Review by Dalimyr
"...And I thought the singers on the show were bad"
First off, this is a game based around a TV show, namely Pop Idol (or its american counterpart, American Idol). And just like in the TV show, you attempt to become the next pop idol.
Gameplay is supposed to be the main attraction for a game. A good game will undoubtedly have good gameplay. Unfortunately, this game really lacks any good gameplay at all. To begin with you get to design a character who will sing the songs. There is a moderate level of customisation here: you get to choose the person's gender, hairstyle, hair colour and clothes. Once you've created your new pop-star you get to sing the songs. You see your character on stage with a circle around their body. A square will go around that circle at a regular pace and icons representing the A and B buttons on your GBA appear on the circle. The aim of the game is to press the button(s) corresponding to the icons when the square passes over them. This in turn affects how well your character sings the songs (more on that later). The major niggle that I had with this was that while there was some sense to when the buttons had to be pressed, oftentimes you change between hitting the buttons in time with the music and hitting buttons in time with the singer. This gets quite annoying, since you might be familiar with a song and you would expect to hit a button when the person sings a certain word, but in fact you're hitting the buttons to the music instead of to the singer at that part of the song, then it suddenly changes so you're following the singer...really, it's awful.
Since there really isn't much of a story (you go through auditions then into eliminations, just like the show itself), I just couldn't rate this.
Tragically, the graphics are the best part of the game, and even they're not that impressive. The singers are 3D models with some basic dancing animations. The backgrounds are flat though, and even the judges look pretty bad. However, Simon Cowell and co. are somewhat recognisable, which brings up the rating to a below-average 4.
Now, a game that is based around singing...you would expect the sound to be good, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, the singing is even worse than that of the real people on the show (or on the auditions for the show). I mentioned in the gameplay section that pressing the buttons when the square passes over the A and/or B icons affects how the person sings. Well, that is true. The accuracy of your button-pressing is measured on a scale of 1-5 and is reflected in the game with a smiling green face (for a 5) to a sad red face (for a 1), and is also reflected with semi-decent singing (for a 5) to bloody atrocious singing (for a 1)...the downside is that even with getting constant smiling green faces (and hence constantly getting the best possible sounds), the songs still don't sound quite right. The singer has a nasty habit of being a bit sharp or flat at various bits of the song. The song sounds bad if you get all red faces (which is intentional), but it actually sounds a LOT worse if you get mixtures of ratings (from 1-5) since the singer will be jumping from being slightly sharp to very flat and back again quite quickly. The singing is awful and is supposed to be the focal point of the game. Also, the judges are barely audible...I felt generous in giving it 2/10
You could replay the game over and over again if you really wanted to, maybe to try and hear the songs at their "best", but once you've heard the atrocities in each song once, it's quite unlikely that you would want to subject your ears to the painful "singing" in each song again, hence eliminating the replayability factor.
Fun Factor 2/10
This is barely any better than Britney's Dance Beat. Its only saving grace is the mild hilarity that you can have by hearing someone singing the songs disastrously, but even that is short-lived as your ears will start to bleed profusely as the dreadful singing will take its toll.
Overall Rating = 12/50 = 2/10
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 09/08/04
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