A good mash up of the Fox TV juggernaut and the best karaoke game series currently available, "Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol" is a solid simulation of the reality show that confident singers will enjoy and shaky vocalists should fear.

A good mash up of the Fox TV juggernaut and the best karaoke game series currently available, “Karaoke Revolution Presents American Idol” is a solid simulation of the reality show that confident singers will enjoy and shaky vocalists should fear.

Hardcore fans of the TV skein will like the authentic voices, unlockable videos and the performance aspect, which should make them forget the dreadful first American Idol tie-in game released in 2003. Karaoke fans will like the variety of songs and “wow the crowd” elements from the “Karaoke Revolution” series of games.

Like the TV show, the ability to actually match the tune of the popular songs you perform is key. Singing into the microphone (attached to the PlayStation 2’s USB port) requires actual vocal skills. Mess up too many notes and the crowd boos, the lights flick on and off and the character on screen slumps.

Just as on the show, the most fun often comes from the snarky post-singing commentary by the three judges: Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson (who both lend their images and voices) and “Laura” a Paula Abdul look and sound alike (the real Paula is inexplicably MIA). Their commentary can be brutal, and at times mean spirited, just as “American Idol” fans have come to expect. However, the different difficulty settings in the game don’t seem to matter; even on “easy,” many gamers will be told they have no business singing in public.

In a great feature, players can use the EyeToy camera for the Playstation 2 to make a picture of themselves the face of the contestant hoping to be the next Clay Aiken or Carrie Underwood.

The wide selection of 40 songs (from Al Green to Tom Jones to the Captain and Tennille), fun story mode and numerous varieties of gameplay (including a pressure-free performance mode without any judging) make this one of the better karaoke games in the marketplace.

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