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.
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.
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.
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.
- Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
- The Bangles – Eternal Flame
- Blondie – The Tide is High
- Cameo – Word Up!
- Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
- Cyndi Lauper – True Colors
- DeBarge – Rhythm of the Night
- Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
- Duran Duran – Rio
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood – The Power of Love
- The Human League – Don’t You Want Me
- Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
- Lionel Richie – All Night Long (All Night)
- Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World
- Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie
- Paula Abdul – Straight Up
- Queen – I Want to Break Free
- Roxette – The Look
- Sabrina – Boys (Summertime Love)
- Sade – Smooth Operator
- Simple Minds – Alive & Kicking
- Smokey Robinson – Being with You
- Spandau Ballet – True
- Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
- Tears for Fears – Shout
- Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
- Toto – Africa
- T’Pau – China in Your Hand
- Yazoo – Only You
- Yazz and the Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up
This game was reviewed on Nintendo Wii.