We Sing Pop! by THQ Nordic and Le Cortex is the latest karaoke game in the We Sing series to come to PS4 and Xbox One and features “the hottest sounds from the world’s biggest artists”, so long as you are in agreement with the track listing. Available as either a stand alone game singing into your smart phone or as a bundle with 2 gold topped microphones, let the drunken sing offs commence! (I don’t condone drinking however it helps when it comes to singing!).
Boasting 8 game modes, 30 original song recordings and videos that span across the last 5 decades, We Sing Pop! certainly has something for everyone here. The first hurdle that I came across was connecting the USB wired microphones. Unfortunately for me, an issue with the front usb ports of my Playstation Pro made them unable to be recognised, a known issue according to the official We Sing website. It was a shame and I did feel a little rejected as I cast the golden capped microphones to one side. But hey its ok, you can download the app and use your smartphone! Here I hit another snag as the app refused to connect to the playstation stating that “the server cannot be reached” and that “the We Sing game possibly requires updating.” Another message on the screen said to ensure that all the devices were on the same network. Ahh I think, maybe the PS4 needs to be connected using the wireless network so that the SSID of my internet hub matches that of my smart phone. Feeling smug I try this, but it is to no avail. The final hope for any singing rests in connecting my headset to the controller and pulling off a rather fetching Britney Spears look. Yes!! It works, I just need to wake the kids up now. It is far from convenient but hopefully for you these issues will not crop up.
Being in a pub band, I am into music, singing and having a good time so naturally I was more than happy to embarrass myself in front of the family without any hesitation. First and fore most lets take a look at the track list.
- ABBA – Mamma Mia
- Alan Walker – Faded
- Avicii – Hey Brother
- B-52’s – Love Shack
- Bastille – Pompeii
- B.o.B ft. Hayley Williams – Airplanes
- Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
- Calvin Harris – Summer
- Calvin Harris & The Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love
- Christine & the Queens – Tilted
- Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
- Clean Bandit ft. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie – Rockabye
- Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime
- Coldplay ft. Beyoncé – Hymn For The Weekend
- Ellie Goulding – Burn
- George Ezra – Budapest
- George Michael – Faith
- Jason Derulo – Want To Want Me
- Jonas Blue ft. JP Cooper – Perfect Strangers
- Kygo ft. Conrad Sewell – Firestone
- Lorde – Green Light
- Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
- Nico and Vinz – Am I Wrong?
- OutKast – Hey Ya!
- Queen – I Want To Break Free
- Scissor Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’
- Sia ft. Sean Paul – Cheap Thrills
- The Chainsmokers & Coldplay – Something Just Like This
- Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
- Zara Larsson – Lush Life
Spot anything you like? The kids saw plenty of choice here with Alan Walker’s “Faded” being their first selection for me. So should I sing in a versus competition? A sing off with the other 3 boys or by myself to see how I stacked globally online with the best of the best? I decide to go it alone for now, to warm up of course!
Confirming the track to sing I was faced with a menu to select my game mode along with options to choose between either a standard or expert setting. The difficulty could also be chosen along with vocal options. The standard and expert setting is a fun way to challenge yourself and friends as by selecting expert removes the guiding pitch bars during the song as well as the lyrics from the bottom of the screen. Great if you know the song inside out and even better if you are in stiff competition for bragging rights! Vocal options allows you to choose to have the track playing with the original vocals or purely as an instrumental, giving you the real pub karaoke experience.
For anyone that has never had the pleasure of playing singing games, points are scored by successfully hitting the correct note at the right time during the song. Too high, low, or even missing the note completely results in a loss of points and ultimately could cost you the track when playing competitively.
Included in the multiplayer modes, in addition to those mentioned earlier, is the option to duet, group battle for upto 4 players and party mode where you “pass the mic” to named players during a song. An additional karaoke mode is available where the scoring is taken away should you wish to not be publicly shamed on the screen for your performance.
As far as the singing experience goes, it is probably one of the hardest karaoke games I have ever played. I do not mean this in a bad way however. We Sing’s ability to listen for an accurate representation of the desired note is phenomenal, therefore should you manage to hit 100% accuracy I would seriously consider applying for X-Factor or similar.
So far there is no hint of any DLC track packs that Sing Star like to try and push on you with adverts throughout your gaming experience. For now I see this as a positive thing as you do not feel cornered into spending more money in updates and expansions. There is something for everyone in the current track listing and as a family we were pretty content.
The menu system of We Sing Pop! is neatly laid out and simple to navigate. The main graphics during singing are the HD original music videos that accompany your moment of fame along with the lyrics and pitch bars to guide you through the track. No grumbles here.
The tracks are all original and sounds exactly as they would if you either streamed them online. I played them via the surround sound system and was not disappointed. The singing on the other hand, well that is in your hands. You can either sound like the next best thing or shatter all the glass in the neighbourhood!
30 tracks gives you a lot of selection and the variety of options such as turning the lyrics and pitch bars on and off can alter the difficulty greatly. There are plenty of gaming modes to suit the number or people that want to take part and the competition doesn’t end when you are on your own thanks to the online modes. With family and friends soon to be around to celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve, We Sing Pop! is sure to be entertaining the masses in our household and for parties to come next year.
I award We Sing Pop! 8/10 giving it a Thumb Culture Gold award.