More Reviews
REVIEWS Hyrule Warriors Review
Link, Zelda, Impa, and more Hyrule heroes hit the battlefield in this Dynasty Warriors spin-off. Can it stand up to the brand’s history?

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super He Review
Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes adds light RPG mechanics, builds on action, and uses Toy Box Mode to teach players.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Halo: The Master Chief Collectio Preview
Microsoft and 343 Industries want to bring the entire Halo saga to Xbox One and this collection does exactly that with new graphics for Halo 2.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES PS4's Until Dawn Scared Me Out of My Headphones - TGS Hands-On, Headset-Off Preview
Hopefully it doesn't keep me awake... for the whole night!

NIntendo Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
OK, so I didn't update before PAX and I may have missed one before that. Let's try this again!
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

SingStar 80's Review

JP_Hurh By:
JP_Hurh
09/10/07
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Rhythm 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER SCEA 
DEVELOPER SCEA 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Mild Lyrics, Mild Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

The Song Remains the Same

Breaking out a karaoke machine (which SingStar really is) at any party is a lesson in human psychology. Most regard microphones the way cavemen regard monoliths.

click to enlargeFirst, there is feigned disinterest and denial. Everyone either can’t sing, has a horrible voice, or boy, will you look at the time… Then, signs of curiosity. Partygoers sneak looks at the song list and send sidelong glances at friends in an attempt to gauge whether or not it is uncool to announce one’s love of The ScorpionsWinds of Change. Finally, after the first few songs, the atmosphere of the room does its own winds of change, and those who were embarrassed at having to sing five minutes ago are now embarrassed at wanting to sing every song.

Try this experiment using the combination of alcohol and peer pressure (it never fails), and watch those song-phobic inhibitions drop faster than booty at a hip-hop club.

The two new SingStar offerings, Amped and 80’s, are stand-alone karaoke games that thicken the track list, but refuse to mess with the formula that made the original SingStar a hit in Europe. Of course, Europeans have far fewer reservations about singing high notes or wearing tight pants (are the two related?), so the U.S. success of SingStar largely depends on how acceptable karaoke is for the twenty- to thirty-something crowd here in the states.

Unlike the main competition in the console karaoke market, Karaoke Revolution, SingStar adopts a clean, hip austerity in its presentation. The simple menus, easy-to-read lyrics and pitch prompts, and actual music videos used in the background make it attractive to the generation brainwashed to believe that Apple is somehow hipper by being whiter.

The two titles being reviewed here—Amped and 80s—target specific age bands. The kids in their twenties (born in the 80s—jeesh!) will recognize more songs on the Amped collection, which features alternative rock hits from Fall Out Boy (This Ain’t A Scene, It’s an Arms Race) to The Killers (When You Were Young). There are a few older rock tunes here, like Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild and Pearl Jam’s Alive, but the majority of the tunes are recent, heavy, and high-pitched. One wonders if what’s falling in Fall Out Boy are the poor boy’s undropped testicles. He sings that high.

click to enlargeBut the young hipsters crooning Nickelback might not know all the delicious offerings on the 80s volume. From Blondie’s Heart of Glass to Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round, the pop songs are just more fun to sing than the rock stuff on Amped. Even better are the vintage videos in the background, among which Duran Duran’s Rio features not just skinny ties, yachting, and painted bikini-clad women, but also two dudes playing bona-fide, I-shit-you-not air saxophones.

Having the real music and the real music videos is both an unexpected plus and an unexpected minus. On one hand, they’re music videos! Harkening back to the time when MTV only played music videos in all their weird art-student glory. Remember Twisted Sister’s awe-inspiring We’re Not Going To Take It video? Genius. And using the real music means not having to hear crappy cover renditions.

On the other hand, licensing the master tracks has tied SingStar’s hands when it comes to silencing the vocals. Though you can control the mic volume, you cannot control the volume of the singer on the track, so rather than replacing the singer’s voice, you merely sing over it. It’s not noticeable in most cases, but “freestyle” mode should give you more freedom to improvise.

There aren’t many modes or options for gameplay, either. Party mode features duets, battles, and a hodgepodge “pass the mic” game. None of these make you feel competitive, and though the automatic leaderboards are neat and easy to keep track of, SingStar is more karaoke than video game.

And that becomes clear if you try to play alone. There are no rewards for excellent singing, no unlocking of new songs, and no real motivation to sing by yourself. If you are the solitary sort, it might be better to get a Paxil prescription (probably not ~ Ed.) rather than the party-friendly Singstar.

click to enlargeBut that doesn’t mean there aren’t some neat tricks. Being able to swap out discs without turning off the game is one small feature that is huge at parties. Best of all, scores and profiles are saved across discs, so though Amped and 80s are able to stand-alone, they can easily be combined into your tracklist.

The other sweet surprise, the inclusion of a “rap meter” on Run-D.M.C.’s It’s Tricky, forgets all about pitch and measures your rapping rhythm instead. It’s Tricky might be the only rap song represented here, but oh, the bated breath we hold for more hip hop. You know you didn’t memorize all the words to Jump Around for nothing.

The only unforgivable flub is that SingStar can only be played on official SingStar microphones. Konami’s Karaoke Revolution mics won’t work, and neither will any of the third-party USB mics. Such an oversight, or deliberate shooting of one’s own foot, might mean that SingStar will only be big in Europe.

But SingStar: David Hasselhoff will be huge.

B Revolution report card
  • Slick layout
  • Swappable discs
  • Real music videos
  • Great at parties
  • Weak single-player mode
  • Requires SingStar mics
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about SingStar 80's


More On GameRevolution