X Factor Wii. Nintendo Wii
** X Factor Wii **
During a weekly shopping trip to Tesco around this time last year my eyes came across the X Factor game for the Wii. I am not a fan of the X Factor programme at all, however a singing game for the Wii certainly caught my attention! Priced at £42.99 I didn't have the money to spare with Christmas coming up so I casually mentioned it to my mum, who knew exactly what I was trying to say and kindly bought it me for Christmas.
** In The Box **
The X Factor comes in a normal white Wii box, the size of a DVD case, inside the box is the game disc along with an instruction manual for the game and also a separate manual containing safety instructions. The game instruction manual is written in English and is very clear and simple to follow. The game can be purchased as game only or as a bundle pack with two microphones included. It was the bundle with the microphones that I received.
** The Set Up **
The first thing you will need to set up are the microphones. The microphones are a lot smaller than the ones I had used in previous years singing away to the Singstar games on Playstation 2. They are black in colour and quite well made. They look quite professional, not just bits of plastic shoved together. They plug into the back of the wii in the USB ports and the wires are long enough to be able to stand a reasonable distance from the wii and move around a bit without having to worry about pulling the wii with you.
The first time you set up the X Factor game you will need to make yourself a profile. This is relatively simple and just involves the usual entering your name and making your player avatar. I actually quite enjoyed doing this as I find myself getting quite addicted to changing styles and clothes of my game characters and this is a game where you certainly get to do this a lot throughout the game.
** Game play **
The idea with the X Factor game is that you basically sing your way through the contest, just like in the TV show. Starting off at the auditions you must impress the judges and score high enough to progress through to Boot Camp, the Judges Houses and eventually onto the live shows and the final... if you can sing well enough!
I will point out now that I cannot sing at all and my family thought it was hilarious that I had a game where you had to sing to progress though the levels and there were many jokes about how far I wouldn't get!
Once you have designed your avatar you will be taken to the auditions where you will need to make a song choice. In the game there are 28 songs in total, however not all of them are available for all of the stages and some songs will only become available when you have progressed to a certain point in the game.
Some of the songs included are:
"Fireflies" - Owl City
"Don't You" - Simple Minds
"Radio Ga Ga" - Queen
"Call Me" - Blondie
"Oops I Did It Again" - Britney Spears
It has been almost a year since I first played this game so forgive my bad memory but I cannot remember my exact song choices as I have played so many times now all of the songs seemed to have rolled into one.
For those of you who have ever played the Singstar games you will be pleased to know this game works in the same way as these games. There is a bar across the middle of the screen and you must sing to a level where the tone of your voice falls level with the bar on the screen. The words are displayed on the screen although my little tip is just like on Singstar you don't really need to know the words as long as you know the tune you can get away with 'la la's' for the words you forget!
As you sing a coloured line will move across the bar showing your tone of voice compared to where it should be for that song. At the end of the song you will be judged on your performance by the three judges who, I must add, look nothing like the real X Factor judges! You will hear their voices and see a bad animation of their facial expressions while a jerky image of your player reacts on the stage area.
Once you are through the auditions you will be shown your dressing room. In your dressing room you can look at letters from your fans, newspaper clippings, show statistics and other random information. You can also change the look of your character in the wardrobe department and go to the studio to practice songs before the next show.
The singing part of the game is really easy, like I said earlier I cannot sing at all, yet within an hour or so I was starting the live show section of the game! The reason the game progressed so quickly to the live shows is that until the live shows you are not singing the full versions of songs, you only get to sing about half of the song in the first few stages. I found this a little disappointing as I didn't see the need to cut the songs as its not like its the real TV show and there is not really an audience who will get bored. However once you are through to the live shows you will be singing the full versions of songs and often more than one song to survive the show. Some of the live shows are themed, meaning only certain songs are made available in your song choices and you can change the clothes your character is wearing to suit your song choice.
I have to admit I did enjoy the rock theme a little too much singing along to Kaiser Chiefs Ruby and Queens Radio Gaga!
I find this version of the game to be great fun with having to sing to progress through the game. I was pleased to see that progression isn't to difficult so even if you are a really bad singer like myself you can still enjoy the game and progress.
** Multiplayer **
As well as playing the X Factor alone you can also play in multiplayer mode. Multiplayer mode offers a simple option of just selecting any songs you want to sing along to as well as the option to compete in the X Factor as a group and just like in single player mode you will progress through the levels from the auditions right through to the live shows and final.
I have only played multiplayer with my little brother but he got bored of the group option so we ended up just choosing random songs to sing to which was fun until he became addicted to Kylie's Can't get you out of my head and Cascada's Evacuate the Dancefloor. At this point I changed it to single player and left him to it!
** Controls **
The controls of the game are very easy, you use the wii remote to select songs and other options such as personalising your player and then you simply hold the microphone and sing your heart out to the songs!
** Graphics and Sound **
The graphics in the game are good, they're a little jerky and occasionally slow when it comes to the judges and the singers reaction, but during the singing the graphics are smooth and good, which I think in this kind of game is the most important part.
The sound is great! It is you singing and the songs you are singing to so what could possibly be better ;)
** Price and Availability **
I saw this in Tesco for £42.99 when it was first released. This price included both the game and microphones. It can be purchased now for around £38 with the microphones or around £25 for the game only.
** My Experience and Opinion **
I personally love this game. I cannot sing, I don't watch the X Factor and I have no intentions of learning to sing or watching the X Factor, but this game is pure fun and has a bit of a challenge to it rather than just picking songs and singing them as you want. I really recommend this game, it is great fun for all ages and there is a good variety of songs on there so there will be something for everyone and all ages too.
Thanks for reading :)