Game: “We Sing UK Hits”
The United Kingdom, it’s got a long and rich history of producing musicians that are heralded around the world. Well, the term musician could be a little strong for people like the Spice Girls or David Grey but even so, it’s managed to create a fair few popular artists in the 100 or so years that music has been widespread. For the past 40-50 years there’s been people like David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker and Queen to name but a few of the good ones, there’s also been a fair few duds who managed to get popular like Rick Astley and Wham . Even so, these people represent the UK music industry and this random combination of artists have been pulled together to create We Sing UK Hits.
In We Sing UK Hits, the aim of the game is to sing your little heart out and score as many points as possible with the familiar songs from the past few decades in UK music history. To make this as easy as possible, We Sing UK Hits is essentially the same offering as previous We Sing games; however, it’s been jazzed up with a Union Jack and a few people singing around a UK background. A basic navigation screen is offered and offers 5 different modes of play, Charts, Jukebox, Solo, Party and Karaoke.
Charts isn’t really an option at all, it just shows the highscores from many a drunken night, Jukebox offers the full music videos to be played in any order and Karaoke allows the player to actually sing along to the music pure and simply. There’s no grading of how well the gamer is playing, but equally it only plays the backing track of the song, no lyrics are heard so unless the song is known very well, Karaoke isn’t really something many people will be spending a lot of time in.
The main bulk of the game is made up of Solo and Party modes. They both have very easy to navigate screens, there’s a simple no-nonsese approach when it comes to navigation on the “We” franchise and whilst this is great when you want to get moving with a game, it does make the entire process feel a little uninspired and “cheap”. Select from a range of 40 songs across all different types of genre, from easy to listen to pop-rock in the likes of Coldplay to the cheese of the 1980 from Wham. Each song is assigned a 5 star value on difficulty which is fairly accurate and after belting out a 5 star song, it’s very easy to need to sit back and have a drink to recover.
Unlike real singers, We Sing UK Hits doesn’t judge based on the words sung or how good it sounds, it’s all about pitch. So long as the pitch is roughly right, the words are unimportant. Easy to read and in time subtitles are running along the bottom of the screen, with bars in the middle indicating how long each word needs to be sung for, in fact putting the microphone against your neck can even gain points. This is the same problem that has plagued all karaoke style games since the PlayStation 2 era and SingStar and many of it’s contemporaries have the exact same issue.
Like with We Dance, We Sing UK Hits has managed to license the actual musician and music videos to sing along too. This very important addition gives the title extra credibility and makes the entire process even more enjoyable as thoughts of “cheap” and “this doesn’t sound right” aren’t appearing every few minutes. It also allows the Jukebox mode to exist, so it does have some extra functionality as well.
Unfortunately, there’s no ability to download extra tracks at the moment, songs can’t be imported from the SD Card Reader and there’s also no way of posting scores online for bragging rights. Luckily, there are in game achievements that pop up every now and again when you’ve completed something, like the highest high score, or the easiest one to get – finishing a song for the first time.
The Logitech microphones that are bundled with the game are of a high quality and pick up your singing, or humming, very easily. The microphones have a little weight, but are not heavy. This makes them feel like they are of a decent quality and importantly the lead is of a good length, around 10’, which means there’s plenty of room to stand back from the Wii and sing your heart out. The pair plug into the USB ports at the back of the Nintendo Wii and any other Wii compatible microphone will work with this game.
Whilst We Sing UK Hits is a bit of a “cookie-cutter” title, it will keep many people entertained for many an evening with a decent variety of hits from the past few decades and an easy to use menu system.