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August 2, 2006
SingStar Anthems - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
28/07/2006SonySony Europe1-8GMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Sadly, I'm married.
Hooray! Only eight months after the release of the very impressive SingStar 80's, and less then four months after SingStar Rocks! we have another compilation in Sony's karaoke series to keep us occupied for hours on end - at least that's what we thought before we got our hands on the disc. What we discovered was the most disappointing release in the series to date - and certainly not what we expected from the sixth release. While there's no technical problems with the title, it's Sony's decision making that has let us down. Read on to find out why...

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Oh please...
In case you are unaware Sony's SingStar series is a karaoke syled game. Titles can be bought with two microphones for $99.95 or, if you already have a previous version with the microphones, then you can buy this disc by itself for $49.95. Unlike normal karaoke where you only get the lyrics on screen this game also shows you via bars on the screen what pitch you should be singing at, and with a small marker, what pitch you are currently singing at. It works remarkably well and at the end of your song you receive a score so there is no debate with your friends who is the best singer!

As with previous titles the game is split into Single Player and Party modes. Single player allows you to select a song, either a long or short version, and then rack up the highest score possible. If you want to practice without scoring you can enter the Freestyle Mode. The meat of this game, and the most fun, is found in the multi-player Party mode.

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Another girlie song.
The Party mode includes several game modes. Pass the Mic is for up to 8 players and is a party styled game with a variety of challenges to be performed. A Battle mode for 2-players allows both of you sing the same song and the person with the highest score is deemed the winner. Finally 2-player Duet Mode enables two players to each sing one vocal part of a duet, competing for the highest scores. Finally SingStar Anthems includes support for the Eye Toy so you can photograph yourself for your profile or, if the need arises, video yourself singing the song.

I guess the most important question which most of you have concerns the actual track listing, well here are all twenty songs:
Queen - Radio Ga Ga
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
Take That feat. Lulu - Relight My Fire
Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
Steps - Deeper Shade of Blue
Dead or Alive - You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
Candi Station - Young Hearts Run Free
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
Bananarama - I Heard A Rumour
Pussycat Dolls - Donít Cha
Leann Rimes - Canít Fight the Moonlight
Donner Summer - I Feel Love
Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
The Weather Girls - Itís Raining Men
Ultra Nate - Free
Scissor - Sisters Laura
Kim Wilde - Kids in America
Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Girls Aloud - Biology
Charlotte Church - Crazy Chick

Yes, you read that right SingStar Anthems contains not the usual thirty songs, but only twenty. Why Sony would you decide to drop the tracklist by a third and yet keep the retail price the same - it's very disappointing. Also disappointing is that almost every song is from a female singer, hence knocking the enjoyment out of this game for almost every male karaoke fan in the world. That blows. That's not the only disappointment. The other main one is that these simply aren't "Anthems". When I think Anthems I think classic songs like Bohemian Rhapsody from Queen, November Rain or Civil War from Guns and Roses or I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) from Meat Loaf (I'm sure you could think of better!). What we get in this disc is a bunch of questionable songs that are probably only going to interest female karaoke fans.

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I'm sure someone will like this!
Graphics in the game include solid reproduction of the original video clips which, yet again, while the older tracks are a bit grainy that's a problem with the source material rather then the effort put in by Sony Europe. Newer songs look superb. The game includes clear menus and solid overlays for pitch while singing.

Audio in the game includes complete songs from the original artists in stereo sound. The actual sound quality is very good and while there is no DTS or Surround Sound support it's not required. All other music and effects have been ported directly from previous titles in the series.

This is, I've very sad to say, the worst SingStar title to date. There is no reason for Sony to drop the song count from 30 down to 20 and still charge the same amount of money. The track listing was also severely disappointing - these certainly aren't what we would call Anthems in our definition of the word, and we struggled to find more then a couple of songs worth singing. This is a very average release in an otherwise brilliant series. Probably only a compilation for those that was the complete set.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSThe video quality is average, but it's easy to see menus and lyrics.
SOUNDGood quality audio, but the track selection is very disappointing.
GAMEPLAYNothing different from previous games, so similar scores here.
VALUEWhy only 20 tracks at the same price? 2/3 the tracks = 2/3 the value.
OVERALLSingStar Anthems is definitely the most disappointing releases to date. Not only do we get less tracks, but many of them are hardly classic anthems. Very, very disappointing.

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