Singstar Dance Review

Singstar Dance (Available only on PlayStation 3)
ESRB Rating: T
Players: 1-4
Genre: Music
Publisher: SCEA
Developer: SCE London Studio
Release Date: November 9th, 2010

Parent Talk: Singstar Dance is rated T for teen by the ESRB because of somewhat strong language featured in some songs.  Perhaps a number of music videos could be considered slightly offensive, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

Singstar has been synonymous with PlayStation for years.  When the first PS3 iteration released, I claimed the series finally found its place.  I was proven wrong shortly after when Sony failed to capitalize on the potential of the SingStore.  To date, Sony continues to release new discs containing only 30-odd songs.  Why instead of offering more DLC through the SingStore is beyond me.  Dance is more of the same, except this time Sony thought it would be great to toss in Move support.  Sadly it only makes things more awkward.

The Great:

As fun as ever.  No matter what I say here, Singstar remains a very fun franchise on the PlayStation 3.  I had issues with the PS2 installments, but I remain convinced of untapped potential for this series on the PS3.  I’m starting to fear that Sony may overlook the potential for this generation.  I always imagined countless updates to the SingStore, better online features and more community interaction.  Why not have a Singstar version of American Idol?  Though these elements aren’t currently present, Singstar is still a quintessential party game.

The Good:

+ Played one, played them all.  If you’ve played any Singstar, you know how to play this.  You watch your favourite music videos and try to sing along.  Your pitch, tone and timing are measured to determine scores based on your overall performance.  As always you can trick the system by humming.  This is true for virtually all karaoke games, so I don’t consider it a significant fault.  There are several gameplay modes to challenge you and others, or you can enjoy have an all-out fiesta.  As anyone with Singstar experience knows, if you’re looking for a blast at a party there’s nothing like breaking out the old microphones, getting someone sauced up a bit and letting the good times roll.

+ Same robust online features.  Upload your own music videos, rate others, join various clubs and more.  This was new in 2008, but now it feels like rehashed goods.  Regardless, I think this element deserves a positive if only because of how complete the experience continues to be.

The Bad:

– This is not dancing.  On the right-hand side of the screen there’s a shadow of a dancer.  You’re expected to follow along with the Move.  There are countless problems though.  For one, there’s no indication of what moves to perform.  Secondly, you’re never told what to correct.  You’re just supposed to know!  Only Steven would be able to pull off some of these moves.

– I’m not alone…or should I be?  Singstar is for parties, as I mentioned before.  Given that, would you like to drop by my Sunday party whereby I plan to play the same song a dozen times over in order to learn the dance routine?.  Sounds fun right?  If so, I also have some great real-estate I’m looking to get rid of.

The Ugly:

Can it even see me?  I asked that a lot playing Dance.  I’ve been playing Dance Central for the past week or so, and it sees virtually every move I make.  Here I just stand still and follow the Move pattern the dancer makes (though he/she doesn’t actually have a Move controller).  This allows me to score incredibly high marks for the dancing portions.  I can forgive humming to the music because of the microphones’ limited technology, but the PlayStation Eye is a camera…  I know the PS Eye isn’t Kinect, but my expectations are higher given the game released after Dance Central.

The Lowdown:

This sadly can’t be considered the next Singstar evolution.  The dancing doesn’t work as it should, so skip it if you really want to do so.  If you’re more about the singing, then by all means buy this.  The 30 tracks featured are great mix of material.  Some is recycled from previous games, but the variety is phenomenal.  I can go from butchering Bye, Bye, Bye to killing Straight Up.  Awesome, eh?  Exactly, super awesome!

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