the most graceful method of delivering new content for a title, the new songs are almost worth it.

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Very little has changed in the way of the basic singing mechanics, game modes and interface since previous efforts. For a more full run down of these, I’ll point you to my previous We Sing review. To summarise for those too lazy to click another link, you have official videos and shiny pitch bars that cover up dodgy menus and an occasionally vague feedback on your pitch. Connecting more USB microphones opens up the fun to up to four players, with a variety of modes offering you control of what songs you do and how you sing them.

A few problems persist though, the pitch feedback being one of them. As before, despite the pitch detection being good on the whole, the game doesn’t tell you where you’re going wrong with the utmost precision. It’s still better than previous efforts though, actually reminding you if you’re too sharp or flat, but there’s no real sense of how far off you are, especially in the heat of an actual singing effort. If only there were some bars across the screen to show you relative pitch, it would be clearer, but it could be worse I suppose.

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The choice of modes is something that’s also a returning plus from the series. There are plenty of group and single-player modes to sink your teeth into, including a vocal coaching mode. Despite its good intention, it’ll be way too much for a totally novice vocalist and, despite the well structured lessons, the  game generally lacks a sense of progression, especially if you’re singing solo. Some kind of serious unlockables would add to the experience greatly but, as a party game, We Sing is never really going to appeal to the singular gamer.

The defining feature of this new expansion is naturally in the choice of songs, an element that is actually the most convincing part of We Sing 80s. From classic bands like Blondie and Queen to more obscure singles from Yazoo and Tiffany, most people will have their nostalgia glands tickled. It’s a varied list that excels at capturing the 80s cheesiness we all look for in a karaoke set list. The problem comes in certain tracks where, though they’re from bands that define the decade, the song choice is questionable. Why, of all Tears for Fears tracks, would you chose Shout over Everybody Wants to Rule the World?! Who does that? Not that I’m complaining at the inclusion of a classic Tears track but, though good, it just ain’t enough.

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It’s hard to give a proper score to We Sing 80s really, as your enjoyment of it will be largely based on your love of corny 80s music. Check out the set list printed below and, if you’re into karaoke, you’ll know whether they’re your sort of tunes or not. Even if you do like the tracks, the questionable feedback and presentation isn’t going to completely hook you. Not that the odd menu glitch is going to ruin your experience, but there are arguably better party titles out there. Still, if you really need to crack out some Toto with your buddies on the Wii, this is a cheap and effective way to do it.

  1. Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
  2. The Bangles – Eternal Flame
  3. Blondie – The Tide is High
  4. Cameo – Word Up!
  5. Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
  6. Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
  7. DeBarge – Rhythm of the Night
  8. Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
  9. Duran Duran – Rio
  10. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – The Power of Love
  11. The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
  12. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
  13. Lionel Richie – All Night Long (All Night)
  14. Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World
  15. Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie
  16. Paula Abdul – Straight Up
  17. Queen – I Want to Break Free
  18. Roxette – The Look
  19. Sabrina – Boys (Summertime Love)
  20. Sade – Smooth Operator
  21. Simple Minds – Alive & Kicking
  22. Smokey Robinson – Being with You
  23. Spandau Ballet – True
  24. Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
  25. Tears for Fears – Shout
  26. Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
  27. Toto – Africa
  28. T’Pau – China in Your Hand
  29. Yazoo – Only You
  30. Yazz and the Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up

This game was reviewed on Nintendo Wii.

The Good

Still fun with a group, A great title to play drunk, Decent variety of modes, Good list of tracks.

The bad

Still no sense of progression, Some track choices are questionable, Still not a fan of the price model.

FINAL VERDICT

We once again do the We Sing dance with a new set of tracks based around 80s hits. The disc based expansion model feels a little old, and the basic game remains identical to yesteryear's efforts, but the tracks are definitely karaoke worthy.

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