Ever since Singstar debuted around three years ago it's been usual for a new title to be released every four to six months. In three years we've been treated to Singstar, Singstar Anthems, Singstar Legends, Singstar Party, Singstar Pop, Singstar Pop Hits, Singstar Rocks! and Singstar 80's (as well as eight different introductory paragraphs) and now only a few weeks after Singstar Pop Hits Sony has released Singstar 90's, but is the game any good or are we beginning to tire of the franchise?
Singstar isn't the type of game that appeals to the hardcore gamer, it's a title that's plenty of fun with friends and has been a huge hit with the casual crowds, every week the sales charts are littered with the Singstar titles and the franchise has sold plenty of PlayStation 2's. The concept is simple, each Singstar title comes packed with two USB microphones. The microphones plug into an adapter that plugs into the USB slot on the PlayStation 2. The objective of the game is to sing along to one of the songs in the game and be "rated" based on your singing ability, essentially if you purchase Singstar then your PlayStation 2 turns into a karaoke machine.
Here at PALGN we are big fans of the franchise and many nights have been spent in front of the PlayStation 2 trying to perfect our singing ability (which unfortunately hasn't improved all that much). All that really changes with each Singstar title though is the tracklist, games like Pop Hits have suffered because of some interesting track choices but Singstar 90's is right on the money this time around. As can be assumed from the title every song in the game (there are a total of thirty) is from the 90's and trust us, songs that you'll still remember the lyrics too all these years later have made the cut.
As well as the thirty tracks in the game there are also several medlys. The tracklist is what should really determine whether Singstar 90's is worth a purchase and we feel it's simply one of the best tracklists yet. Anyone who is in the vicinity of around eighteen to thirty will absolutely lap up this tracklist and with classic songs you thought you'd never hear again such as Aqua's Barbie Girl and The Spice Girls Wannabe there are sure to be plenty of smiles. The full tracklisting is as follows:
- All Saints - Never Ever
- Aqua - Barbie Girl
- B-52's - Love Shack (can you believe this was in the 90's? We can't)
- Barenaked Ladies - One Week
- Billy Ray Cyrus - Achey Breaky Heart
- Crash Test Dummies - MMM MMM MMM MMM
- Divinyls - I Touch Myself
- EMF - Unbelievable
- Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy
- Lisa Loeb - Stay
- MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This
- Meredith Brooks - Bitch
- M People - Movin' On Up
- Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
- New Kids on the Block - Step by Step
- Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue - Where the Wild Roses Grow
- Poison - Unskinny Bop
- Radiohead - Creep
- REM - Everybody Hurts
- Roachford - Only to be with you
- Savage Garden - I Want You
- Seal - Kiss from a rose
- Sir Mix A Lot - Baby Got Back
- Spice Girls - Wannabe
- Spin Doctors - Two Princes
- Technotronic feat Kelly - Pump up the Jam
- The Cardigans - Lovefool
- The Cranberries - Zombie
- The Cure - Friday I'm In Love
- Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around
The gameplay modes which feature in all of the previous Singstar titles are back again. This means you can sing solo for practice or battle it out against a friend. You can also sing in a duet with a partner if you'd prefer as well. There is still no real single player mode in the game at all which is still a little disappointing. Just a small career option would be better than nothing, but Singstar 90's is ultimately a party game.
We still have a few complaints about Singstar that are just simply being ignored. The USB microphones judge a player and assign them a rating based on the tone of your singing. This means that rather than actually singing the lyrics you can hum (or even sing alternate lyrics) and not get marked down by the game, as long as you're still using the same tone of the song you're supposed to be singing. If you're playing a group environment and someone starts losing it's highly likely they'll start fooling around and it's not necessary that they will definitely lose.
When it comes to choosing a Singstar title the main consideration should be the tracklist. With so many compilations now there are bound to be a few Singstar games with a tracklist that's appealing. Overall though we've found Singstar 90's to be one of the best Singstar games yet. The fact that the game judges you based on tone and pitch is beginning to show the limitations of the microphones and the game hasn't changed much at all in three years, but Singstar is the type of game that appeals to all types of gamers; mum's, dad's, children, cousins, brothers and sisters will all absolutely love the game. If the tracklist takes your fancy then there should be absolutely no hesitation in picking up Singstar 90's.