|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SCEE||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCEA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
For those who don't know, the Singstar series is a karaoke series with several themed games that all have one thing in common: they force you to put your pride aside and belt out in song. Singstar '90s deviates little from this tried and true formula and offers little in the way of originality. But for the uninitiated, here is a recap of the how the Singstar games work.
You start off by creating a profile which is basically just your name. Once you create the profile, you are able to select from 30 songs (in this case all songs from the 90s). Once you pick a song, there are note bars you have to fill by singing. You hit the right notes, and the bars will glow blue. You hit the wrong notes, and you'll see the missed notes appear outside the bar. One hallmark of the Singstar series is its no-pressure atmosphere. Unlike games like Rock Band where you can fail a song half way through if you are really terrible, there is no way to fail a song. The game will still tell you when you are doing poorly, make no mistake, but at least it affords you the courtesy to let you finish a song. After the song is over, you'll get a rating that ranges from the very low and humiliating "tone deaf" to the gloat-worthy "recording artist." Your score will then go onto a leaderboard that is categorized by song, and you can see how you match up against your previous scores.
But it is no fun playing Singstar by yourself. Well, maybe it is a little fun, but Singstar is the type of game that is best enjoyed with a group. Instead of singing in a room by yourself and thinking about how terrible you are, you can get together with a whole bunch of people and revel in how terrible you all are. Trust me; nothing says fun like trying to keep up with Sir Mix-A-Lot and failing miserably. And since the folks at Singstar know that multiplayer is the heart of their game experience, they've offered quite a few multiplayer modes.
First up is the Pass the Mic mode. This is great for big crowds as it allows you to share mics with a large group of people. You can actually play with up to eight people, and while you could all sing at the same time, that probably wouldn't be pretty. So Pass the Mic is a pretty useful mode if you have a big crowd. Next up is the duet mode. In this mode you can find a friend and sing different parts to the same song. This mode is great and can really foster a close relationship and get all the good feelings going. But let's say you aren't feeling so lovey-dovey. Then you have battle mode where you can compete with your foe one -on-one to see who can sing the best or embarrass themselves the least, depending on the situation.