Turn around, bright eyes.
As I started up We Sing Encore from Nordic Games, I was expecting a somewhat less than impressive experience, especially when compared with lips or SingStar. However, after causing distress to people wandering by in the street and enjoying a number of collaborative hits with some howling dogs, I realised that this is pretty damn good. Unlike my singing.
Just like Karaoke at the local pub, We Sing Encore, from Nordic Games, challenges the player to sing along to a given song, with the lyrics being displayed on the screen. Unlike Karaoke at the local pub, the game gives you a score depending on your performance, rather than just people throwing beer glasses at your head. I really must consider not doing Karaoke at the local pub.
The format is well known now, with Lips and SingStar offering much the same on the Xbox360 and PS3. The game comes either packaged with two wired microphones, or by itself for those finding themselves drowning in microphones. I was concerned that the wired microphones may be an issue (after a rather nasty incident with a wired microphone and the drumkit from RockBand). But the cables are of a reasonable length and there is surprisingly little leaping around in this singing game.
We Sing Encore begins at a disadvantage when compared to the other Karaoke games in that there is no DLC available to bolster the library of songs. However, the game does come with 40 songs and there are plans to bring out expansion discs with more songs. The songs included come from a variety of different genres and years, with classic Karaoke favorites such as “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “I Will Survive”, to more modern classics like “Fight for this Love” by Cheryl Cole and “I Need You” by the delightful N-Dubz. Although limited by the lack of DLC, the collection of songs should satisfy all but the most hardened metal head.
In what is a first, I think, for a Karaoke game, We Sing Encore offers a collection of lessons in the form of mini games, for those who take their singing more seriously. There is also a pure Karaoke mode that gives the player a chance to sing along without having to worry about scores and such. But where this game really shines is in the multiplayer party mode.
Some may question the person who plays singing games by themselves, but we are not here to judge. All Karaoke games, We Sing Encore included, are essentially party games and are infinitely more fun when played with a bunch of friends and copious amounts of alcohol, or fizzy pop for the youngsters. We Sing Encore goes above and beyond in this respect by adding some great new takes on the multiplayer singing game.
Up to four players can join in the fun, as long as there are ample microphones available. There are the standard modes where the players all sing the song and get scored collectively and versus where each player is scored individually. Group battle teams the players up in groups of one to three and then challenges them to a versus game. There is a competitive mode where the players try to be the first to reach a certain score.Once that score is reached, the song ends. Then we have the two most entertaining modes, Pass the Mic and Blind.
In Pass the Mic, only one microphone is used and the players must quickly pass the mic to the next player when indicated. This mode gets far more crazy as the evening, and the alcohol consumption, moves on. Blind is all about singing the song correctly, which is not so easy when the lyrics keep disappearing.
We Sing Encore is all about the party. Single player seems slightly embarrassing to play, more so than Lips or SingStar, possibly because We Sing Encore takes itself far less seriously. But the wealth of different party modes, combined with an easy to use interface and a collection of unoffensive songs, make We Sing Encore one of the best “grown up” party games around.