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Karaoke Revolution vs. SingStar: Which is tougher?

Kyle Orland

The surface differences between SingStar and Karaoke Revolution are obvious. One uses the official versions of songs, the other uses covers. One has full music videos in the background, the other has animated 3D singers and environments. One has remained blessedly license-free, the other gave us the image of an uncanny-valleyified Simon Cowell that can never be erased from our minds.

But the surface differences don't really matter in the end. What really matters is how well each game judges your vocal performances. After all, this judging is what separates the karaoke video game from the weekly "talentless hack night" at your local bar. When we noticed that SingStar Pop and Karaoke Revolution Vol. 2 both shared the Britney Spears hit "...Baby one more time," we knew we had a definitive test on our hands.

That's right: two systems, two games, two microphones, one performance. Which game would be more lenient on our awful singing? Continue reading to find out.

Previously: Joystiq Video: Karaoke Revolution Country

Some notes on the testing:

  • Syncing up both games for this test was incredibly hard. While Karaoke Revolution dives right into the song after loading, SingStar has 16 seconds or so of music video before the song actually gets going. If you don't pause each game at exactly the right moment, the music won't sync up when started and the comparison becomes impossible. The video above omits dozens of failed attempts.
  • Surprisingly, both versions of the song have slightly different lyrics. In Karaoke Revolution: "Tell me baby, 'cause I need to know, now, what we've got." In SingStar: "Tell me baby, 'cause I need to know now, oh, because." Any commenters out there own the album and can tell us which one is wrong?
  • The SingStar version asks you to sing a lot of "oohs" and "ahs" between verses that the Karaoke Revolution version leaves out of the judging. For its part the Karaoke Revolution shows slight trills on notes that SingStar shows as a solid bar.

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