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June 4 2008
SingStar Party Hits - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
28/5/2008SonySony Europe1-8PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Rihanna makes it in this compilation.
By now it gets a little boring reviewing Sony's SingStar titles. No, we're not bored of the actual game. In fact, they're one of the few reasons we still dust off the good old Playstation 2 and get some friends over on a Friday night. The problem is that for about the last 3 years the games have been identical in their actual gameplay, game modes and features. The differences between each disc then comes down to the track selection. If you've played a SingStar title recently then you may want to skip down to the track listing for this game. If you're unsure what to expect then read on...

Not sure what this series, or game is all about then? Well SingStar is Sony's multi-million selling karaoke game for the lounge room. The discs include 30 tracks in total and these are the original artists and original video clips - not some cheap, out of time, imitation. 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!

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Amy Winehouse belts out a tune.
With the series now up to ten titles there really isn't anything new to report on the gameplay front. The title packs all the same game modes, features and technology that we've seen for the last half dozen packs or so. For those familiar with recent titles you may want to skip to the most important part - the track listing. For those of you unaware of what this game entails, read on. SingStar 90's 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.

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Peter Andre with his sole hit.
Some areas we haven't really spoken about in the past in much detail include 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. It's certainly worth a few more laughs. As with previous titles SingStar Party Hits keeps track of all 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.

SingStar Party Hits is the Australian version of SingStar Summer Party which was released in the UK recently. The track list has been altered significantly to remove many of the smaller UK artists and replace them with Australian acts. Here's the full list:

Amy Winehouse Tears Dry On Their Own
Ash Girl From Mars
Blondie The Tide Is High
Blur Girls And Boys
David Bowie Lets Dance
Diana Ross I'm Coming Out
Elton John I'm Still Standing
Evermore Light Surrounding You
Girls Aloud Call The Shots
Toto Hold The Line
KT Tunstall Suddenly I See
Lou Bega Mambo #5
Madness House of Fun
Mel & Kim - Respectable
Mika Big Girls
Operator Please Get What You Want
Peter Andre Mysterious Girl
Plain White Ts Hey There Delilah
Pulp Disco 2000
Republica Ready To Go
Ricki-Lee Can't Touch This
Rihanna Umbrella
Shannon Noll Loud
Sugababes Red Dress
Texas Summer Son
The Klaxons It's Not Over Yet
The Veronicas Hook Me Up
Thirsty Merc 20 Good Reasons
Wham! Club Tropicana
Yazz The Only Way Is Up

To be honest this isn't the strongest tracklist that we have seen on the PS2 versions of SingStar. It's not terrible though with some great songs from Elton John, Ricki-Lee (one for the Aussie fans!), Yazz, David Bowie and The Veronicas. This game really has been pushed towards the Australian market with a heavy focus on Australian acts which is nice to see.

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Plain White Ts sing Hey There Delilah.
It will probably come as no surprise to learn that graphically SingStar Party Hits is a pretty nice looking game on par with previous titles in the series. The video clips are, for the most part, pretty good although a little grainy while the menus are clean and clear to understand. Yet again the audio is only provided in stereo sound, and the ability to adjust the volume of the mics is retained.

If you like your SingStar titles and haven't moved onto a Playstation 3 as yet (where, undoubtedly, the game will see most of these songs as downloads) then this disc will provide more tracks to keep your vocal chords warm. The Australian focus is good, but the lack of 'big' tracks hurts somewhat.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSVideo clip quality is pretty good, and menus are clean as always.
SOUNDCustomised track list for Australians, only stereo sound still.
GAMEPLAYNothing new, but everything works - I want lyric recognition though.
VALUE30 new tracks but to be honest there aren't many 'big' karaoke songs.
OVERALLSingStar Party Hits has a few great tracks, and an Australian focus, but lack some of those big 'key' tracks which will have you coming back time and time again. Still, worth adding to your collection.

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