Over the years the SingStar series has taken on several different genres. From Pop music to rock, and even Bollywood, the SingStar series has definitely created a varied music landscape for the world to sing along to. But surprisingly, the SingStar series has never ventured into the twang- -infused world of country music, until now. SingStar Country has been long overdue for fans of the genre, but now that it has arrived, it isn’t as great as fans of the genre may have anticipated.
As any SingStar fanatic will tell you, the success of any iteration of the series depends upon it’s song catalog. And I have to say that SingStar Country does not do as well in this department as some of the other genre-focused titles. To its credit, there are some big songs in SingStar Country such as “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” by Big and Rich and “Chattahoochee” by Alan Jackson. There are even some classic country tunes like Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and “A Boy Named Sue” as well as Willie Nelson’s classic “Pancho and Lefty”.
However, this title misses a lot of huge artists like Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood in favor of American Idol runners-up like Bucky Covington and Kelli Pickler. This game also includes multiple songs by artists like Brooks and Dunn, Trace Atkins, and Montgomery Gentry, which really decreases the game’s song variety. The world of country music is quite expansive, so I am not exactly sure why they included so many repeat artists, especially when the tracklist is still composed of only thirty songs.
But other than the disappointing song selection, SingStar Country is a pretty standard SingStar title. In case you have never played a SingStar game before, the main gameplay mechanic consists of you singing into a mic and the game showing the notes you’re sing onscreen. If you sing a note correctly, then a little clear bar will fill with a blue light. However, if you don’t sing at all the bar will remain empty, and the notes that you actually do sing but miss will be shown outside the bar.
As far as modes are concerned, this title does not deviate from the SingStar formula at all. There is a main single-player mode where you can sing your best all alone, or you can play in one of the game’s signature multiplayer modes. As far as the multiplayer modes are concerned, the usual suspects are all here: Battle, Duet, and Pass the Mic. The Battle mode is the game’s main competitive mode, where you and a friend are able sing the same song simultaneously and see who is able to maintain perfect pitch the longest and garner the highest score at the end.
The Duet mode is a little friendlier and allows two players to sing together for a combined score. Pass the Mic mode, which is generally the most popular, is a party focused mode that allows up to eight people to alternate singing verses and choruses with the game’s two mic inputs.
The visuals in SingStar Country are all very standard and sport the series’ trademark menu style, with simple blue accents to let you know that you are playing the Country version. While singing, you’ll be able to watch videos in the background, and these are all of reasonably good quality, with the exception of some of the older songs. But on the whole, the visuals here are as standard as they have ever been, which is definitely a good thing.
SingStar Country, like the titles that came before it, is essentially the same SingStar game you’ve been playing, but with a different genre-focused song list. And even though it is a welcome addition to the SingStar family, I am very disappointed in the lack of variety in the song selection. There are so many big acts missing, and the fact that more than five artists have more than one song on the disc hinders it from being as varied as it could have been. However, if all you want to do is sing “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson, then this title will definitely fit the bill.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 3.5 Graphics
Graphics are SingStar standard with cool blue menus and music video playback. 4.0 Control
Control in this title is as easy as picking up the mic. 3.4 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The tracklist here is pretty good for country fans, but I wish there was a little bit more variety. The world of country music is huge, so there is really no need for so many repeat artist tracks. 3.4 Play Value
This title may not have the variety of the Pop or Legends entries in the series, but for country music fans, you can’t go wrong. 3.6 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.