SingStar PS3 Review

Singstar made a huge name for itself back in 2004. Loads of people, mainly young girls and mothers rushed out to buy it due to the type of the game. With something like this, you always get people that say “I can’t sing!” or “I’m a brilliant singer!” A Problem with both of those statements is that who cares? This game is about having fun! Me myself, I can’t sing at all, but I try. Sympathy, please send on a postcard. Anyway, with every Singstar, there has been something for everyone, even if it’s just one track in the whole song list because this leads you to try more.

With the PlayStation 3, Singstar it has really set another benchmark for itself and for other companies thinking of doing a karaoke style game. It comes with something called Sing Store which is basically a cut down version of YouTube. When you have the PlayStation Eye plugged into the console, it will take random pictures and record the chorus of the song when you are singing. You can then show them to friends or upload them to the Sing Store.

“But what if you don’t have a PlayStation Eye?” I hear you wonder. Well that doesn’t matter because nearly every brand of webcam works with the PlayStation 3! Just test the camera in question on your PlayStation’s accessory settings option area and if the picture appears, it will work. From there you will say “What’s the point in the PlayStation Eye if I can use any camera?” That’s true, but the PlayStation Eye is an extremely high quality camera, so without it your videos might look alright, but won’t look amazing. Also like a lot of webcam’s it has a microphone built into the camera itself.

With the Sing Store, you can look at people’s videos and photos they have uploaded, as well as audio playbacks. Now the videos and pictures are self explanatory. If you thought you sounded good, but looked like an idiot singing; just upload the audio so no one can see your ugly mug!

Now there are some people that do the videos for fun, others take it seriously. Some are good because there are some people who are really talented whilst others are bad because some singers out there are absolutely awful. But hey, who am I to judge? Well you can! There is a ratings systems between 1-5 stars you can rate the videos, photos and audio playbacks. There is a section for the highest rated videos, so you can see what you have to compete against.

Now if you haven’t played a Singstar game where have you been?! If you haven’t then this is how it works. There are 2 microphones, which plug into the front of the PlayStation console via USB. You navigate the menus with a controller and you can choose between a number of modes including: Battle, Duet, Sing Solo, Practice and Pass The Mic, where you can have 8 people singing by passing the microphone on to your team mate. If you think you’re amazing, you can lower the numbers on the team and have 1 vs 4!

Now with each of the modes except practice there is a difficulty selection: easy, normal and hard. With each difficulty increase the pitch recognition gets thinner. In easy you can be off key a bit, in normal you need to tighten up those vocal chords, and on hard, well you better be pretty damn good.

A problem with this game is that although it’s brilliant to play, they haven’t worked out a way to make it recognise how you are saying the word, due in part to the many accents around the world. They just do a nice simple pitch control method. Now you don’t even have to sing the song to pass it, just change your pitch control, but that isn’t any fun at all! Just like in previous SingStar games, while in a song you can change the microphone volume with the R1 and R2 buttons. So you can drown out the actual singer’s voice and hear your own.

The graphical style for the game is very slick and stylish on the menus. Nice bright colours, solid looking and very slick. You can choose different wallpapers, but not have custom ones at this moment in time. With each and every song there is a music video, which is very cool if you haven’t seen the video before.

With regards to how long this game will last, well it can last a lifetime or just a party. It depends on whether you love to sing or just get it out when friends are around. A lot will depend on your taste in music, so this is a good time to give you the song list:

The Automatic – “Monster”
Blink 182 – “All the Small Things”
Blur – “Coffee & TV”
Britney Spears – “Toxic”
The Cardigans – “Lovefool”
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”
R.E.M. – “Losing My Religion”
Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman – “Somethin’ Stupid”
Scissor Sisters – “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”
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”

However you can add to this using the Sing Store, where you can download additional songs for £0.99 each using your PlayStation Wallet. At the moment there are 77 songs to download and Sony has promised to upload songs every 2 weeks.

SingStar raises the bar for karaoke games.

8 out of 10