Movie Karaoke


posted 3/4/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
Karaoke…the mere mention of the word conjures up images of drunken Japanese businessmen murdering songs in a smoky bar. This is very bad. However, the word karaoke can be improved dramatically if you put the word movie in front of it. Movie Karaoke is the new product from Fooseoke and it's exactly what the title implies, a way for you to record your voice over existing lines in a movie.

When I first heard about this product, I got that "Why didn't I think of that" feeling. This is something most people do all of the time (I can't tell you the number of movie quote battles Yan and I have gotten into). Movie Karaoke takes this concept one step further by allowing you to actually record your voice and then play it back as part of the dialogue of the movie. It's a good concept but I was a little concerned about how well this could be executed.

I tried out the American Pie edition of Movie Karaoke which includes 17 scenes from the entire American Pie trilogy (four from the first movie, six from the second, and seven from the third movie). Instead of giving you the entire movie, you only get certain key scenes. This was a bit of a let down but not surprising since all three movies would require significantly more storage space. Instead, you’re at the mercy of the developers to pick the best scenes from the movie. They picked most of the key scenes that I would have chosen. The only ones that I would have added would have been the Nadia in Jim’s room scene from the first movie. I’m guessing they kept that one out to keep it PG.

The version I reviewed was a “special edition” version which included a microphone (a must have for the game). What impressed me was that the cord on the microphone was about seven feet long which is long enough to reach from the back of the computer and to be able to pass to people around the computer without having to change seats. It's a nice touch and shows some foresight that you usually don't see from software companies.

The user interface for Movie Karaoke is a bit cluttered at first glance as the developers squeezed everything onto one screen. That coupled with the fact that the UI is built around the American Pie theme (including a flute, panties, and condom wrapper) and it is confusing at first glance. I adapted pretty quickly, though, as the developers included tool tips to illustrate what everything does. There isn't much in the way of a manual, just a reference card that outlines the functions of the game. There is a short tutorial that walks you through the process but it’s really not that complex.
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