- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)35
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Rock on with latest musical games
Thanks to the current wave of musical games, you and your friends can rock 'n' roll all night.
For "American Idol" wannabes, there are karaoke games like Sony's "SingStar." For those who can't carry a tune, there are instrumental games like "Rock Band 2" and "Guitar Hero World Tour." These familiar titles remain your best bets for a lively party, but there are some new contenders.
Microsoft, for the Xbox 360, $69.99
"SingStar" has found a niche of karaoke-loving PlayStation owners, with hundreds of songs available for downloading. "Lips" has a long way to go to catch up, but it's a worthy alternative for Xbox owners.
It's easy to play: Just pick up a mic, pick a song and start warbling. You're judged on timing and pitch, and you aren't penalized much if you miss a note. Hard-core gamers may object to the complete lack of challenge, but karaoke's more about having fun than trying to rack up high scores.
The 40-song set list is nicely diverse, from country crooners like Johnny Cash to pop stars like Beyonce and Rihanna. "Lips" comes with two solid, elegant microphones, so two singers can challenge each other or perform duets cooperatively. HHH of four.
Less successful are two latecomers to the guitar game craze that began in 2005 with "Guitar Hero." Both try to eliminate the need to buy fake plastic instruments; instead, you use the Wii controller to simulate holding a guitar or beating on drums.
Disney, for the Wii, $49.99
In "Ultimate Band," you choose notes with the Nunchuk controller and strum with the Wiimote. It never feels close to playing a guitar, although drumming feels a little more realistic. The song selection ranges across most of rock history, from The Who's "My Generation" to Katy Perry's "Hot n Cold," but all the tracks are cover versions. H 1/2
XS, for the Wii, $59.99
This game comes with a doohickey that connects to the Wiimote, giving it four large, colored buttons (like the five on a "Guitar Hero" guitar). You choose notes by pressing the buttons and strum by flicking the Nunchuk controller. It works fairly well.
Otherwise, "PopStar" is a bland take on the now familiar guitar-game formula. The track list consists entirely of current teen-pop faves like The All-American Rejects and the Jonas Brothers, and about half the songs use the original recordings. But the notes you're asked to play often don't match the notes you hear; the timing is all off. That's a killer deficiency in a rhythm game. H