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Singstar Review

28 December 2007

Fancy yourself as the next American Idol winner? Maybe you’ve got an undiscovered talent that’s hidden away in the shower? Well fear not, you can sing to your heart’s content in PS3’s exclusive new release, SingStar.

Singstar games have never represented the most value for money in terms of longetivity, but that looks certain to change thanks to a new feature in the recent PS3 release.

There are numerous PS2 versions now floating around the stores, ranging from pop music to R’n’B and more. But a key element of the next-gen version is Singstore, which allows you to pay to download songs to add to your collection.

 
The game itself comes with a total of 20, somewhat random, songs ranging from Britney Spears’ “Toxic” to “She Bangs the Drums” by The Stone Roses.

But for the first time ever, you are not just limited to these songs. Although not available just yet, you will be able to download the vast back catalogue of songs featured on PS2 games, which is in the range of 300 songs, as well as the latest music and other songs that may take your fancy.

Don’t expect everything you want to be available though. When accessing the store for the first time, I found 41 songs available, all as random as the initial 20 on the disc. There were a couple of decent ones there though – it’s all a matter of taste I guess – but the beauty of it is, you can simply select, pay and download the songs you want and enhance your collection.
 

In time, we hope that Sony will get plenty of songs available, so that there’s plenty for everyone’s taste. After all, at £0.99 a download, the wider range of content they have, the more people will download, and the more money the Singstore will make. Is 41 good enough for the time being? Probably not, and will probably lead to some people, like myself, feeling slightly underwhelmed by their first experience of the store.

A week after the game’s release, that number was up to 63. Maybe they’re cleverly biding their time by tempting people to buy songs that wouldn’t necessarily sell if there was a wider collection. Or maybe it’s just down to a lack of decent licensing so far.

The price was as expected, and it’s fairly reasonable. Considering you’re getting the full download, complete with the full music video and obviously the settings and features that make it work with Singstar, it’s certainly worth the money. With the game on its own retailing at half the price of most other games (assuming you’ve already got the mics), then you can double your collection of songs for the same price as buying a different game.
 
 
And it’s not as if you are forced to download. Just download the songs you want. You’ll just have to hope that none of the Spice Girls hits take the fancy of your friends. But each to their own.

The problem is what about those who cant get online through their PS3? There aren’t many people out there who aren’t set up wirelessly through their next-gen console, but for those who aren’t, then they’re stuck with the 20 original songs.

So enough about the songs, what about the game itself? Well there are the usual game modes – you can battle with a rival, sing a duet with your partner or just go solo, for those times when you fancy a sing a long all by yourself. You know you love it. You can choose from short or normal versions of songs, and even a couple of medleys. The same old SingStar style appears whilst singing, as you read the lyrics to the matching notes with the record’s video playing in the background.
 
 
Your score goes up as you hit, or fail to hit, the right notes, and you can see all along who’s winning. It’s fairly effective in close battles with someone, but if you’re competitive, like me, you’ll soon get bored if you find yourself thousands of points down, as I did when pathetically trying to compete with a girl singing Heaven is a place on earth. Don’t ask.

I’d say it’d be worth the suspense if they left telling you the score until the end. The scores are recorded in a leaderboard, so you can see just who has the best voice for each song. You can even save the recording of any song you sing in your media gallery, and even save videos of yourself, assuming you’ve got a PS3 camera. It’s pretty cringeworthy hearing your woeful attempts, but if you nail a particular song, there’s no sweeter feeling than showing it off to your friends. Or is there? It’s quite comical when you’ve sang in a battle with friends, because you just sound as bad as each other.

You can even take your… ahem… skills online and face off against other gamers. What the point is in that I’m not quite sure.
 
 
All in all, this is a great arcade game that is fun-filled and enjoyable. It only really serves one specific purpose, and whether that is to entertain or to provide as a vehicle for you to make a fool of yourself, is up to you to decide.

It’s not the best game to have if you’re a recluse with no mates, but for a good laugh with a few friends, or for a Christmas party, Singstar is ideal.

-The Final Word-

Not the best game to have if you’re a recluse with no mates, but for a good laugh with a few friends, or for a Christmas party, Singstar is ideal.
  • SingStore
  • Great entertainment value
  • Multiplayer fun
  • Repetitive after a while
  • Not the sort of game to play on your own
7.0
Platforms reviewed : PlayStation 3
See PSU's reviews scores on Metacritic and Gamerankings

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