Def Jam Rapstar - - Preview

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Microphone-centered music games are nothing new. For several years now, gamers have had the opportunity to sing their hearts out with games such as Karaoke Revolution , Singstar, and Lips alone or in party settings, rocking out to a variety of hits. While some of these games have featured classic rap tracks, rap has been somewhat underrepresented in the music gaming genre. However, Konami is looking to change that and add flavor to the genre with their upcoming game, Def Jam Rapstar.

Created in tandem with Def Jam Recordings, one of the predominant hip-hop labels in the world, Rapstar allows would-be Tupacs and Jay-Zs to rhyme along with several rap songs from the past few decades. The game was on hand at Konami’s recent press event in San Francisco, and GameZone were able to check out what it had to offer.

In most singing games, players are required to match the pitch and rhythm of the song that they are singing. However, RapStar simply requires that you hit the right beat while rapping the lyrics for the most part, although some of the songs that feature actual singing will have a pitch register.

On a basic level, RapStar functions as any number of karaoke games. You hit the right notes, and you’ll build up your combo meter. Once you get that meter filled up, you’ll be able to build another meter associated with a star power-type function that creates a fire effect on the screen and nets you more points, which will increase your rating at the end of the song.

While the complete song list hasn’t been revealed, a few initial tracks were playable at the event and were revealed to be included in the final game. These include “Gold Digger” by Kanye West featuring Jaime Foxx, “Live Your Life” by T.I. featuring Rhianna, “I Get Around” by 2-Pac, and “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu Tang Clan, to name a few.

Rapstar is pretty much what you could imagine it to be; a karaoke game featuring nothing but rap. However, for what it’s turning out to be, it’s a great take on the genre, and this is a game that could have a huge audience waiting for it when it launches this fall.

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Steven Hopper
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