|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: Sept. 23, 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
The Singstar series has been around for quite a while and has hit its stride on the PlayStation 2. With almost twenty titles to its credit in the last five years, the series has been a proven seller thus far and doesnt seem to be slowing down anytime soon. This beloved karaoke series had much success with last years SingStar Pop, and this years SingsStar Pop: Volume 2 feels like the same game, but with different songs. Which is definitely a good thing for karaoke enthusiasts, but it may leave longtime fans of the series wanting something more.
The format of the game is nearly the same as all the other SingStar games. You are able to select from 30 pop-infused songs, all of which are available from the beginning. There is no single-player or story mode, and, instead, you are able to jump right in and sing by yourself or with friends. Once you pick a song, then 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 youll see the missed notes appear outside the bar. But dont worry if you get too many of these. Unlike games like Rock Band, where you can fail a song half way through if you are absolutely terrible, in SingStar there is no way to fail a song. However, the game will still tell you if you are performing inadequately by way of an end-song rating, but it will still let you finish whatever song you were on. These ratings can range from Tone Def to Lead Singer, with categories like Wannabe and Rising Star in the middle.
But, as any seasoned Singstar veteran will tell you, this is the type of game that is best enjoyed with a group, and SingStar: Pop Volume 2 includes all the usual multiplayer modes. The Pass the Mic mode is still probably the best and most useful mode, as it allows you to share mics with a large group of people. This is the perfect mode for large parties or gatherings, and it is a great way to keep everyone engaged in the game. The game allows for up to eight people to play at once, and the game will provide Pass the Mic cues for the next player. Each person will get an individual score at the end of the song, and it is tons of fun comparing scores at the end of a crazy song. The next mode is the duet mode. In this mode you can find a friend and sing a song together. Although past SingStar titles have had different parts for each player in the duet mode, SingStar Pop: Volume 2 just has the same parts for each vocalist. After the song, a combined score is shown, and high fives will probably ensue. However, if you are not in such a cooperative mood, you can go all-out in battle mode, where you can compete with your singing rival oneon-one to see who has the better vocal chops.
While the structure and different modes of play in SingStar Pop: Volume 2 are all essentially the same, the songs are all new. This installment of the series has some fairly standard pop hits, with radio staples like Umbrella by Rhianna and Hey there Delilah by the Plain White Ts making the cut. Also included in SingStar Pop: Volume 2 are popular tracks by Fergie, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, and The Dixie Chicks. There is a vast amount of variety here, and theres sure to be something for everyone, and, more importantly, something everyone can agree upon.