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June 21, 2007
SingStar Pop Hits - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
21/6/2007SonySony Europe1-8PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Scissor Sistors in action.
If you've played a SingStar game in the past then there will be no surprises to be found in SingStar Pop Hits. For those of you unaware though the SingStar series is basically karaoke, however rather then just singing to lyrics on screen the games also show 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! It's also possible to set up battles between two players, or party styled events for up to 8 players at a time.

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Evanesence's Bring Me To Life
I won't go on too much about the game modes in this title as they are identical to previous releases in the series. Naturally you can sing songs by yourself in the Solo mode, but for increased fun you can get someone on the second mike for some battles, or if you're in the mood, some duets. Even better is the Party modes which sees you playing a round robin series of challenges. Naturally, the game keeps track of high scores saving them to the memory card as expected. Sadly the rap battles have fallen by the wayside in this release with no songs supporting the battles.

SingStar Pop Hits continues the trend of 30 songs on the disc - unlike the mis-step that was SingStar Anthems with only 20 tracks. I guess the most important aspect is the actual songs on offer. In that regard this pack includes:
Akon - Lonely
All Saints - Black Coffee
Avril Lavigne - My Happy Ending
Ashlee Simpson - Boyfriend
Britney Spears - Baby One More Time
Cascada - Everytime We Touch
Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On
Daniel Powter - Bad Day
Dannii Minogue - I Begin To Wonder
Evanesence - Bring Me To Life
Fall Out Boy - Dance Dance
Girls Aloud - No Good Advice
Goldfrapp - Ooh La La
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc
Jamelia - Beware Of The Dog
James Morrisson - You Give Me Something
Jennifer Lopez - Jenny From The Block
Jojo - Leave (Get Out)
Ne-Yo - Sexy Love
Lily Allen - Littlest Things
My Chemical Romance - Helena
Nelly Furtado - Promiscuous
Norah Jones - Don't Know Why
Pussycat Dolls - Beep
Rhianna - SOS
Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancing
Sugababes - Push The Button
Travis - Sing
Will Young - Switch It On
U2 - Beautiful Day

I must admit that I wasn't overly keen on the tracklisting for this pack, there were a couple of good songs, and quite a few I was at the very least aware of, but many aren't as good karaoke as I expected. In fact we had the most fun trying to rap in tracks such as 'Promiscuous' from Nelly Furtado and 'Beep' from the Pussycat Dolls (the latter is hilarious when the wording is creatively changed!) then actually singing karaoke in many tracks. Sadly, unlike some other compilations this has not been tailored to the Australian market which means there are some tracks that are more UK based and may not be familiar to Australians which is a shame. Finally I would like some more 'blokey' tracks on these compilations - there's a lot more female singers. I would give anything for some Guns n Roses, AC/DC or, well, manly music.

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James Morrisson - slick.
There are some small disappointments with SingStar Pop Hits. The game still doesn't register actual lyrics so you can sing completely different words, but as long as your pitch is correct you'll score well. I guess we're also a little disappointed there aren't any new modes or options in the games. I would, in future, like an option to change the volumes on both mics so I can turn of friends that have given up or are mucking around and turn up those that are trying or doing well.

Audio in the game is yet again presented with stereo sound. The graphics are functional with the same menus and interface as previous versions. We have to say we're a little disappointed with the video quality of the clips yet again, but that's a small issue in an other wise solid presentation on both fronts.

With the SingStar titles all basically having the same feature set for the last couple of years there's no surprises here. If you're not planning on getting a PS3 and that version of SingStar then this is a worthy purchase - if you are getting the PS3 one keep in mind that some of the tracks on this disc including Beautiful Day, I Don't Feel Like Dancing, and Beep are going to appear in HD on the PS3 version in a couple of months (the PS3 version has just been pushed back from late July to late August). Solid but unspectacular.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSClear graphics although the clips could be a little sharper.
SOUNDStereo sound, but the song selection isn't a good as other packs.
GAMEPLAYYet again, no new game modes but this disc has great karaoke tracks.
VALUEBack to 30 tracks thank goodness, and they're mostly fantastic ones.
OVERALLSingStar Pop Hits is a very solid compilation that just doesn't quite have enough solid 'karaoke' tracks to make this a clear winner.

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