Def Jam Rapstar
Def Jam Rapstar is rap karaoke at its finest, designed to not only help you improve your skills as an mcee, but also gives you the tools needed to promote your work on the game’s robust community site. Budding mcees should take note.
The performance title works on three different pillars: Hip-hop, consumer, and community. Jam to licensed tracks or jump into radio-ready instrumentals and put your freestyling skills to the test. Record performances using your console’s camera and instantly upload them to Def Jam Rapstar’s community site to be judged by the masses, or check out the work of your peers. It’s up to you what you want to get out of the experience.
From the game's main screen, which features a live ticker on the bottom that provides game news and updates, you can choose between the game’s three different modes: career, party/battle, or freestyle. In the game’s career mode, solo performers will start at street level and work their way up to superstardom. You will be judged by three categories: timing, lyric accuracy, and pitch. Pitch is usually a factor in singing tracks, so while you’ll be judged on pitch for singing Jaime Foxx’s part in Gold Digger, Lil Wayne’s A Milli will not take that into consideration. The game tracks your speech by syllable so all lyrical nuances count. For an increase in difficulty, expert mode provides raw instrumentals with no vocal assistance or lyrics so it’s worth practicing these tracks until you learn them by heart. At the end of performances, you’ll receive an analytical breakdown of each song’s lyrics by section highlighting where you had the most trouble to help you get it right the next time.
In battle/party mode, two players can rap together, ideal for songs featuring more than one artist. In the case of Kanye West’s Gold Digger featuring Jaime Foxx, the Def Jam rep sang Jaime’s parts as I performed Kanye’s sections (needless to say I rocked the E3 presentation). Obviously you want to put on a better show than your opponent so it adds a competitive edge. In freestyle mode you’ll rap off the dome over radio-ready tracks.
All performances can be captured using your console’s compatible camera that will allow you to live engineer videos for uploading online. You can change visual effects and color palettes, use different filters, and draw over your image. Once the video customization is edited to perfection you can instantly upload it to your profile on Def Jam Rapstar’s community site.
The online component of Def Jam Rapstar offers a meta game of sorts. Similar to other popular social networking sites you’ll be able to add friends, follow your favorite performers, leave messages for other users (friendly or trash talk), and more. Just as you would with YouTube you can browse user videos and rate them accordingly. The cream of the crop will be promoted on the website’s front page for ultimate exposure. You can’t get discovered without proper plugging, so with Def Jam's backing, this seems like a great way to start.
There were 17 tracks shown in the demo, but there will be 45 total when Def Jam Rapstar ships with more on the way in the form of DLC from the likes of Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye West, Snoop, Dre, 50 Cent, Jeezy, plus international tracks. All tracks are radio edits so there is no profane language. If super offensive videos are found online, moderators will be sure to remove them, so you won’t find any naked rapstars anytime soon.
Def Jam Rapstar from Konami, Def Jam Interactive, 4mm Games, and Terminal Reality will be available on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii on October 5.