Saturday, September 18, 2010

Video game number two hundred and seventy five: Singstar

Video game review number two hundred and seventy five in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Singstar".

After playing a craptacular game this morning, but before going back to the amazing Halo Reach...I decided to pop a game into the PS3 that I knew I'd enjoy. After all, it's yet another karaoke title...and we all know how much I tend to enjoy these.

The other day, I played the Disney version of this...and although I thought it was pretty average, I did like the way they played entire scenes from the actual Disney movies behind the karaoke. This game does the same thing, but with pop music.

Sing some "No Rain" and you'll get the classic Blind Melon video, complete with the little girl in the Bee Costume. I played "Loser" by beck, "Losing my religion" by REM and a bunch of others. In fact, I probably played about 15 songs before my voice started to crack a bit and I called it a day. All of them were accompanied by the original music videos, which were just as fun to watch as they were to sing. Brought back lots of memories from the days when MTV was a music station, and not a reality show channel.

Aside from the videos, the singing itself is pretty one fatal flaw: Singstar cannot handle rapping (or speaking). In "Epic" by Faith no More, a lot of the song is rapped. The game can't pick up my cadence, and I'm sure it was calibrated I think I'd have to work at it to get it right. It wasn't just that song though, because Beck's "Loser" was equally bad.

Speaking of calibration, I should briefly mention that I like how this game auto-calibrates the mic (you hold it up to your TV speaker and it does the magic for you). The latency it picks up on my Samsung LCD tv is around 70ms, which is about what I manually enter when I calibrate it in Rock Band.

There's a store, and I visited it to check out the selection. I was pretty shocked when I found out there were over 900 additional songs available for the game here. They were priced a little cheaper than Rock Band songs, and I have to admit, they had some great stuff on there. I'm not planning on buying this game (I feel like my music dollars belong to Rock Band these days), but if I was going to buy songs for a singing game, it would be this one...not Karaoke Revolution or Lips.

Overall Score? 7/10 This game has a lot to offer, including a pretty good (but short) setlist on the disk, online play, and hundreds of songs to download from the marketplace. I'm not planning on buying this, but if it ever happens to find it's way into my collection as a gift or something...I bet I'd buy a few of the great songs I saw online.

Trophies? Ok...let me bitch for a second here. Most of the trophies in this game are ridiculous. They are based on singing hundreds of songs, which sucks because the game only comes with 35 or so. Sure, you could sing every song on the disk 10 times and get some of these achievements, but I think you'd get tired of that and buy some DLC eventually. To do'd probably have to spend another 75-100 bucks picking up 40 songs or so....and that raises the price of this game up quite a bit. That bugged me.

Here are the trophies I got, that didn't really involve repetition:

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