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I was very excited to try the Vader Yourself app, even the 2 out of 5 stars overall rating didn't put me off. It gives the promise of bringing out your inner Dark Side and a few laughs to boot!
On opening the app you are met with Darth Vader's menacing theme tune and a stylish intro which takes you from looking at the mask from the outside then turning to look out from within the mask. Very in keeping with the theme of the app.
First impressions were good, the navigation screen is made up of the control panel on Vader's chest and the functionalities in terms of pitch, speed and tempo are easy to navigate, and you can do this limitless times on each recording. To go along with your recording there are two effects which appear as red and blue boxes on the right of the interface to choose between which are deep breathing and what sounds like scraping metal.
To begin just tap record, enter a file name, speak loud, sinister and clear and press stop when done. Easy as that.
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As flawed as the Death Star
The results were shamefully disappointing. The deep breathing effects were comical, the voice repeating "Luke I am your father" sounded, at best, like I had a bad cold, at worst like I had aged 50 years and changed sex. To put it simply, this app is a mediocre voice manipulation tool.
There is no default setting to achieve the Darth Vader voice, you can play with the settings all day and still never achieve the menacing voice of James Earl Jones. Add to this the complexities of having a regional accent and the whole thing just doesn't work.
This app is not one for the die-hard Star Wars fans who will spot that this is basically a cheap and cheerful, less than original, idea marketing itself on the Star Wars brand in the hope that this will give it higher standing in the apps market. It doesn't do enough to make the best Star Wars Apps for iPhone list.
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Not all bad news
Vader Yourself does have some plus points, take away the point of the app and there's plenty of laughs to be had with Vader Yourself allowing you to name, rename, delete or share, any files you record. The share option allows you to email the recording of your choice to whomever you choose or put it directly on Facebook where all of your friends can listen and comment, which you can count on resulting in a few hearty laughs.
Finally, a word of caution... You may want to make sure you're not in a crowded place when trying this one out, the look on people's faces when you shout "May the Force be with you" into your phone is not something you want to see!