After the overwhelming success of the Singstar brand on Playstation 2, especially its ability to draw in the casual gaming market, Singstar for Playstation 3 was always going to be an important title. The franchise has been enormously successful across the gaming world – with the curious exceptions of Japan, the home of karaoke, and America, the home of cheesy pop songs – leading to millions of sales and thousands of drunken renditions of George Michael’s Careless Whisper.
Leading into Christmas 2007 there might be more impressive or innovative games on Playstation 3, but none that are going to have an impact like this. Singstar PS3 is quite simply stunning. From the stylish menu design down to the HD quality videos, every pixel of presentation is ‘pitch-ure’ perfect.
This is still the Singstar we’ve grown to love on the surface, the ultimate karaoke party game which can be attempted solo but is meant to be shared with as many as 8 friends, but it’s the combination of the Playstation network and the capacity of Blu-Ray that push Singstar to the next-gen level.
Sony has played the disc track listing down the middle of the road, to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. One might suspect the localization of the review code may remove a couple of the more British tracks (highlighted with an asterix):
The Automatic – Monster, Blink 182 – All the Small Things, Blur – Coffee and TV, Britney Spears – Toxic, The Cardigans – Love Fool, Coldplay – Fix You, The Fratellis – Chelsea Dagger, Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc, Gwen Stefani – Cool, Junior Senior – Move Your Feet, The Killers – Mr Brightside, Macy Gray – I Try, Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie*, Ne-Yo – So Sick, Orson – No Tomorrow*, Outkast – Hey Ya!, Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up*, Pussycat Dolls – Beep, Radiohead – No Surprises, Razorlight – America, REM – Losing My Religion, Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – Something Stupid, Scissors Sisters – I Don’t Feel Like Dancing, The Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums, Supergrass – Alright, Twisted Sister – We’re Not Gonna Take It, U2 – Beautiful Day, Weezer – Buddy Holly, Wolfmother – Love Train, The Zutons – Valerie*.
But the promise of more than 300 sings available to download immediately and more on the way is mouth-watering.
The play mechanics of this version of Singstar remain basically the same, even using the standard Playstation 2 Singstar microphones (something Sony has promised to remedy with wireless mics in the future), sing into your assigned microphone and the game will judge you. On the easy level this still means that even the most monotone or tone-deaf can still be a star. Pump up the difficulty and things get much more interesting.
One of the highlights of the shift to a next-gen system is the ease of online functionality. Singstar Online features the Singstar scene where you can upload cringe-inducing photos or videos of your horrendous versions of much loved classic so others can ridicule you just like your mates do. The Singstore is where Singstar PS3 is really going to shine; hundreds of songs can be easily purchased and downloaded to the PS3 hard drive to allow a customized playlist of any genre or combination of songs you desire. Gorgeous.
Singstar is going to be one of the games of the season. Sure to draw in casual gamers will its ease of use and extremely beautiful exterior. It will also entice Singstar fanatics with the amount of personalisation and community features that are supported. With a seemingly limitless amount of song possibilities with PS3 Singstar, there’s no reason for the party to ever stop.