It's been nearly four years since Sony released the original Singstar and a lot has changed in that time. Aside from the fact that music games have become extremely popular (such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band), the Singstar series has also seen more than ten PlayStation 2 expansion discs, as well as a PlayStation 3 release. In fact, now Studio London is working even harder, to deliver PlayStation 2 packs, as well as new songs on the PlayStation 3 SingStore every fortnight. This brings us to the 10th, 11th or maybe even the 15th release of Singstar on the PlayStation 2, Singstar Party Hits, so is the game still worth your money or has the series begun to get stale?
The Singstar series retails for $99.95 and comes bundled with two microphones and a USB adapter. Each standalone disc contains thirty tracks and the overall main objective of the game is simply to out "sing" your opponent. The microphones pick up the tone and pitch of your singing and players are awarded points during the song, with an overall score presented at the end of the song. At $99.95, the pack is still remarkable value and probably one of the main reasons for the franchise's success.
Party Hits is the Australian version of Singstar Summer Party, but the tracks included in the game are rather different from than version. We've complained enough in the past when the disc hasn't been localised, so the fact that most UK artists Australians aren't familiar with have been removed (in place of Australian artists) is brilliant. We do think they missed out Girls Aloud though.
The full track list can be found below, and it's a pretty good one. Aside from recent songs such as Hook Me Up and Mika's Big Girl (You are Beautiful) there are also classics such as Madnesses House of Fun and Elton John's I'm Still Standing. All in all, the Party Hits collection contains one of the best tracklists we've seen for a while, even if it does include Amy Winehouse.
- Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry on Their Own
- Ash - Girl from Mars
- Blondie - The Tide is High
- Blur - Girls & Boys
- David Bowie - Let's Dance
- Diana Ross - I'm Coming Out
- Elton John - I'm Still Standing
- Evermore - Light Surrounding You
- Girls Aloud - Call the Shots
- Klaxons - It's Not Over Yet
- KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
- Lou Bega - Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of...)
- Madness - House of Fun
- Mel & Kim - Respectable
- Mika - Big Girl (You are Beautiful)
- Operator Please - Get What You Want
- Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl
- Plain White T's - Hey There Delilah
- Pulp - Disco 2000
- Republica - Ready To Go
- Ricki Lee - Can't Touch It
- Rihanna - Umbrella
- Shannon Noll - Loud
- Sugababes - Red Dress
- Texas - Summer Son
- The Veronicas - Hook Me Up
- Thirsty Merc - 20 Good Reasons
- Toto - Hold The Line
- Wham! - Club Tropicana
- Yazz - The Only Way is Up
The franchise may be four years old now, but Singstar is still just as enjoyable as the first day we played it. Even with Rock Band on the horizon and other attempts to secure the karaoke market such as Get on Da Mic and the Xbox Music Maker, Singstar reigns supreme. It's so remarkably simple to pick up and if you don't have the patience to sing through a full song you can even sing a short song. It's the type of game you'll drag out continuously for parties and other social gatherings, but it's definitely not the type of title you drag out on a night when you're on your lonesome looking for an enjoyable game.
We're going to sound like a broken Singstar disc here, but there are still a few niggles which are worth highlighting. Party Hits is definitely a game best played with a friend. There hasn't been a true single player mode in the game since the first release and, we're pretty sure it's gone for good, which is a shame. It's also quite easy to 'cheat' in the game by simply humming along, but this isn't too much of an issue, because most of the time your mates will pull you up on it anyway.
When it comes to reviewing Singstar we're really only reviewing the game now on the quality of the soundtrack. Aside from a quick logo change, some new songs, a colour change on the main menu and thirty new songs, Party Hits is much like every other Singstar game before it. Party Hits does contain a great soundtrack though (which is essentially all that matters) and anyone who hasn't upgraded to the PlayStation 3 version should seriously consider giving this game a look, if the song selection interests you.