SingStar Abba - PS2 Review
By now I've lost count of how many iterations of SingStar we've seen on the PS2, but after all these years we are in for a monumental shift. No longer a compilation disc SingStar Abba ushers in a new era for the franchise with the focus now on a single band. It's pretty clear who the target market is for this release. If you love Abba, you'll love this release, if you don't, well, you won't. Something else you should know, this PS2 release only has 20 songs which is a reduction from the normal 30, and five less then the PS3 release. Still, with each of these songs classics in their own right, there is probably a bit more fun and longevity then other recent SingStar releases. Right?
If you've played a SingStar title recently then you may want to skip down to the track listing for this game, nothing else has changed on this disc. If you're unsure what to expect, read on...
|Playing back the song.|
SingStar is Sony's multi-million selling karaoke game for the lounge room. The discs typically include 30 tracks however as we have previously mentioned SingStar Abba reduces this number to 20. These aren't any dodgy remakes, but the original artists and original video clips. The game uses two USB microphones (which are sold in a pack if need be) so people can sing together in either friendly duets or more entertaining battles!
Again like other games in the franchise SingStar Abba is split into two main game modes - Single Player and Party Play. Single player allows you to select the sing and sing either a long or short version to see how many points you can rack up. If you want to practice without scoring you can enter the Freestyle Mode.
Certainly the most fun though will be in the multi-player mode. This is split up into three sections; Pass the Mic, Battle and Duet. Pass the Mic is a party styled game for up to 8-players and sees gamers having to pass the mic from one player to another in a series of challenge - certainly fantastic entertainment if everyone is keen to play, but just watch that your mics don't start flying around the room! The battle mode allows two players to sing the same song at the same time, the person with the highest score is declared the victor. Finally we have the duet for 2-players which sees each player singing a different part of the song. Less competitive, but just as entertaining.
As with previous games this release gives you the ability to use the Eye Toy to photograph yourself for the profile or video the performances - if you have some people that like to dance while singing the results can be hilarious. After you have finished singing the song you can also play back the song with your performance, but with the added twist of being able to add extra effects such as reverb and robotic sounds to the singing. While it is a novelty it does add a few laughs. The game also keeps track of the high scores for each song, and leader boards can be accessed from the menu to look at who is performing best in the game.
|Selecting - 20 songs, 5 medley's.|
As expected its the track listing that will make or break this game and SingStar Abba does include most of the bands biggest songs. If you don't like Abba, like we've already said, don't bother, but Abba fans will love this so let's have a look...
Does Your Mother Know
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Money, Money, Money
One of Us
Summer Night City
Take a Chance on Me
Thank You for the Music
The Name of the Game
The Winner Takes It All
As you can see from the above tracklist this is an impressive disc with many of Abba's most famous songs available for you to belt out. We must point out though that the PS3 version has five additional tracks (Happy New Year, Head Over Heels, The Day Before You Came, Under Attack, When All Is Said and Done), and better quality video and interface so if you have that console, that is the version to get.
As with all games in the series it will come as no surprise at all to hear that SingStar Abba is on par with previous releases in terms of visual quality, menu interface and presentation. Abba's songs are quite old so the video quality isn't as flashy as new tracks on other SingStar releases, but nothing here is what you would class as 'terrible'. It is, though disappointing that this late in the game Sony haven't seen fit to support Widescreen TV's. Yet again the audio is only provided in stereo sound, and the ability to adjust the volume of the mics is retained.
|Abba made up their mind for a SingStar release!|
SingStar Abba is a perfect disc for fans of the Swedish band. Each of their hit songs is present but we have to question why PS2 owners get punished with 5 less songs then normal - which makes it 10 less songs then other SingStar releases. Still, I'll take 20 quality songs over 10 quality and 20 crap any day.
Review By: Dave Warner
Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
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|GRAPHICS||The video clips are quite old now, but still come up well. No Widescreen support disappoints.||76%|
|SOUND||Only stereo sound, but it's pretty good quality for the age.||80%|
|GAMEPLAY||If you love Abba, get this release, if you don't, well, don't.||82%|
|VALUE||Only 20 tracks in total, but they are good ones. Still, we feel short changed.||68%|
|OVERALL||SingStar Abba is filled with Abba's finest songs. It's disappointing that PS2 owners get short changed in the track list though - inexcusable in fact.||73%|