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Andrew Cathie
23 Nov, 2010

SingStar: Guitar Review

PS3 Review | Become the frontman, again.
Along with SingStar: Dance, SingStar: Guitar is Sony’s latest push at updating and re-invigorating the SingStar series. SingStar: Guitar allows the player to also use a plastic guitar peripheral to play guitar while singing or on its own. Is it an inspired decision or just a quick cash in to try and revive a floundering genre? Read on and your questions shall be answered.

The list of songs you will be spending hours playing is as follows:

  • 3 Doors Down – “Kryptonite”
  • Bloc Party – “Helicopter”
  • Blur – “Song 2”
  • Buzzcocks – “Ever Fallen In Love With Someone”
  • Colbie Caillat - “Bubbly”
  • David Bowie – “The Man Who Sold The World”
  • Elbow – “Grounds For Divorce”
  • Florence and the Machine – “Kiss With a Fist”
  • Franz Ferdinand – “No You Girls”
  • Jamiroquai - "Too Young to Die"
  • Kaiser Chiefs – “I predict a riot”
  • Kasabian – “Fire”
  • KT Tunstall – “Suddenly I See”
  • Ladyhawke – “My Delirium”
  • Muse – “Supermassive Black Hole”
  • Paramore – “CrushCrushCrush”
  • Pixies – “Debaser”
  • Pulp – “Disco 2000”
  • Queen & David Bowie – “Under Pressure”
  • Stereophonics – “Just Looking”
  • The Stone Roses – “Waterfall”
  • The Clash – “Rock The Casbah”
  • The Cult – “She Sells Sanctuary”
  • The Cure – “The Lovecats”
  • The Raconteurs – “Steady As She Goes”
  • The Veronicas – “Untouched”
  • The White Stripes – “Fell In Love With A Girl”
  • Tina Turner – “Steamy Windows”
  • U2 – “Beautiful Day”
  • Vampire Weekend – “A Punk”

The tracklist is very heavy on pop-rock and rock tracks, without anything featuring from the metal/hard rock genres, as we’ve come to expect from SingStar titles. With artists ranging from Ladyhawke and Colbie Caillat to Queen and Muse, there’s enough to satisfy most people.

The main focus of this review will, rightfully so, be the new guitar segment that has been added into the game. Upon starting the game you will be prompted to update, as you will be with most games. You will want to update straight away, because if you don’t you’re in for a very rude surprise. During songs if you haven’t updated the game, the update screen will suddenly appear on the screen, pausing your song and prompt you to update. It’s incredibly frustrating to get a flow going, enjoying the song you’re singing and strumming only to have an update screen appear mid-song. While it’s not game breaking, it is extremely annoying.

Strum that guitar, you crazy kid.

Strum that guitar, you crazy kid.
Close
Upon going into the song selection you are given the option to select if you will be singing, playing guitar or doing both. Being the adventurous types we are, we went straight for both, with vocals set to medium difficulty and guitar to hard (the toughest difficulty in the game). You are then given the option of calibrating a voice recognition system to control the song selection screen. The voice controls allow you to say artist/song names or genres to bring them up on screen and then select them. While it is an interesting feature and worked well, we found ourselves just using the controls to select songs and save our vocal chords. A song is selected (“Crushcrushcrush” by Paramore) and the familiar bass thumps echo throughout the room.

Immediately apparent is the fact that the guitar note highway is on the top of the screen and vocals are on the bottom, the opposite of the general formula normally used in this sort of game. The guitar highway is noticeably smaller than the vocal track, making it very hard to see, which makes it much harder to play than it should be. Adding an extra vocalist and guitarist makes it much worse. The two vocal tracks fill about two thirds of the screen, while the two guitar highways get one third of the screen total for both. The presentation style is confounding for a game that touts its inclusion of guitar controls, as the guitar is obviously just a minor component that was tacked on

Lots of empty room for vocals and no space for guitar.

Lots of empty room for vocals and no space for guitar.
Close
SingStar: Guitar’s guitar highway is not hard to play, especially if you are used to playing the harder difficulties on Rock Band. The hardest difficulty in the game (hard) moves at about the same as medium in Rock Band, just using all five buttons on the controller instead of four. The highway moves at such a slow pace, that there is almost no challenge to hit all of the notes. If you are an inexperienced rhythm gamer, than you will find the pace fine, but if you are a big fan of Rock Band or Guitar Hero's higher difficulties you’re likely to get bored quickly.

Apart from the addition of guitar controls, SingStar: Guitar remains true to the general SingStar formula. The karaoke functionality is exactly the same as previous titles, meaning you don’t need to actually sing the words to get a good score. You have the option of playing multiplayer with two guitarists, two singers and any combination of the two.

SingStar: Guitar is a game of two parts, guitars and vocals. Sadly, the two parts do not mesh to make a game better than its parts. The presentation makes it much harder to play guitar and vocals than it should be, the hardest difficulty is much too easy and the guitar controls are quite obviously tacked on. SingStar: Guitar is a fun game, not because of its much touted guitar controls, but because of its party ready multiplayer.
The Score
SingStar: Guitar is years late to the party and does nothing that other games haven't already done better. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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9 Comments
3 years ago
Fuck that noise - bring out Singstar: Air Guitar for Kinect and then we'll talk.

Seriously. They seriously took the Karaoke game and turned it into Guitarband lite. This is facepalm gold, boys and girls.
3 years ago
lolpinions after playing this at a friend's house...

- Guitar sustain notes are very difficult to read during strummy patterns

- VERY forgiving hit detection, not only does it barely need to be calibrated, you can hit sections completely wrong and not drop notes

- Some very decent charts, all songs are relatively easy

- Hard difficulty is essentially expert charting, although they generally keep to rhythm guitar during complex bits, eg. Helicopter's strummy solo only is charted for the first 1/3 of it

- Voice control is hilarious. Being a person who uses the internet, the first thing I did on song selection was say "Dicks"... it scrolled straight to U2. True story.
3 years ago
Eyce wrote
- Voice control is hilarious. Being a person who uses the internet, the first thing I did on song selection was say "Dicks"... it scrolled straight to U2. True story.
icon_lol.gif

Hilarion!
3 years ago
... why does this even exist?
3 years ago
Karai Pantsu wrote
**** that noise - bring out Singstar: Air Guitar for Kinect and then we'll talk.
It would be Lips: Air Guitar for the Kinect. icon_razz.gif
3 years ago
Lips could totally have air guitar without Kinect, just use the motion sensitivity in the mics icon_razz.gif

(I played Lips for the first time on the weekend, never realised the mics were motion sensitive before - I love it!)
3 years ago
But then you would be using the mic as the guitar, which defeats the purpose of it being an air guitar.

You could use the mic built into the Kinect (kinda) and then you'll have an air band game.

If that ever happens, I'll be an air roadie.
3 years ago
You can be my air roadie any time, baby icon_wink.gif
3 years ago
Benza wrote
... why does this even exist?
Quick cash-in to try and revitalize a dying genre. Music game sales have dropped from about $1.6 billion in 2008 (Jan to Oct) in the US to less than $250 million this year (Jan to Oct) in the US.
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