I have no singing talent, no voice, nothing. If singing was a cold, I couldn't catch it if I stood in front of someone as they were sneezing.
With that said, I am in love with Singstar for the Playstation 3.
Singstar is Toxic, in a good way
I admit, I had reservations about Singstar, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I knew that you could use the mics from the Playstation 2 version of it. I knew that you get a list of songs to play from. I even knew that I was awful at the game before putting the disc in the Playstation 3 (prior experience from E3 2006). These are things I knew. What I didn't really get was that you have a video attached to the songs. That was a huge plus for the game. My wife and I sat back and enjoyed some of the videos that we hadn't seen in a while. For example, Jane's Addiction's Been Caught Stealing video hadn't been on television since MTV actually showed music. It was a nice trip down memory lane. We must have sat there for 45 minutes just watching the videos, which is a great plus.
Now, the actual game itself was so much better than I expected or remembered. First, you must sing into the mic and get the notes pretty right, depending on the difficulty level you're playing. So, for someone as tone deaf as myself, I was barely hitting the actual right sounds, but the game was giving me flexibility to detect the adjustments in my notes rather than the actual notes being right. For example, when I was 'singing' Today by the Smashing Pumpkins, I could really get the whininess that Billy C. obtains, but it gave me credit for going up and down the scales properly. I love the game for that.
The second part of the game's scoring system is the timing of the words. It penalizes you for not hitting the words when you're suppose to. I like it, it will teach people a bit about music. It's all about the timing when it comes to music anyway. If you don't hit the words correctly, you'll throw everything off. It's like having a drunk musician onstage, they are certainly not going to hit the notes correctly if they're intoxicated (I've seen some VERY popular musicians who achieved this onstage). It puts pressure on the player to get the beats down, to get into the music and to understand how it all works. It's not only a game, but it's a teacher. You can't say that about many karaoke machines. Not quite as stylish as Singstar.
So there are a few different modes of play in the game. The first, and probably the most important unless you have understanding friends, is the solo mode. This allows you to not invite anyone over to your house and sing like your life depends on it. The second mode is the duet mode. My wife and I got a kick out of this mode. Basically, it divides the notes and lyrics evenly. Each person has a chance to score points and to hold a bit of a competition between the two, but at the end it combines the scores to give you either confidence or criticism. To say the least, I was proud to be a 'Wannabe' with my significant other. Another mode of play is the battle mode, which sets up a competition between singers. That is a perfect mode for a group, creates some good competition and potential fights. You have to love that. The last mode, which is an okay mode, is the online mode. This mode allows you to upload your singing pictures (via the sony eye camera) and your performances. I haven't uploaded either, don't expect it.
Sometimes you can't hit every note right
Nothing is perfect and there is a bit of a weakness for Singstar. The experience is short lived. It is fun going through the songs, but the songs last around two or three hours of entertainment. Much like an iTunes, to continue extend the experience of Singstar you have to go through the PS3 online Singstar store and purchase songs for $1.49 a piece. I am very mixed on this. I think it's wonderful that you can expand the library of songs, I have no doubt that is a wonderful option. I just don't know if I want to pay $1.49 a song/video. I know it's not much in hindsight, and it's lovely that you don't have to purchase the whole darn album, but it's still a bit much. Again, it's not terrible, but it's a bit much.
With that said, I'm still happy with the ability to find different songs without having to pay for another version of the Singstar series. Again, I'm glad the option is there, real glad. I also have to compliment Sony on their library of music, I can't wait to see more of it.
Overall, this is a great game for a party and for a duet. For someone wanting to be on American Idol, it may not help your career potentially. Regardless, it's cheaper than a karaoke machine.