Singstar Review : Karaoke the way it was meant to be

I love to sing karaoke. I go out with my friends to a karaoke place, go to Timezone, or sometimes I just listen to music on my winamp and sing along. Karaokes would give me goofy scores afterwards and that would be the end of it. That is until I discovered Singstar. Singstar has been an established franchise on the playstation 2 but I just never got on board becuase 1.)it's not available here in Philippines and 2.)when you buy the game, the number of songs on the disc are fixed meaning you can't add new songs. All that was before the playstation 3.

I recently purchased this game just last Sunday due to really good reviews about it and it does NOT disappoint. Singstar is basically a karaoke game where you connect 2 PS3 Microphones into the system's USB slots then go crazy. It shows you the lyrics of the song and the tone in which you're supposed to sing it (represented by a gray bar), and when you do actually start singing, a colored bar shows you how you're doing whether you're in tune or out of tune. This is also the basis of the scoring in the game.

The blue solid bar tells you if you're in tune or out of tune


Plot
It's a karaoke game. No plots. Just go and sing.

Presentation

This is one of the games with better menus. The screen transitions are seamless and very straightforward. There is enough help in the help menu to let you know what you're doing. The interface is clean in that all options are relevant and there are no useless links that lead you nowhere. It's pretty easy to use noting that this game is targetting very casual gamers.



Gameplay
The mic was not responsive at first meaning the voice was being registered late in the screen resulting in notes not being hit properly and scores being sub-par. This was fixed via a software update though and I was able to recalibrate the mics to sync with the video.

Since this is a party game, there are several modes that you can play including battle singing, battle duets, medley (where it plays lines from random songs), and a whole lot of other options. I had a blast playing this with my sisters and their friends when they came over last Sunday.

My singstar online to upload my videos for people to rate

Now, since I have an Eyetoy camera from my PS2 which works with this as well, I can enable an option where I can see myself and whoever I'm singing with on the screen instead of the music video. I can also choose the option wherein i watch the music video and the camera takes 20-30 second clips during parts of the song which i can save on my harddrive and watch again later on. This links perfectly with the online community that this game has where you have a profile and you can put up your videos for other people to watch and they can rate your videos from 1-5 stars.
From the same guys that brought me Eyetoy comes Singstar


The game ships with 30 songs built in which kinda sucks at first... BUT... here comes the power of the PS3's online capability. You can actually download new songs from the Singstore for $1.49 a song. This includes the song as well as the music video. That's roughly P80 per song which is really worth it in my point of view since I never have to buy the game again and I can just add songs from the Singstore. Now, don't forget people, Sony owns Song BMG records as well as a ton of other independent music companies. So that's what you can expect their song catalog to comprise of. The singstore currently has around 200+ songs but they promise to add around 50 each week.
The hardware

Overall
One of the best party games I have played so far. Sometimes after the party I find myself sitting alone in my living room playing this over Grand theft auto and Guitar hero... sometimes. I have yet to try out the other game modes and the online community sharing. Heck, I've only had this for roughly 2 days. Can't wait to play it some more.

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