Reviewed: June 9, 2008
Released: May 20, 2008
SingStar for the PlayStation 3 is not your average karaoke imitator and does not follow exactly along the lines of a karaoke game. Although I have not played any other karaoke games on the PS2 this one played fine and was pretty fun but it is tough. Not your average Joe can actually just belt out a tune and get an impressive score on SingStar for the PS 3 as you do have to worry about not only timing and the words but tone.
Being mostly tone deaf and having not taken any music classes my entire life has prepared me well for SingStar to get those nice wannabee dogs and the cute cassette tape attached with the amateur status I can usually rate. SingStar is the next iteration of the franchise for the PlayStation 3 and does the system justice for the most part; I just canít claim the same for me.
SingStar for the PlayStation 3 comes in two versions; with the two microphones and the game disc and just with the game disc. SingStar comes with 30 songs in the general categories of Rock and Pop with a good enough variety to start you off, but there just are not enough songs available from this list to suite me.
There are some others for download from the PlayStation Network that cost about $1.50 each and include the music video for you to enjoy as you try to sing along to the words. The entire game with all the menus to navigate and even uploading your videos and audios are very easy to use and the game works very well from a technical standpoint.
SingStar is a decent enough game but can really be enjoyed with a group and not alone, alone seems too much like rehearsing or practicing for a singing gig. SingStar has the usual karaoke style of having words for each line appear on the screen and you have to sing the words when a small bar moves across the screen and hits each word. There is also a tone bar that shows where the words are supposed to be sung according to tone.
If your blue lines for each word appear above your singing too high, bring it down, too low and you need to deepen your tone. Itís actually pretty simple and with a few go practice sessions on each song you can do pretty good. It does a bit of practice figuring out what each word should be sung at and having the words up on the screen one sentence before you need to sing them is helpful.
They donít go too far ahead so you donít have too much on the screen to confuse you but some songs can get a bit fast so you do need to keep on your toes. In order to get good scores you need to end up better than you started, when a song starts they give you half of the points available and either give you more for good singing or take away for tone deaf bellowing.
You can choose either a shortened version of each song or the full song for a real go at pretending to be a singer, you have the thirty songs of the original game to try your luck with. The download works fine and there are some 220 songs currently on the PlayStation Network for you to purchase with each costing $1.50.
There are supposed to me more songs coming but this is not a lot of variety as most of the songs are either rock or pop with a few Rhythm and Blues, RAP and other genres. There just is not the selection I would have liked or even thought for this expensive a game but they are adding more in a variety of genres but mostly the typical karaoke fare.
SingStar offers a good selection in how to play with the single player solo and practice but the stars of the show are the battle against another person, duet and pass the mic. You can sing your hearts out playing against others in a head to head fight or try to duel by passing the mic along and getting the highest points in each song. There is also the duet where you sing duet songs and try to get a good score or you can play teams and try to beat each otherís scores.
The entire multiplayer, which is where most of the emphasis on SingStar is, has plenty of choices in how you play and with how many people so there is no worry for variety in your party gaming. You cannot however go online against others but there is a large online community of people adding their vocal talents trying to make others go deaf with their performances.
You can save audio clips, video clips and stills of your performance and upload them to the online community for others to watch, and laugh over. While this does not add much in the way of actual gameplay online it does add enough humor and fun to a game that is all about having fun and trying to make yourself look silly.
The practice portion of SingStar simply plays the video and you can listen and watch to your heartís content to help you remember the words or just enjoy the great quality video music. Having the music video on the screen where others get to watch it while one belts out the tunes is a great way for the party game to run so others who are not actively singing at least get to watch the video.
The graphics and presentation are well done and the entire menus and handling is great, I had no problems going from a solo practice to the store to purchase a few songs and then to trying those songs out with a friend. The games display and other features are all in nice clear high definition, not sure if each is in 720 or 1080 but the tone bars, words and all are great.
The music video is kind of behind all this and it is quite clear that this is not the same definition while playing or watching. The videos are not in high definition but only in standard definition throughout the game regardless of when the video came out.
This is kind of disappointing but they must have a reason, the game other than this is great and even just watching the videos are a nice change of pace from listening to music. You donít have to surf through an internet site to go see some professionally made video music and they are always on your PS3 once purchased. The graphics were nice and they did a nice job of keeping things simple and yet have everything work well.
For the most important part of the game this turned out to be fine and everything played very well and sounded great. There was no problem with any of the sound and there are plenty of adjustments for turning the microphones up and down in volume so you can hear the songs or more of your own voice as you, or maybe others, see fit.
There is a good section in the options to reduce latency if there is a problem with the vocals being off time with the video and you have a vocal reduction. The vocal reduction is a great feature that either has the singerís voice coming through strong and clear, is fainter so your voice comes out clear, even if you donít want it to. The reduction also lets the singerís voice fade out when you actually are hitting the words and tone correctly.
They did a great job with SingStar of getting that correct balance of a great group karaoke game and plenty of different multiplayer fun in a music game.
If you want a single player karaoke machine, or a group party one with plenty of fun and a good amount of downloadable music with promises of more in the future SingStar for the PlayStation 3 is a great choice. While the 30 songs of the game do not have as much variety or choice you can download a good choice of songs you want.
The game has plenty of sections in multiplayer from duet and the battle section as well as the pass the microphone for a good variety of multiplayer gaming. You also have the fun and added goofy uploading of your own videos to the website to compare and contrast your style and talent with others.
SingStar for the PlayStation 3 makes a great addition of karaoke games for the new console system and makes a great party game for a group. The low amount of songs is well offset by the easy to use download from the PlayStation SingStore and an extra bonus in the online videos you can add to or check out.
After all where can you so easily immortalize yourself and your talents, or lack thereof, or check out the singing Storm Troopers and Chewbacca or the great duet of singing hamburgers. I really think this game should be used as a qualifier for American Idol as well as a fun game for parties.