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ups: karaoke fun, entertaining, good use of eyetoy, lots of replay with minigames
downs: too few familiar songs

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Karaoke Country Revolution Review: Mamas Don't Let Your Gamers Grow Up to be Cowboys
game: CMT Presents Karaoke Country Revolution
three star
posted by: Laurie Taylor
publisher: Konami
developer: Harmonix
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ESRB rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older)
date posted: 12:51 PM Sat Apr 29th, 2006
last revision: 07:23 PM Mon May 1st, 2006

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Click to read.CMT Presents Karaoke Revolution Country operates almost identically to the earlier Karaoke games, except that Karaoke Revolution Country features only country songs. This limited focus makes Karaoke Revolution Country an excellent game for Country Music fans while remaining a fun game, even if for limited time periods, for those less fond of Country Music. Some of the songs are cross-over classic folksy-rock-country songs while others, like Boot Scootin\' Boogie, are country to the core. The particular songs are important because, while the game excels as another entry into the Karaoke series, the only real problem is that the game doesn\'t have enough familiar and singable songs.

Like the other Karaoke games, Karaoke Revolution Country offers players multiple Karaoke games, including Quickplay, One Mic Party, Two Mic Party, the EyeToy Character Creator, straight Karaoke with no scoring, and extras like mini voice-controlled games controlled like crowd surfing and volleyball. Before players access the main Karaoke games, there are a number of options, like setting up a character avatar, choosing a song, and choosing the judging difficulty, whether select to be judged harshly or forgivingly. Also like the other Karaoke games, these options can be handled quickly and all make the game more focused on fun play.

For new players, Karaoke Revolution Country\'s quickplay allows players to jump in and have their performance scored. One Mic Party allows players to compete using one mic, a nice concession that the Karaoke games make for those who haven\'t yet invested in multiple mics. In One Mic Party, one to eight players use one mic in a variety of singing competitions, including arcade, medley, minigames, and the KR challenge. Each simply allow players to compete while singing or using their voices to control the games. Two Mic Party operates on the same premise, but has different options for two to eight players. These options include duets, knock outs, sing offs, minigames, and the KR challenge. All of these are great ways to interest new players and they\'re solidly implemented in Karaoke Revolution Country just as they are in the other Karaoke Revolution games.

Karaoke Revolution Country\'s basic character creator allows players to create their characters from a selecting gender, one of a spectrum of body styles, a hairstyle, clothing, shoes, and accessories. Players can unlock more options by winning in the rest of the game. The country-western style outfits definitely add to Karaoke Revolution Country\'s overall country aesthetic. Also, while the character personalization isn\'t necessary, it certainly adds to the overall fun factor of the Karaoke games, and the same is true for Karaoke Revolution Country. The Eye Toy character creator is also fun, and allows players to personalize their characters by putting their own faces on the characters. This is fun, but mainly because faces tend to look distorted and creepy. While weird and more something to laugh about than with, it is an interesting concept and implementing personalized EyeToy people here could make it easier for later games to include it in less creepy, or more intentionally creepy, ways. When players sing poorly, and I have loads of experience in this arena, the characters even slap their legs and shake their heads in frustration. This is funny or somewhat tragic-as I learned-depending on just how badly a player sings. Since their movements are dynamic in relation to players\' singing, the characters\' movements make a nice visual complement to Karaoke Revolution Country\'s overall game display and interface.

Karaoke Revolution Country adds fifteen venues for players to perform to the already selectable characters and play style choices for the game. One of those is an Eye Toy venue which uses the Eye Toy\'s camera to create the background, which was another nice touch.

In general the Karaoke games, like Dance Dance Revolution, tend to look fairly silly to those unfamiliar with the games. However, the silliness is part of the fun and music-dance-singing games are excellent at generating interest in atypical players and CMT Presents Karaoke Revolution Country is no exception. Since there are multiple basic games and they can be played enjoyably in multiple ways with incredible ease, Karaoke Revolution Country really succeeds in allowing new players to quickly access the game and to have fun without any barriers. And, one of those barriers has been song choice for folks who listen to country music since the earlier Karaoke games tend to focus on pop, rock, alternative, and other styles of music.

While the game is extremely fun, even for those who know little to nothing about Country Music, this level of fun is only sustainable with enough songs and enough quality songs that can be sung and re-sung. The song list is useful since the main issue with CMT Presents Karaoke Revolution Country versus the other Karaoke games are the songs. The songs include:
9 to 5
All My Ex\'s Live in Texas
As Good As I once Was
Boot Scootin\' Boogie
Does He Love You
Don\'t Worry \'Bout a Thing
Friends in Low Places
Good Ol\' Boys
Goodbye Earl
Hot Mama
How Do I Live
I Like It, I Love It
I Walk the Line
I\'m Movin\' On
Independence Day
It\'s a Great Day To Be Alive
It\'s Five O\'Clock Somewhere
It\'s Your Love
Mammas Don\'t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys
Mud on the Tires
My Give a Damn\'s Busted
On the Road Again
Redneck Woman
Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)
She Thinks My Tractor\'s Sexy
Stand By Your Man
Suds in the Bucket
The Gambler
What Was I Thinkin\'
When the Sun Goes Down
Wide Open Spaces

Many of these songs are familiar for country and non-country music fans, but more songs that are familiar are needed. While the songs range from some classic country and classic folksy hits to newer songs, too many of the songs weren\'t ones that were old or new classics, so many people wouldn\'t know or wouldn\'t want to continually sing them. For instance, two of my friends who are extremely knowledgeable on country music mentioned that \"Friends in Low Places\" was an essential hit missing from the start of the game. While \"Friends in Low Places\" is unlockable later on, many other songs which would appeal to those less, or not-at-all, versed in country music are missing entirely. Overall, CMT Presents Karaoke Country Revolution is a fun and useful entry into the Karaoke series. After a few hours of play though, the novelty wears thin because of the song choices.

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