If You're Addicted to American Idol...

... than DEFINITELY go out and buy the new game "Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol Encore" to help promote and further your addiction and officially be as obsessed as my girlfriend and I are. We purchased this game for our Wii this weekend and spent a good portion of our Sunday drinking Mojitos and singing our little hearts out (I know we should have been doing the laundry instead, but we couldn't help ourselves!) I recently had a taste of the karaoke-meets-video-game-technology phenomenon that comes with RockBand which I was able to play at a friends house. Given all the hype about RockBand, I think, for sure, it would be kick-ass but to my disappointment, the song list is a total let-down and completely sub-par. Maybe it's just that a lot of the songs were weird and obscure and as much fun as it is to play in a group, the selections were so limited that we could only play the same bunch of songs over and over again. This made the $170.00 retail value for RockBand not worth it at all. But, back to American Idol Karaoke...

Now, I fully admit to being an American Idol addict, especially during this season which has proven to be chalk full of talented vocalists, interesting girls and boys and great performers. In case you missed it, you can catch up with my earlier Idol Predictions of Who's Hot, Who's Not in the Top 12. Obviously, we've gone beyond that now with only 8 contestants left and with that, the competition is REALLY heating up. But enough of that, back to the American Idol Karaoke game. Really, in my professional opinion, the game comprises of two of the best things ever. American Idol + Karaoke = A winning combination. This game is the perfect entertainment for a group of people or if you want to have fun vocal fun by yourself. The Karaoke Revolution has grown and evolved into a game that provides some intense thrills AND manages to push you to great heights by making it personal. If Simon Cowell's insults don't make you want to rock a song and make him eat his words, nothing will.

The fundamentals of the world of Karaoke Revolution are all here. The lyrics scroll right to left and are accompanied with a bar that shows where all of the notes are. An arrow shows where your current pitch is and if you're in key with good timing you'll get the points. It's as simple as getting the arrow at the right place at the right time and as difficult as getting your voice to do what you want it to. Playing the game won't make you a great singer, but it will make you a better one. Even after five other games this same method continues to be the best out there in the genre.

The judges are tough and Simon Cowell, true to the show, is as cruel as ever (although the judges are overly nice if you do a half-decent job... too nice if you ask me). At the end of each song, the
three judges give you their verdict. Both Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson lend their voices to the game while Paula Abdul's role has been replaced by someone very similar named Laura. Although, doing well on a song can inflate your ego to about the size of the Goodyear Blimp (just ask me how I feel after my rockin' rendition of "Black Velvet"). The only thing I fear is that delusional, tone-deaf American Idol fans will use this game as an advocate of false hope to further their dreams of becoming an American Idol Superstar. I, for one, play the game for the pure entertainment aspect, but I can only wonder what others may think when Simon exclaims they are "a great talent in the making". I can see it already; the horrific vocalists during the first round of auditions proclaiming they should be famous because a virtual Simon told them they weren't half bad. May god have mercy on their self-imposed fallacies.

The other fun part comes in picking, naming and dressing your virtual superstar. You can choose from more outfits than Britney Spears has in her walk-in closet, including hairstyles, hats and other great accessories. 50% of super stardom involves looking good. My girlfriend always goes for the Showgirls outfit with the 3-D glasses, but I prefer a kangol cap, aviators and skinny jeans with orange stiletto boots. I know what you're thinking: H.O.T.

For those of you who are downright scared of singing anything in front of anyone, have no fear!! The sound and microphone settings are totally adjustable and customizable; you can crank your own mic and turn off the background singers, or do it the other way around and let the background singers drown out the sound of your own voice. After a few cocktails though, I guarantee you'll be pumping up the mic volume in no time.
To me, the best part of all is the song list. The creators of this game did a fucking fantastic job of picking just the right amount of rock, pop, R&B, oldies and of course my favorite, 80's music. Here's a list of some of the songs that come with the game. If you sing consistently stellar performances, you unlock cool videos and extra songs to keep you coming back for more.

(I Just) Died in Your Arms
Black Hole Sun
Black Velvet
Bohemian Rhapsody
Close My Eyes Forever
Come Sail Away
Heart of Glass
Hemorrhage (in my hands)
How to Save a Life
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
In The Air Tonight
It Ends Tonight
It's Still ROck 'n Roll To Me
Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Lips of An Angel
Midnight Train to Georgia
My Cherie Amour
My Heart Will Go On
Put Your Records On
Sister Christian
Sweet Dreams
Tainted Love
These Words
Time of the Season
Tiny Dancer
Too Little Too Late
Walking on Sunshine
You Can't Hurry Love
You're Beautiful

All in all, my girlfriend and I both love this game... in fact, we can't wait to host a Karaoke American Idol night at our apartment. I give this game a 9 out of 10. My only gripe? The set only comes with one mic, which means I'm gonna have to go buy another one since they have a duet feature that I am just dying to utilize. At just a measly $59.99 retail value, this game is definitely worth every penny. Kelly Clarkson, eat your heart out! (check out the video clips!)

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