304th played so far

252px-SingStar_PS3Genre: Music
Platform: Playstation 3
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: London Studio
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

It’s been a while since we’ve done a proper ‘make music’ music game. We’ve played Guitar Hero before, but beyond that it’s usually down to dancing or moving in time, rather than generally trying to follow the music.

Singstar seems to be the pinnacle of it in a way though – you’ve actually got to sing, while the game checks and validates that. It’s scary… a good thing we have little shame around each other.

Our Thoughts

Singstar is one of those games that has been laying in games box for a while… the Playstation 2 version that is. Back in the day I played this game a lot, mostly by myself, and I was able to get obscenely high scores on  ‘Superstar’ by Jamelia. Granted this was back in 2004 where by voice had yet to break and it was easy for my to hit the high notes on a-Ha’s ‘Take on Me’. I am bringing this up because since I trained to respond to the notes before my voice broke which means I do sing in a head voice… so I never play this with people I don’t have dirt on (even then I refuse to sing Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’).

The idea behind the game is simple enough.  The game analyses the pitch of your singing along to the music and assigns points based on your accuracy and, like how a scale appears to spiral upwards, the pitch recognition isn’t exactly absolute. Someone with a naturally lower singing voice is still able amass a large number of points on songs with higher notes… just not as well as someone with a wider vocal range. Actually, the game seems to allow you to transpose – go down an octave – and still accept it. It’s to make sure you stay able to sing the songs.

For the Playstation 3 version the main draw, aside from the obvious karaoke humiliation, is the store where you can download new songs for your game. There is a wide selection from ABBA to The Zutons but it is not the case that you could sing along to every single you can think of. Yes you can download Amy Winehouse, Take That and the Jackson 5 but there is  not a trace of Madonna, The Beatles, Michael Jackson or Christina Aguilera. Also, the speed of the store can be very varied. Still, that doesn’t compare to the main issue of pricing. If it was the standard iTunes 79p it would be one thing but £1.15 feels a little bit steep. In fact, I would say that unless you’re a big fan of an artist and know you’ll be playing the game often, the purchase price often won’t be worth it. Pricing tends to be a bit too shocking too often.

If you want to negate some of this then buy some pre-owned expansion packs. The great thing about the Singstar is that you are able to insert other games from the franchise (including PS2 games) and play any of those songs… which you can purchase for less than a quid for about 20 songs. Bargain for a great expansion for a great party game.

Final Thoughts

In gameplay, the game doesn’t offer anything else after you’ve played a few times. The diversity mostly comes from different song picks, which can get quite fun, and more important, playing this with other people, when the game becomes one that’s fun to play together as you laugh at each other. With that said, it’s good fun, as long as you can get the additional songs cheaply.

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