More Reviews
REVIEWS The Sims 4 Get to Work Expansion Review
Electronic Arts hopes that Get to Work will make you Get to The Sims 4.

Axiom Verge Review
A single man spends five years on a solo project and the result is Axiom Verge. It was worth the effort.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Dirty Bomb Preview
Looking for a more competitive, challenging online FPS multiplayer game? Splash Damage is introducing just that by dropping a Dirty Bomb on the free-to-play game market.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones
Release date: 04/01/15

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin
Release date: 04/07/15

LATEST FEATURES Interview: Kevin Spacey Is A Part of Call of Duty's Evolution, Says Sledgehammer Games' Dev
At the Call of Duty World Championship, Mike Mejia explains the success of the tournament and how Call of Duty needed to evolve.

BAMF Babes #4: Kitana
She slices she dices she kicks ass!
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Top 50 Pokémon of All Time
Can you believe there are now six generations of Pokémon? Six!! That's a crazy amount of different creatures to collect. But which are the cream of the crop? Don't worry, Magikarp isn't actually one of them.

Read More Member Blogs
Re-Masters - Next-Gen Backwards Compatibility?
By shandog137
Posted on 03/30/15
I am a PS3 owner and someday hope to be a PS4 owner, yet I am not at all dissatisfied with my choice to delay purchase, solely based on the current PS4 library. When I transitioned from a Playstation 1 to a Playstation 2, I was pleasantly surprised that I could for the most part rid myself of my PS1...

SingStar Amped Review

JP_Hurh By:
GENRE Rhythm 
T Contains Lyrics, Sexual 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 Amped
Also known as: amped, singstar

More On GameRevolution