I have a confession to make. Every time I have to vacuum, I sing I Want to Break Free. Every time. People don’t often get it. Me? I grew up on MTV and think in terms of music videos. For me, this is part of the game experience that has sadly been lacking. Enter SingStar. My review is after the jump:
The game comes with these twenty-five popular tracks from Queen:
A Kind of Magic, Another One Bites the Dust, Bohemian Rhapsody, Breakthru, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, Fat Bottomed Girls, Hammer to Fall, I Want It All, I Want To Break Free, Innuendo, Killer Queen, One Vision, Play The Game, Radio Ga Ga, Save Me, Somebody To Love, The Show Must Go On, These Are The Days of Our Lives, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, We Are The Champions, We Will Rock You, Who Wants To Live Forever and You’re My Best Friend.
The two CDs that comprise Queen’s Greatest Hits hold thirty-four songs and, aside from Bicycle Race which I have a random particular personal fondness towards, QUEEN SingStar clearly captured all the big guns. On top of it being loaded with these seminal songs, you play along to the music video. No computer generated fakery here, it’s real deal glory as you sing along while Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. For me, the music videos made the game stand out. If you were to buy all these videos, it’d cost at least as much as this game, so fun gameplay is beyond an added bonus.
In a very nice bit of game mechanics, the lead microphone has the ability to guide you through the menus with your voice alone. Its accuracy (and believe me, I ran it through its paces) removes the need to keep your PS3 controller in reach. You need to invest in the SingStar microphones going in.
As you can imagine, the better you sing a song, the more points you score. Words scroll across the top or bottom (depending on which microphone you’re using) with the accompanying note structure vertically adjacent. You can perform Solo (you show off you), Battle, Duet, Pass the Mic or Practice. When playing with a friend on a Duet song with harmony, you can switch the parts without having to switch the microphones. Worried about hitting those high notes, the game lets you drop it down the octave without point punishment. Or you can wear really tight pants… I suggest taking it down the octave.
For additional fun, you can listen to audio playback of the song you just performed and even save it for future glory (or embarrassment). Word to the wise: don’t tell your more timid friends about this option if you want them to participate. SingStar is also compatible with USB cameras if you really want to kick your rock star status up a notch.
In the name of full disclosure, I have one disclaimer. I went to the online SingStar store and lost an hour of my life window shopping through music video clips of all the songs available for download. Schedule accordingly.
New and old Queen fans alike will have fun playing this game. The videos set the mood and you bring the rock…. Just as it should be.
Overall Grade: A