In the world of videogames the competitive karaoke scene has long been dominated by Sony Computer Entertainment’s SingStar franchise, and there are no signs of it slowing down just yet. Queen becomes the second band following Abba to get its own SingStar game, giving males across the world an excuse to dress up in their wife’s underwear and strut their stuff to “I Want To Break Free,” or pretend, albeit only a few fleeting moments, that they’re the greatest showman on Earth by emulating the likes of “We Will Rock You” from Queen’s infamous Wembley Stadium gigs.
The first PS3 incarnation of the series took SingStar to a new level with the introduction of downloadable tracks via the SingStore, PS Eye compatibility and a stylish new look, but whether or not you have a good time playing SingStar is solely determined by how much you like the song you’re singing and how well you know its tune. With SingStar Queen you're guaranteed some brilliant and universally well-known karaoke tracks, including ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘A Kind of Magic.’ Therefore Queen fans are pretty much guaranteed a good time as they attempt to sing some of the classic Queen tracks on offer with the same conviction and passion of the enigmatic Freddie Mercury.
SingStar and Queen are a marriage made in heaven - the greatest karaoke game in the world and, arguably, one of the best bands to have ever walked the planet. If you like Queen and you like singing, it goes without saying that you should love SingStar Queen. Whether you purchase this latest track pack though really boils down to whether you think it offers good value for money; and this is where opinions will differ, and SingStar fans will be divided.
If you’re a Queen fan, the chances are that you’ve already downloaded at least some of the 25 tracks on offer. Though there’s no disputing that the choice of songs, which span three decades, are all worthy of inclusion, you can download 18 of them via SingStore; so there are only seven tracks exclusive to the disc. Via the SingStore you get to pick and choose which songs you want to download and don't pay for songs that you don't want to sing. We'd hazard a guess that casual Queen fans may not be too bothered about having the likes of 'Innuendo' or 'Play The Game' on their play-lists, but are more likely to download Queen classics such as 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love.' However, die-hard fans are going to want the full track list. So value money is really determined by how big a Queen fan you are and how many of their songs you have already downloaded from the SingStore.
Whether you buy SingStar Queen or not is quite a simple choice. Take a look at the list below. The tracks that you can download via SingStore are highlighted with an asterisk, whereas the exclusive tracks aren't. If you’re bothered about not having songs that don’t have an asterisk next to the title then SingStar Queen is a worthy purchase, otherwise just pick and choose the ones that you want from SingStore – that is, provided of course you're hooked up to the Internet with your PS3.
• A Kind of Magic *
• Another One Bites the Dust
• Bicycle Race *
• Bohemian Rhapsody *
• Breakthru *
• Crazy Little Thing Called Love *
• Don’t Stop Me Now *
• Fat Bottomed Girls *
• Hammer to Fall
• Killer Queen *
• I Want it All *
• I Want to Break Free
• One Vision *
• Play the Game
• Radio Ga Ga *
• The Show Must Go On *
• Somebody to Love *
• These are the Days of Our Lives
• Tie Your Mother Down *
• Under Pressure
• We are the Champions *
• We Will Rock You *
• Who Wants to Live Forever *
• You’re My Best Friend *
SingStar Queen plays identical to other SingStar games, requiring you to sing in tune and time to the music while the official video plays in the background. Queen-themed wallpaper accompanies the slick menu system and the familiar array of SingStar features are included, such as solo, duet or battle game modes, optional menu voice control and Trophy support - it's SingStar as we know and love it, nothing more and nothing less.
The big difference here is that if you know Queen songs, you'll also know Freddie Mercury has an amazing vocal range. This means that the majority of the songs on the track list are extremely difficult to sing and therefore it can be frustrating if you hope to score highly. Switching from the different vocal sections of 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' particularly the tricky operatic segments, are difficult to master as are the intricate harmonies of the likes of 'Somebody to Love.' SingStar Queen is best played and enjoyed when embracing the Freddie Mercury spirit and showmanship, strutting your stuff, and giving your all to some brilliant songs.
The impact of Singstar Queen has certainly been softened by the fact that most of the tracks are already available on SingStore. However, that doesn't mean that it's not a great game. It’s a typical SingStar title in regards to game modes and presentation, but as far as quality tracks go, you won’t find a better package. Of course, it helps if you're a Queen fan and haven't already downloaded the majority of the 25 songs on offer.
|SingStar Queen Review by Steven Williamson|
-The Final Word-
Some great tracks, but value is determined by how many of them you've already downloaded.