Review by StingX2
"Sure there is no Seacrest but no Game either"
A Singing contest, who would have ever thought it would escalate into the top five shows on television? Only those hardcore people watched American Idol when it started BUT everyone watched the sequel where Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard climbed to the top. This game however takes place before Clay even lost his glasses. Though not any of this is really on topic so lets break down the game.
S...Story? The boy or female character you choose wants to be a singer. So in front compete in front of millions or in this case yourself and a GBA. When you finish your performance of a 'life time' the judges appear only to get praised by 2 judges and insulted by that cheery Simon. It sounds like a fairy tale come true they even got a worse host than Ryan Seacrest.
Now I bet the three of you that are reading this review must wonder how in the world do you sing to a GBA. The catch is that you don't sing at all, instead Codemasters takes a nice rip from the Dance Dance Revolution series it is all button tapping. A complete rip it isn't as a Circle will appear around your character, so no more arrows for you young gamer! As the song starts the buttons to press will come up as your highlighter runs around the track more times than a day at Nascar.
This game stresses lazy for you, and it does it SO well. Only two buttons, A and B, will be the only tools necessary to finish the game. From tapping, to holding, to pressing both at the same time this game tests your ability to stay awake.
That really is it for what you have control of during the songs. Though that A and B pushing fest is also like a complete Dance Dance Revolution rip-off as depending on your accuracy of pushing the buttons you shall get Smileys. Of all things to represent your results of pushing buttons, big different colored smileys. The use of these Smileys has one use, get FIVE of the 'Perfect' ones to boost your performance rating. Seems useless but it actually is necessary to clear the last few levels or you'll be starting all over.
Next we come to the judges who in a bad computer voice will praise you unless you completely fail. Though no one really cares about the judges or most of this game, I at least only want to hear the negative commentary by a certain Brit. named Simon. It holds up to an extent but the game would have the same effect as R2D2 in this game.
There really isn't much more to American Idol except one of the weirdest ideas ever. You get to choose your characters costume for some reason and you are scored on it but the scoring effects NOTHING. Talking about really useless features this game has the best one.
Who in the world decided to mix 3d polygons and cell shading? Apparently this was Codemasters greatest idea ever. The judge's look fabulous in their cell shaded glory, unfortunately you and the host didn't luck out and were shafted with really bad 3d models. That's really all there is to say, as there might be a total of four different screens during gameplay. So in summary of this section, cell shading done well and 3d done worse than Superman 64.
A comment that would send Scooby Doo into shock, the sound is really good. Actually it will only be good if you can push the A and B buttons so you will not sound like William Hung. Now I'm just throwing an idea out there that you are sounding well by pushing those fabled buttons. Then you shall actually be treated to a decent performance that sounds like a human actually singing the song. This is without question the only reason anyone would continue playing this game, as it was for me.
Replay Value can be key to a successful game, unless you want to hear the songs sung again there is no value. American Idols big feature is unlocking the songs by completing them and unlocking pieces of clothes which effect nothing. Codemasters you rock for useless stuff, did I mention that?
We have a winner for a true GBA shame, as for success Codemasters needs to find that word in the dictionary. American Idol is playable and it does play well, but when you have no fun how worthy is that? The game serves more as a CD player than a GBA cartridge in all truthfulness. Believe me the CD player would be cheaper, and the only button to PUSH would be 'Play'.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 03/25/04
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