SingStar Dance Review
- Posted November 1st, 2010 at 23:26 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Great fun, but dancing feels tacked onto the established SingStar experience rather than a complete standalone dance package.
- How it adds variety to the established SingStar experience
- How the slick scoring system encourages competitiveness
- How you can cheat the dance routines and not actually dance
- The tracklist -- there are lots of better songs you could dance to
If you’ve ever wanted to dance like a 12 year-old Michael Jackson, or slide across the dance floor Jamiroquai-style, or even strut your stuff like pretty boy Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block, then SingStar Dance may be right up your street. Those three artists and more combine to create a spin-off to the incredibly popular karaoke series, only this time, as well as being able to warble like a song bird, you get the opportunity to wiggle that booty more vigorously than a pumped-up crowd at a Beyoncé gig.
SingStar Dance offers everything that we’ve come to expect from the series - slick presentation, a scoring system that encourages competitiveness, and a speech recognition system that demonstrates great rhythm and pitch detection. But alongside its well-established singing component, it throws down some hip-wiggling, hand-over-your-heads and down-to your-knees dance moves, courtesy of PlayStation Move and its motion-sensing technology.
If you’re a fan of the series, the bad news is that you can’t just jump into the SingStore and start downloading a huge selection of favorite songs and start dancing to them. Well you could, but you won’t get any points for it; you might as well stick the Move controller down your pants for what’s it worth. That means you’ll have to be content with what you get on the disc, and for now, SingStar Dance boasts a slightly disappointing 30 Move-compatible songs, with the promise of more to come via the SingStore at a later date. And, on paper, the soundtrack is quite a bizarre mix.
The track-list transcends the generations, taking you from golden oldies such as Blondie and Kool And The Gang, to young and trendies including Lady Gaga and The Pussy Cat Dolls. Scan your eyes across the track list and it’s those instantly recognizable tunes, or those that you immediately associate with cool or over-the-top dance moves, such as Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back,” or MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This” that jump out of the page. And it’s these tunes that we were keen to try out first long before the likes of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper or “That's the Way (I Like It)" by KC & The Sunshine Band.
There’s a real mix of artists and music genres that offer a variety of tempos from slow to fast paced tunes, so you should find something to your taste. Nevertheless, the track list could definitely have been stronger. There’s a hundred-and-one dance-related tunes that we’d put before “Celebration” by Kool And The Gang, even if our mothers do love it. At least that’s a recognizable tune, though; there are some we’ve never heard of, such as "Crank That" by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em. At least there aren't any line-dancing tracks.
The dancing part of SingStar runs alongside the typical karaoke gameplay, and the whole package impressively comes complete with all the familiar competitive and online game modes that we’re used to seeing from the franchise. You can also play the game in a number of ways. You can have one player singing and the other one dancing, or you can have the same player singing and dancing (which we suspect will take a long time to master). Alternatively, you can play two vs. two in a combination of singing/dancing. As the official video plays in the background and the lyrics scroll across screen on the left hand side, a smaller portion of the right hand side is given up for a boxed shadowy character, a professional dancer that carries out the moves that you have to mimic.
Below that, there’s a small box where you can see what the PlayStation Eye sees, namely you and whoever dares to join you waving your arms in the air like you just don’t care. As with all SingStar games, there’s a clear and simple-to-follow user interface. It’s easy to see how well or how badly you're doing at any ... (continued on next page) ----
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