Singstar, Sony's hit series of karaoke games, has a habit of making liars of certain people - namely, those who protest that they never, ever sing in public. Take Singstar to a party and you'll see them scuttle away protesting "No way, not me." But by night's end, they're usually the ones with a deathgrip on the mic, singing tune after tune without care.
Singstar '80s is the fourth iteration in Sony's series and sticks closely to the hit formula of the previous three. Players can sing in groups or individually, with an on-screen meter showing gamers how close their voice's pitch and timing is to the original. Perhaps the biggest criticism you can lob at this latest version is that is doesn't add any major improvements to the series. The first sequel, Singstar Party, added a duet mode, while Singstar Pop added a rap mode and medleys. Singstar '80s is just more of the same - and if you're a fan, there's certainly nothing wrong with that.
Singstar '80s is also the first in the series to limit its song selection to a particular time or genre, namely the 1980s. This might put off some fans, as the previous Singstars catered for a wider age group thanks to the mix of new songs with classics. As it is, you'd have to be in your 20s or 30s to enjoy (or remember) the tunes picked.
But if you are in the target demographic, then you're sure to find some gems in the collection of 30 songs included in Singstar '80s. There are some truly inspired choices here for us older gamers, as well as some cheesy gems that just beg to be sung at the top of your voice. The full list is:
- Alice Cooper, Poison
- Belinda Carlisle, Heaven Is A Place On Earth
- Billy Joel, Uptown Girl
- Blondie, Atomic
- Culture Club, Karma Chameleon
- Dexy's Midnight Runners, Come On Eileen
- Dolly Parton, Nine To Five
- Duran Duran, Rio
- Erasure, A Little Respect
- Europe, The Final Countdown
- Fairground Attraction, Perfect
- Foreigner, I Want To Know What Love Is
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood, The Power Of Love
- Kate Bush, Running Up That Hill
- Katrina And The Waves, Walking On Sunshine
- Madness, Our House
- Madonna, Material Girl
- Marillion, Kayleigh
- Nena, 99 Red Balloons
- Run DMC, It's Tricky
- Simple Minds, Don't You (Forget About Me)
- Soft Cell, Tainted Love
- Starship, We Built This City
- Survivor, Eye Of The Tiger
- Tears For Fears, Everybody Wants To Rule The World
- The Cure, Just Like Heaven
- The Pretenders, Brass In Pocket
- Tina Turner, Simply The Best
- Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby
- Wham!, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
Kids born in the 1990s or anyone who thinks no good music was released after 1979 will obviously find little cheer in the Singstar '80s selection. Everyone else will find their favourites - there's nothing like finding out a friend knows by heart the first three verses of Ice Ice Baby, or hearing a usually quiet mate belt out an emotional rendition of I Want To Know What Love Is.
Just like the previous games, Singstar '80s is a title best played with a group of friends. This latest instalment features all of the party games of Singstar Pop, including the multi-round battles which pit teams of players against each other, as well as various medley modes. As mentioned earlier, veterans will find '80s instantly accessible, but lacking in any new stand-out features.
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