Admittedly tone deaf, she still managed to pull off a duet of REM’s “Losing My Religion” with me. Her enthusiasm can be found in the ease of matching her voice to an ever-changing, tube-shaped pitch and rhythm meter and simply following the words while watching a selection of high-definition music videos.
The latest title offers 30 tracks from an eclectic group of artists ranging from the Rolling Stones (“Sympathy for the Devil”) to the Pussycat Dolls (“Beep”) to Beck (“Loser”). In addition to duets and passing the microphone, crooners also can go solo or compete against one another for high scores.
The song list tries to please everyone, and it will take buying and downloading more tracks from the Sony online store ($1.49 each) to beef up any specific genre to deliver the perfect karaoke night.
The social networking extra to the title includes recording a performance using the mics or even Sony’s Eye video cameras (sold separately) and uploading parts of the effort to a community area.
The “T” rating is for some of the racier song material, but I found enough variety to give the entire family a reason to loosen up the vocal cords.
Aces of the Galaxy (for Xbox 360, Sierra Online, 800 Microsoft points or $10) - This Xbox Live Arcade game is a dazzling three-dimensional shooter taking a player into space to fight off an invasion of the lizardlike Skurgian Empire.
It’s Space Invaders on steroids as the pilots choose from three types of ships and select a branching set of about two dozen missions in different parts of the galaxy to deliver serious damage to the swarming enemies.
The ability to scan for invisible Skurgians, three types of firepower (gotta love those cluster missiles), barrel rolls, and encounters with asteroids, stars and mine fields mix within a screen filled with colorful pyrotechnic explosions rivaling “Star Wars”-style battles.
Even better, a second player, in the same room or online, can join in to cooperatively take on the Empire with action even more frenetic. Not bad for 10 bucks.
• Send e-mail to Joseph Szadkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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