Sing Like A 90s Star!
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.
So now that you’ve had your Singstar introduction (or refresher course) you may be asking yourself what is new in Singstar ’90s. Well, the truth is that other than the songs, there’s not much else new. Whether you think it’s great news or terrible news, the fact is that Singstar games will always have the same type of gameplay, and I don’t really expect any variations to come down the pipe anytime soon. That being said, let’s talk about the music.
While the track list in Singstar ’90s definitely includes some iconic songs from the 90s like “I Only Wanna Be With You” by Hootie and The Blowfish, “I Want You” by Savage Garden, and “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, it also includes some clunkers that seem to be on every karaoke game. Songs like “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice, “You Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer and “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-a-Lot may have been fun karaoke songs six or seven years ago, but nowadays it seems they are included on almost every karaoke game, and they’re just too cliché at this point. I also feel that some of the iconic music was left out of this game. The late nineties saw the onslaught of the boy band craze, and yet I was dismayed that there was no N*Sync or Backstreet Boys. The mid-nineties saw the birth of alternative rock with groups like Everclear and Green Day, but the alternative scene seems to have been left out as well, in favor of grunge in the form of Nirvana’s “Lithium” and pop rock with Spin Doctor’s “Two Princes.” But I suppose no track list will ever make everyone happy, and despite my few objections, it is fairly good.
Overall, Singstar ’90s is yet another solid entry in a series that has been helping people embarrass themselves completely for quite some time now. It is great for Singstar veterans and newbies alike, and once you pick the mic up, who knows when you’ll put it down!
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.5 Graphics
Visuals consist of music bars in the foreground and vintage music videos in the background. Oh, and some green and white menu screens. 4.0 Control
Singing into the mic is as easy as it ever was. 3.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Tracklist is okay, but there was so much better music in the 90s. Why not swap the tired MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice Tracks for some N*SYNC or Green Day? I hear they were pretty popular in the 90s… 4.0 Play Value
If you love karaoke, friends, and 90s music, then this is right up your alley. If not, steer clear. 3.7 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.