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We Sing: Robbie Williams

21:3411/11/2010Posted by Simeon PaskellNo Comments

Love him or loathe him, there’s little chance of you not being aware of Robbie Williams. From prancing about with Take That to stripping off his own flesh and donning Kiss-makeup in his solo career, the cocky crooner has been the centre of a media hurricane for the best part of twenty years. It’s only now, however, that he gets to take centre stage in his very own videogame with We Sing: Robbie Williams. Let him entertain you…

There is little point is skirting around the fact that how much enjoyment you’ll be able to glean from We Sing: Robbie Williams is entirely dependent on your opinion of the titular boy-band bad-boy. If you’re not a fan of his music, we suggest you move along…there’s nothing to see here. That being said, there’s no denying that the package is stuffed with authentic ‘pop-hits’ and that a quick scan of the 26 tracks included evidences just how many of the things Mr William’s has had (and this is excluding his work with Take That). From Angels, Let Me Entertain You, Rock DJ, She’s the One and No Regrets to Kids and Somethin’ Stupid, the track listing is strongly positioned to appeal to party audiences, and with Christmas just around the corner the timing of the release is impeccable. In addition to the songs (all of which are accompanied by the music videos) We Sing: Robbie Williams also includes archive material such as a photo gallery and footage from his Knebworth performance. Williams’ also contributes his dulcet tones to provide an in-game commentary on your performance.

To date the We Sing series has done a good job of muscling into to territory that has long been dominated by the karaoke heavy-hitter that is SingStar and everything that we praised in our review of We Sing: Encore is present and correct here. Most importantly, the game’s tracking and ranking of your singing ability is spot on. Developer Le Cortex’s approach to videogame karaoke is also reasonably forward thinking, delivering a feature set that is both rich and varied. Single and multiplayer modes are bolstered with in game awards and party modes (including the likes of Vs, Group Battle, Pass The Mike modes) add variety. Of course, there is also the We Sing’s unique selling point – support for four singers at once.

Unfortunately, the very existence of We Sing: Robbie William’s highlights one of the series’ major problems, namely the inability to grow your library of songs through a digital download service a la the SingStore. While it is hard to criticise We Sing itself for this too much (it is, after all, a problem that stems from the abilities of its host console rather than any fault of the developer), the fact remains that in a head-to-head karaoke face-off, Sony’s SingStar has a distinct advantage. Without being able to tailor a music library to suit a player’s particular tastes, We Sing has to rely on add-on packs such as this, which in turn limits this particular releases appeal. Unfortunately, until Nintendo see fit to release a Wii hard-drive (or indeed a new version of the console itself) there’s no way around this issue.

As a celebration and exploration of a specific artists musical output, We Sing: Robbie Williams is a success, with a track listing that is as complete as you could hope for, and the additional material definitely helps to bolster the experience. We Sing’s mechanics also still hold up to examination well and it looks likely to remain the go-to karaoke game of choice for Wii owners for the foreseeable future. However, what this particular release cannot offer is variety and it seems inevitable that for most it will fall into the love it or hate it category; much like Robbie Williams himself then.

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