Some things in life never change. When you're in a rush in your lunch hour, there will always be a massive queue outside the bakery. If you trip on a loose bit of pavement, you will always attempt to turn it into a jog to appear completely in control to the strangers around you. Failed sneezes are forever disappointing, there's never a pen when you need one and the We Sing series will for perpetuity be exactly the same release with a skin change and a new track list.
If you haven't yet read one of our previous reviews of titles in the Nordic Games franchise, here's a quick catch up. We Sing is a karaoke game, like SingStar on PS3 or Xbox 360's Lips only with less powerful hardware. Subsequently there's all the completely competent note tracking you'd expect and a good selection of songs to choose from, yet load times are a little longer than the other titles and the accompanying music videos playing in the background are a bit grainer.
Several modes of play are on offer, the majority catering to this product's core audience: people who will buy this for an upcoming party. Up to four players can wield USB microphones and warble through the 40 anthems on offer, battling for high scores or working together to perform the track perfectly. If your name is Billy and your friend count is appropriately low then there's a solo mode on offer too. Ultimately though you're doing the same thing in each mode: singing — perhaps even in tune — to rock songs.
As usual the music on offer is varied and high quality, there's something for every member of your shindig regardless of age, gender and taste, as long as each person has at least a vague knowledge of pop-rock. Mum and Dad can duet to Tina Turner's The Best, crazy Uncle Eddy will grunt along to Motörhead quite happily and your Gran might be persuaded to join in with Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds. Though none of the tracks are cutting edge or deep rock cuts, Bloc Party, The Cardigans and Panic! At The Disco plus many more are all present and accounted for.
Strange for a release with a genre that often revels in bad language, when the naughties are rolled out, they get censored with no way to restore them to their former curse-laden glory. In most instances this is fine, yet tracks like Limp Bizkit's Rollin' suffer badly.
Bizkit's tune also shows off the way the title handles rap. Instead of following specific notes, it times how precise you are with the timings of the words being spat and it does a really good job of it. If Le Cortex ever created a hip-hop collection, it could easily take the mechanic that's here and use it in the new game; it's that solid.
Trouble is, that attitude is exactly how the studio has approached the previous six releases: aside from visual and audio assets, this is the original We Sing. Each iteration is decent and does exactly what you assume it would – provide a karaoke diversion at social gatherings – but it does no more. The single player is woefully underdeveloped with only achievements to unlock for lasting value, and the singing lessons are still too punishing while not actually teaching you to sing.
So do you need We Sing Rock on your shelf? If you've got an event coming up, fancy head banging to OK Go, Europe and Kasabian and only have a Wii to do so then, sure, why not? 40 songs is great value for money and the note tracking is fine enough for a noisy living room environment. It's still a very limited release though, there's no way to expand upon its content and no reason to bust it out by yourself, the game only seeing the light of day once or twice a year for family functions. If you think that's worth £25, buy it.