Ever since SingStar appeared on the PlayStation 2, it’s become pretty much a necessity for home game consoles to have a karaoke game, such as Lips for Xbox, the various incarnations of Rock Band, and many, many more. U-Sing for the Wii is one of the latest to join the fray, but is it any better than the rest?
Well, no, not really. In fact, it’s pretty much the same as the original SingStar, offering single-player and two-player head-to-head modes. The only difference of note is the battle mode, in which players take turns to be the attacker, imposing penalties on their opponent by singing certain notes. Other than that, though, it’s what you’d expect: you sing along with a song, and the notes you sing are shown next to where the correct pitch is. If you sing in tune, you gain more points; if not, you don’t.
The only real surprise is that the game only comes with one microphone, which rather takes the party potential out of it. That said, it is called ‘U-Sing’, rather than ‘U-And-A-Friend-Sing’, so maybe that’s to be expected. Still, it’s disappointing that you’ll have to fork out for another USB microphone if you want to play two-player, which most people will.
Of course, the quality of any singing game is ultimately going to be decided by the selection of songs it comes with. In the case of U-Sing, there are 30 of them, including a few classics such as My Girl (The Temptations), ABC (Jackson 5) and California Dreamin’ (The Mamas And The Papas). Unfortunately, though, there’s far too much of the likes of Boyzone, The Pussycat Dolls, Lady Gaga and Lily Allen.
The overall selection, then, is poor, and a lot of the songs aren’t really particularly karaoke-friendly. Obviously, this is a problem that all singing games will face, to a degree, but there is a way around it: downloading new songs. This is certainly possible with the latest SingStar games, which offer SingStore, where you can buy new tracks individually without having to pay for a whole new disc. Sadly, this option hasn’t been included in U-Sing, which is utterly bewildering, since the Wii is able to access the Internet.
What all this means is that U-Sing is a rather average singing game, and you’re probably better off with We Sing, which comes with two microphones, and also has a four-player mode, if you want to purchase a couple more. Also, it’s easier to Google, because typing ‘u sing’ in will just present you with pages of results for the word ‘using’. Call me petty, but I think that’s a pretty big problem.
U-Sing is out now and available from the Den Of Geek Store.