SingStar Roundup

Vol. 3, Abba, Disney, boys and girls.

Being a woman, a terrific show-off and a part-time alcoholic, I love SingStar. So do lots of other people, judging by the fact Sony's still churning out new releases nearly five years on, by the fact that there are so many embarrassing videos on the internet, by the fact there are four hundred million songs on the SingStore, and by the fact Big Phil recently raided Sony for SingStar's mum, Paulina Bozek.

The latest batch includes SingStar Disney and SingStar Boy Bands vs. Girl Bands for PlayStation 2. There's also SingStar Vol. 3 for PlayStation 3, and SingStar Abba for both platforms (we reviewed the PS3 one because we're so next-gen).

Still no SingStar Yodelling, SingStar Bedingfield or SingStar NWA, but we live in hope.

Read on to find out what we made of the newest titles. There are also videos so you can see what we made of them (a pig's ear, obviously), and these hopefully illustrate how seriously we take these games and the "Method" we employ to get the most out of them.

Before we get onto that though, special thanks must go to Eurogamer MMO's Oli Welsh and friend-of-Eurogamer Pete for their amazing backing dancing.

And I'm sorry I said it definitely wouldn't go on the internet.

Here it is on the internet:

SingStar Shame - The Gibson Collection

SingStar Vol. 3

If you've played the previous SingStar PS3 games, or read either of our reviews, you know the drill. Vol. 3 features 30 songs and videos plus six medleys. You can sing solo, do duets or battle it out with the various multiplayer modes. Plug in a PlayStation Eye camera and you can video yourself showing off, then upload the results to My SingStar Online. Then there's the SingStore, which gives you the option to download extra songs for 99p a pop and see your PlayStation wallet empty faster than the bottle of Smirnoff on the coffee table.

Vol. 3 carries an RRP of GBP 24.99, so you're essentially getting 30 songs for the price of 25. You don't get to choose which ones, of course, but there's a good selection here. Highlights include Billie Jean, Killer Queen and Copacabana, not to mention the spectacular All Night Long by Lionel Richie (see you at the O2 on 4th April, bossman!). There are also disco favourites such as Never Can Say Goodbye and You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, plus Temptation by Heaven 17.

If you like your music a bit more modern you'll probably enjoy Shut Up and Let Me Go by the Ting Tings, Sara Bareilles' Love Song and Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend. There are also songs by newfangled types like Amy MacDonald, Gwen Stefani, Coldplay and Fall Out Boy.

The rest of the tracklist is comprised of random nineties stuff (Constant Craving, Baby I Don't Care), songs ideal for wailing girls (Babooshka) and howling boys (Kinky Afro, Space Oddity), and songs written by people who learned their language skills from the internet (Dance Wiv Me, The Way I Are). As you'd expect there's the usual handful of mediocre old tat, including Say What You Want by Texas and Breakfast at Tiffany's by those twats. Still, for every Fergie there's a Feargal Sharkey.

Not a bad selection, then, and all the features that have made the previous SingStar games so enjoyable are present and correct. However, there are still a few issues that ought to have been sorted out by now. For starters, where are the wireless mics? We were first promised them back in May 2006. Microsoft's Lips may not match up to SingStar overall, but its wireless mics light up and everything.

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Some videos in SingStar are remarkably unprofessional compared to ours.

Then there's the problem of disc swapping. You still can't install SingStar songs to your hard drive - apparently this would be seen as copying, and would create a world of pain in terms of copyright and licensing issues.

There's also bad news for those of us who are terrific show-offs. You can upload videos you've made using the PlayStation Eye to PSN, which is what I did to make the montage accompanying this article. However, after I'd put up the first five videos, I found the option to upload simply disappeared from the menu with no explanation. The PlayStation Careline couldn't help (the first person I spoke to suggested I wipe the entire hard drive, the second told me to "Check the forums"). Google came to the rescue, though; after a bit of searching I worked out there's a "quota" for the number of videos you can upload, and the maximum number is five.

That seems extremely stingy, especially considering we're not talking whole videos. You can still only record clips of your performances, and there are still no editing options. The game randomly chooses which bits to record, so unless it was coincidentally captured you can't save that brilliant moment when the cat leapt out the window or the pint glass actually shattered.

All in all, the tracklisting for Vol. 3 is pretty good, and SingStar is as much fun as it's always been. But it ought to be a bit more fun by now, with wireless mics and proper video editing and less disc swapping. Here's hoping things will improve for Vol. 4.

7/10

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