Tuesday, June 10, 2008

VG Review: 'SingStar'

Sony, for PlayStation 3, rated T for Teen (lyrics, mild violence, suggestive themes), $39.99 or $59.99 (with microphones).

Sure, you could trek on out to the annual “American Idol” auditions in the hopes of acquiring fame and/or fortune, but why go to all that trouble when you can achieve a small measure of the former (if not the latter) from the comfort of your living room couch?

That’s the promise at any rate of “SingStar,” the new karaoke game for the PlayStation 3.

There have already been several “SingStar” titles out for the PlayStation 2 (“SingStar Rocks!,” “SingStar ’80s”) and this latest version doesn’t really do much to alter the formula.

As before, you sing along — using the provided USB microphones — to a variety of contemporary and classic pop and rock tunes (ranging from Amy Winehouse to Warrant) while watching the video play on the TV screen.

As with most games of this ilk, you’re graded on pitch more than anything else. A staggered series of horizontal lines guides you on how well you’re doing while the lyrics run across the bottom of the screen.

If you own a PlayStation EyeToy camera, you can also record yourself acting like a goofball while mangling the lyrics to “Toxic.”

So far, so familiar. What’s new this time around is the online component. Now you can download extra songs off the Net without having to exit the game, as well as post pictures, videos and audio files of your warbling to the community area.

The online store is a good idea in that it will, we hope, decrease the need to release expensive expansion packs every couple of months, though the price for individual songs — $1.50 — while not prohibitive, still seems rather high. Most songs on iTunes are only 99 cents after all.

The community area is a bit more interesting, if you enjoy watching people making fools of themselves (and I do). Most of the videos seem to be divided among people who can sing really well, people who can’t sing at all, cute kids trying to sing and people in Star Wars costumes dancing to the Scissors Sisters.

As fun as all that is, the online area is missing some heft. While the game does offer a two-player mode, it’s a bit anemic, and you can’t compete against other players online, which would really add a bit of bite (not to mention added value) to the proceedings.

Overall, “SingStar” is a solid if unexceptional music game that is best played with large groups of people. Unless you’ve got lots of folks stopping by your pad for fun and excitement, or you’ve got a yen to act like Bono, there’s little here to warrant purchase.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2008


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At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Earth4energy review said...

SingStar is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.


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