SingStar Rocks ReviewCain Dornan
Now in its fifth edition in the series, SingStar Rocks! once again allows you to sing along to a collection of utter classics in the Rock genre. While this latest iteration doesnt introduce any new features to the well-known formula, the chance to further build your library of karaoke songs will no doubt be a tantalizing offering, which is already clearly showing with the game being in the top of the Australia sales charts since its release only a few weeks ago.
The first piece of fact that you need to know about SingStar Rocks! is that the Australian version offers a slightly altered tracklist from its UK and US counterparts. As a result, Australian gamers are treated to a number of pure rock classics that many Aussies hold close to their heart, such as Men At Work Down Under, The Veronicas 4 ever, and GANGajang Sounds of Then (This is Australia). Of course, with the inclusion of some more famous Australian tracks sees the replacement of tracks that are available in overseas versions, such as Queen, Maximo Park and Bloc Party. Of course, the two different track lists will attract different gamers based off their own personal preference; however, we feel that the inclusion of some classic Australian songs will no doubt please many gamers.
For those unaware of how the SingStar games work, allow me to explain. Each version of SingStar comes in two different packages, one containing two well-built, sturdy microphones that plug into a connector which, in turn, plugs into one the PS2s USB slots. The second version comes only with the game disk, which is a perfect option for those who already own the two SingStar microphones after purchasing a previous title in the series. SingStar works by capturing the tone of your voice and comparing it to a system that determines what tone of voice should be used during that particular part of the song. As such, it is possible to cheat simply by making noises in the right pitch, which can be used to cheat through battles. You receive points based on your singing skill, resulting in the central aim of the game being to achieve the highest score possible. Upon the completion of each song, you are ranked according to your performance, with comments ranging from tone deaf through to wannabe and even superstar commenting on your overall performance. Three difficulty levels, ranging from easy through to hard, determines how accurately the game will grade you, with hard requiring you to be quite a good singer or skilled at making noises at the correct pitch. Although the rating system is included in the majority of modes in SingStar, it is not used in the Freestyle mode, which does not rate your performance.
When participating in rated songs, high scores are saved to your PS2s memory card, allowing you to view who has scored the highest number of points for each track. Although not a major feature, it is an interesting one for the competitive ones among us.
The games layout remains the same to the past few iterations in the series, which sees the game being divided into multiple sections that slightly alter the mode of play. Sing Solo, for example, allows you to sing till your hearts content by yourself. There are also a collection of multiplayer modes, which offer the most enjoyment that can be gained from the game, with such modes as Pass the Mic, which allows you to have as many players as you wish by simply passing on the mic once each player has had their turn. There is also Battle, which aims to determine which singer is the best and Duet, allowing you to team-up to create the next chart topper. For those who do not want their performance ranked, there is also the freestyle mode, which allows you to sing freely without the game rating your performance.
The Australia edition of SingStar Rocks! comes packaged with 30 tracks, which includes:
GANGgajang, Sounds Of Then (This Is Australia)
The Killers, Somebody Told Me
Bowling For Soup, 1985
The Church, Unguarded Moment
INXS, Never Tear Us Apart
Thin Lizzy, The Boys Are Back In Town
Hole, Celebrity Skin
The Veronicas, 4ever
Grinspoon, Hard Act To Follow
Jet, Are You Gonna Be My Girl?
Powderfinger, These Days
Killing Heidi, I Am
Scorpions, Wind Of Change
Nirvana, Come As You Are
Powderfinger, (Baby Ive Got You) On My Mind
Men At Work, Down Under
Deep Purple, Smoke On The Water
The Swingers, Counting The Beat
The Screaming Jets, Better
Rolling Stones, Paint It Black
Coldplay, Speed Of Sound
The Exponents, Why Does Love Do This To Me?
Gwen Stefani, What You Waiting For
Dragon, April Sun In Cuba
The Offspring, Self Esteem
Blur, Song 2
The Cardigans, My Favourite Game
End of Fashion, Oh Yeah
Franz Ferdinand, Do You Want To?
While no new features have been introduced in SingStar Rocks! that havent already been done in previous SingStar titles, there is no denying that fans of the series will love to add this collection of rock classics to their SingStar collection. The added custom version for Australia will definitely please many karaoke enthusiasts, while gamers in both the UK and US will appreciate the collection of tracks in their version. If youve enjoyed the previous SingStar titles and have interest in the lineup of tracks in this version, SingStar Rocks! is a worthy addition to your collection.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.