Konami and Harmonix, two companies responsible for bringing rhythm games straight from the Japanese arcades to North American consoles, team up yet again in Karaoke Revolution Party, the mother of all peripheral collaborations. With dance pad, microphone functionality, and more than 50 songs, it's the biggest, most wildly diverse home karaoke game yet. However, Karaoke Revolution Party is only as good as its music, which is made up of songs so diverse that it will be hard to appease any one person for a long period of time. Despite the improvements, the numerous options still depend entirely on whether or not you enjoy the music selection. You'll probably find that in all these different modes, you'll be singing the same few songs in every one, which makes them not quite so different in the long run. Certainly devotees to karaoke will enjoy the changes that Revolution Party has to offer. But if you're anything less than diehard, you'll probably feel like this game, for all its options, doesn't have long-lasting value.
In Karaoke Revolution Party, you test your ability to successfully sing along with once-popular pop songs, rock ballads, and classic crooner hits. The original songs were not licensed for the game, so you'll be listening to generic cover artist adaptations instead. For the most part, this has little impact on the gameplay, since the discrepancies between the covers and originals are minimal. To sing, you'll need a GameCube microphone, a fairly unused peripheral for the system, which can be bought in conjunction with this game or Mario Party 6.
Karaoke Revolution Party takes your embarrassment to the next level.
The crux of the gameplay is a judging mechanism, which measures how well you're matching the song's pitch. This means that you can sing in any key you like, since you're not judged on anything other than pitch and the length that you hold the notes. Onscreen indicators are lines that correlate to note length and a small arrow that follows along with the music, which will rise above or fall below the line depending on whether or not you're sharp or flat. If you've missed the note entirely, the arrow will fall off the screen. So you can, if you've got the desire and the humility, slide up or down the vocal scale until the arrow reappears. The four difficulty modes don't impact the song, but the more-challenging modes will tighten up the judging requirements.
Although you can jump into the gameplay at any time and just start singing, Karaoke Revolution Party's special distinction is that there are about as many modes as you can think of to go about doing it. Using either one or two microphones, you can sing solo songs, duets, melodies of all sorts, and compete individually or in teams against other people. There are also gameplay modes that let you knock out the competition, or trade off the vocal riffs midsong. While it's interesting to play around with the different types of competitions and find the style that most suits your party's needs, you'll likely stick with one particular mode, like the one-mic party arcade option or the two-mic party duet option, which lets you unlock new items and compare scores without too much loading in and out of the menus. As you play through one of these modes, earning gold and platinum records, you'll automatically unlock new karaoke avatars, outfits for them, and songs along the way. Unlockables come from completing different challenges, like getting a perfect duet performance, acquiring 10 platinum records, or reaching 100,000 points. You can also try your hand at the minigames, which require you to navigate volleyball players, stage divers, and a solo artist using the sound of your voice. The minigames are a funny diversion, but they're not worth playing for more than a few minutes.