SingStar: Pop ReviewJason Leyanna
Here we have the sequel to Sony’s SingStar Rocks. This is developed by Sony Europe’s London Studio and is exclusive to the PS2. If you already own SingStar Rocks as well as Pop, then you have the ability to put the other disk in and play from both types of music.
The songs are sung to the music videos that the artists’ have made. Most are the original music videos, but there are a couple of exceptions. The videos are of relatively high quality, making them as fun to watch as to interact with.
There are a total of 30 unique pop songs along with a few medleys. A sampling of them would include: “Sk8er Boi” by Avril Lavigne, “Honestly” by Cartel, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child, “Helena” by My Chemical Romance, “These Words” by Natasha Bedingfield, and “On the Way Down” by Ryan Cabrera, as well as, a myriad of others.
Single-player mode is available along with multi-player options. In two-player mode the blue part on the screen is for player one, while the red notes are for player two. The following modes are possible: cooperative play, head-to-head mode and pass the mic mode.
The game judges your pitch, and you see where it is supposed to fall on the screen. You can actually sing whatever lyrics you want, if your heart so desires, and the game will still give you points if you are in key and hold the notes out long enough.
The more familiar you become with the songs, the easier it is to sing along, obviously. You may want to try the ones you haven’t heard a few times to get used to them or just listen to them once through. Once you’ve sung through a song you can opt to hear your rendition of the song and even save it to the memory card. The recording doesn’t seem to sound as good as when you are actually singing. Perhaps that is because I lack the ability to sing very well, and the music drowns it out when I go through the first time.
“Move Along” by the All American Rejects is not recommended if you have epileptic seizures. The background in the video often changes very rapidly with the lead singer in view. The manual and box itself mention about taking special precautions if you are susceptible to seizures.
The rap section in “Feel Good, Inc.” by the Gorillaz is something I found challenging at first, but others more familiar with the genre should catch on quickly. There are also occasional freestyle sections in the songs that you either know, because of the song, or eventually catch on to, after multiple times with the song.
There are three different difficulty settings to choose from depending on your abilities in the vocal department and the abilities of your friends. Also compatible with the EyeToy, you can watch and hear your performance played back. Some words are censored, allowing the game to receive a Everyone 10+ rating from the ESRB.
I’ve finally been able to drag myself away from the game to write this review. I personally like a majority of the songs, and the rest are at least familiar – so that greatly improves my enjoyment. If you aren’t into Pop music, this isn’t for you. Though if you enjoy pop from Hinder to Britney Spears, then this in a nice gem. It also comes with two microphones so you can play (err.. sing) head-to-head with a friend, right out of the box. And if you already own the previous title by Sony, you can just pick up the game disc at a lesser price at your nearest retailer.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.