07 Dec, 2007

Singstar Review

PS3 Review | Turning your PlayStation 3 into the best karaoke machine ever.
Long before the Wii was released Sony was invading the casual lounge room with Singstar. The franchise made its début in 2004 and since then there have been more than ten Singstar 'expansion' games released. Originally slated for release as a PS3 launch title, Singstar has finally arrived. The PlayStation 3 version isn't all that different from its predecessors, but with a more intuitive interface and some online features Singstar has well and truly changed for the better.

The premise for Singstar is simple. For the RRP of a normal game it comes with a USB adaptor, two microphones and a game disk. The microphones plug into the PlayStation 3 and players sing along to songs, with the game 'judging' a player's performance. The game is one of the main reasons the PlayStation 2 continues to sell in PAL territories, with the latest Singstar release almost guaranteed to hit the top ten charts. From an observers point of view Singstar looks like the ultimate embarrassment and half of the challenge is getting your friends onto the microphone, but once they hop on the microphone and start singing along it is likely they won't want to get off. Much like Nintendo's latest console, Singstar really is a game that all the family can play, ten year olds will enjoy singing along to Aqua and those who are a little older will like singing along to Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' or Nena's '99 Red Balloons'.

Something for the older Singstar fans.

Something for the older Singstar fans.
As with every other Singstar released, if you've previously purchased the microphones then you can pick up Singstar by itself, for about half the price of a normal game. Singstar was originally scheduled to come out with wireless microphones, but these weren't ready in time, which unfortunately means we are still stuck with the USB option.

For the PlayStation 3 début we've been given a sort of 'best of' mix of thirty new tracks. The thirty new tracks feature high definition (or at least ones that have been scaled up to appear so) and should appeal to a wide audience. The full list of tracks can be found below;

  • Blink 182 - All The Small Things
  • Blur - Coffee & TV
  • Britney Spears - Toxic
  • Coldplay - Fix You
  • Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
  • Gwen Stefani - Cool
  • Junior Senior - Move Your Feet
  • Macy Gray - I Try
  • Musical Youth - Pass The Dutchie
  • Ne-Yo - So Sick
  • Orson - No Tomorrow
  • OutKast - Hey Ya
  • Primal Scream - Movin' On Up
  • Pussycat Dolls - Beep
  • Radiohead - No Surprises
  • Razorlight - America
  • REM - Losing My Religion
  • Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman - Something Stupid
  • Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
  • Supergrass - Alright
  • The Automatic - Monster
  • The Cardigans - Lovefool
  • The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger
  • The Killers - Mr Brightside
  • The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums
  • The Zutons - Valerie
  • Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
  • U2 - Beautiful Day
  • Weezer - Buddy Holly
  • Wolfmother - Love Train

Singstar fanatics will quickly realise the single player options are similar to those found in the PlayStation 2 versions of the game. You can sing alone, or if you have a friend at home then you can battle or take part in a duet and sing with several players in 'pass the mic'. Multiplayer has always been a key focus for Singstar and offline it is much more enjoyable singing with a friend than singing by yourself, but it is really the online options which distinguish the PlayStation 3 version of Singstar from its predecessors. First up, the disappointing news, you cannot sing against other players against the world. We can imagine that setting up online play with other singers across the world could have been quite a challenge, but there is still plenty to the online experience.

When you first jump on the interwebs you'll then see your online home, where you can enter the SingStore, go to My Singstar Online or just see some headlines, which notify players of when there are new songs and feature the latest news. In the SingStore you can download content for Singstar. First up, one of the more useless downloadable options is the wallpaper, for $2.45 you can download new wallpaper, but considering Singstar comes with several other decent options we're puzzled why Sony would think people would want to purchase this.

Yes, this video clip is in high definition..

Yes, this video clip is in high definition..
But of course, music downloads are the main feature. There are eleven categories in total including Rock, Pop, RnB etc. There is also an option for song packs, indicating that packs of ten songs may be available at a cheaper rate, but this has yet to be confirmed. When selecting a category the songs are listed in alphabetical order, with cover art for each song on display, and when selecting a song you will see a short preview for the song, as well as the file size, cost and whether the content is in standard definition or high definition. To purchase the song you simply have to add the song to your shopping cart, enter your credit card details and prepare to hear your wallet cry. Like the rest of Singstar, purchasing songs is simple. There is no minimum number of songs to purchase, and after you've bought a song it is there on your hard drive to be sung any time in single player or multiplayer.

The other highlight is 'My SingStar Online'. Everyone signed on has a profile which identifies your highest score. For your profile you can edit your image , edit your nationality, add a comment and choose your favourite artist and song. SingStar is compatible with the PlayStation Eye camera, so you can also record your audio, take pictures and see video of yourself singing, and all of this content can be uploaded online for friends and strangers to see. If you're more of a browser, you can view other people's audio, video and snapshots and even rate the content. Those who are afraid they will see R rated images will be pleased to know there is a report option too. You can participate in polls, search online for players, once you've found a player you can also add them to a friends list so you can keep an eye on their top scores. The whole thing is Sony's way of adding social interaction into Singstar and it works very well.

Not the Wolfmother song we wanted.

Not the Wolfmother song we wanted.
There have been a few other tweaks made to the interface which are designed to make the game even easier to navigate as your library fills up with hundreds of downloaded songs. Aside from just scrolling through the songs individually the R1 and R2 buttons are used to scroll through the artists alphabetically. There is also a help button, triggered with the L1 button, and it provides some simple instructions on just about everything. Finally, there are some short cut buttons, so rather than getting lost in the menus you can quickly jump to your media gallery or hop to the SingStore. Overall it's an easy interface to navigate and one that makes the game end up feeling very polished. The lack of any noticeable loading times simply adds the final icing to the cake.

Singstar for the PlayStation 3 is a fantastic game and one we have no problems recommending to fans of the series. The lack of wireless microphones is a little disappointing, and the gameplay hasn't actually changed at all, but adding the SingStore into the game now negates the need for bimonthly disks, and as long as Sony gets content up on the SingStore frequently fans will always have something to sing. Singstar has the potential to kill every karaoke machine out there and is a game that will have your younger brother, mum, grandma and girlfriend playing. And possibly even enjoying it.
The Score
Singstar for the PlayStation 3 isn't fundamentally different from its predecessors but there is very little left to change for the franchise. With a great soundtrack and some long overdue online features, Singstar is a great continuation of the series.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related Singstar Content

Singstar sits at the top of the charts
01 May, 2008 Series sells a bundle in Australia.
Singstar PS3 Volume 2 to come with USB microphones
20 Apr, 2008 Wireless microphones still not ready?
New SingStar tracks announced
27 Mar, 2008 Due out this Friday.
6 years ago
that's a good review im glad this game has recieved a good score let the infux of casual gamers come to the PS3.
6 years ago
corder wrote
let the infux of casual gamers come to the PS3.
At a $400+ price tag before game costs? Doubtful.
Casuals will mostly stick with the PS2 for the time being I'd imagine.
6 years ago
The franchise mas its début in 2004
Right at the start of the article. Surely that one doesn't even get through a spell-check.

two microphones and a game disk
It's disC for optical media and disK for magnetic media.
6 years ago
Calm down BumJab.

I've never really seen the point of Singstar, apart from the 'lol singing in front of friends is funny' part. With My Singstar Online - I see the game in a whole new light - it's a killer idea.

And think - online competitions. Singstar Idol etc - the options are endless.

PS: Nice review Luke.
6 years ago
It was kinda implied, but I'd still like confirmation:

Can you use the PS2 SingStar mics on the PS3 SingStar?
6 years ago
Yes, yes you can.
6 years ago
Luke, you didn't mention in your review that you can only record 30 second clips with the playstation eye and you can't choose when it starts to record either. Usually its in the first chorus... that's a pretty annoying feature.
6 years ago
It's only annoying if you want to show-boat for the purpose of putting it online. And people that do that will be show-boating for the whole song anyway, probably, so the snippet will be fine regardless...

Also, nobody wants to watch 3 minutes of someone else singing and dancing like a tool online - 30 seconds is more than enough if you ask me!
6 years ago
Karai Pantsu wrote
corder wrote
let the infux of casual gamers come to the PS3.
At a $400+ price tag before game costs? Doubtful.
Casuals will mostly stick with the PS2 for the time being I'd imagine.
yeah but Singstar fans will see the game on PS3 and think i want to continue my collection of Singstar games oh I've got to buy a PS3 okay.
6 years ago
Does anyone know if this is region locked at all? I notice on the back of the box it's marked with the standard DVD Region 4 stamp and don't want to fork out the money if I won't be able to play it on my US PS3.
6 years ago
All Ps3 games are region free, to my knowledge. I also just tried it on the US-NTSC option on the PlayStation 3 debug and it worked fine, not sure how you will go with the store though.
6 years ago
I wish Luke would serenade me.
6 years ago
Luke wrote
All Ps3 games are region free, to my knowledge. I also just tried it on the US-NTSC option on the PlayStation 3 debug and it worked fine, not sure how you will go with the store though.
Cool - I've got my account on the Aussie store anyhow, so that should be sorted. It was just that dreaded Region 4 logo that got me concerned.

All my other games - regardless of region work fine.
6 years ago
ten year olds will enjoy singing along to Aqua
I rather doubt ten year olds will be into a band whose heyday was in 1998. icon_redface.gif
6 years ago
ok - confirmed as working on my US retail. Store works too. Thanks
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