Off the heezay! After SingStar copping big chart success, clones were as inevitable as Eminem upsetting your Gran. This is the rap one, and it's got the best track line-up we've seen yet, ranging right from the roots of hippity-hop (Rapper's Delight), through the gangsta era (Dre and Snoop tunes) right up to the modern era (Dizzee Rascal and Kanye West).
But think about it. At the risk of getting all over-analytical on yo' ass, rap's all about words, rather than tunes. Because of this, Get On Da Mic hasn't got the sophistication of SingStar and Karaoke Stage's pitch-recognition - but the trouble is, it doesn't do the flows justice either. You see two lines at a time, often consisting of less than twenty words between them - meaning that, when the rhymes get crazy, you need to have the lyrics memorised to stand a chance. To make matters worse, you're expected to do every lyric in the song - so in a tune like The Next Episode, where the tongue-twisting duties are usually split between two or three rappers, you'll need breath control like Jacques Cousteau to avoid passing out.
At other times, forcing you to replicate every lyrical twitch seems insane - it's not like Jay-Z actually plans where he's going to go, "Ah... yeah," in a track. Another slightly upsetting touch is that all the tracks are just cover versions.
There's no denying that Get On Da Mic's the best attempt yet to make an actual game out of karaoke (the bling aquisition system gives it all some point) but, ultimately, rapping's always going to be a bit too much like hard work to make for a fun party game. Get the latest Juice selection in and keep practising in front of the mirror instead...
Get On Da Mic will be released for PS2 on 26 November with an Xbox version to follow on 4 February 2005