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October 2 2007
SingStar Rock Ballads - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
27/9/2007SonySony Europe1-8PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Video quality is a little variable.
If there's one thing Sony aren't taking their time with it's pumping out new SingStar titles. Only six weeks after receiving the brilliant SingStar 90's are we getting SingStar Rock Ballads (with SingStar RnB also due out in late October!). This pack had us pretty excited with plenty of great rock ballads we wanted to stretch our vocal cords to. Did it fulfill our needs? Read on...

So with this being the tenth title in the series 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 Rock Ballads 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.

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Duran Duran make an appearance.
Certainly the most fun is to be had 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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I actually really like this song.
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 Rock Ballads 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.

I guess the most important thing with this release is the track list - especially as the games main features are the same as previous iterations - so here's the full list:
Air Supply - All Out of Love
Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
Anastasia - Left Outside Alone
Avril Lavigne - I'm With You
Boston - More Than a Feeling
Boy Meets Girl - Waiting for a Star to Fall
Cutting Crew - (I Just) Died in Your Arms
Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
Duran Duran - Ordinary World
Europe - Carrie
Heart - Alone
Jon Secada - Just Another Day (Without You)
Lone Star - Amazed
Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis
Meatloaf - I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)
Mr. Big - To Be With You
Mr. Mister - Broken Wings
Mr. Mister - Kyrie
Nickelback - How You Remind Me
Nilsson - Without You
Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Queen - The Show Must Go On
Roxette - It Must Have Been Love
Roxette - Listen to Your Heart
Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
Sugababes - Too Lost in You
The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
Tina Arena - Chains
Toto - Africa
T'Pau - China in Your Hands

Did you catch Australian Idol a couple of weeks ago when they had their rock show on? It was pathetic, terrible, and half the contestants wouldn't know rock if it slapped them in the face and kicked them up the ass! Well I'm sorry to report that Sony are in a bit of the same boat with the track listing on this disc. Sure 'Rock Ballads' may imply that the tracks are slower then 'hardcore' rock music, but some of this is just soft. OK so whatever, how good is this track selection as karaoke songs? Well, they're ok. It's not the best pack but some of the tracks from Roxette, Poison, and Meatloaf kept us entertained.

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T'Pau sings China in Your Hands.
As with most other SingStar discs this disc is pretty good with some solid transfers of video clips in line with previous discs. The interface and menus are the same as previous titles in the series. I really do wish that Sony would hurry up with their oft-delayed PS3 version of Singstar so I can see the menus in HD - those of you moving to HDTV's will probably see the menus and videos as a little on the blurry side.

One thing that still can't be faulted is the audio quality which is very good. It still only uses Stereo sound, but you can adjust the volume of the mics. Sadly until we move to the next-generation it seems that Sony will never allow us to alter the volumes independently on each of the mics - so when someone is performing terribly or just mucking around you can cut them back a bit to let the other singer shine.

As expected SingStar Rock Ballads doesn't bring anything new to the series in terms of game modes or features. The track list is solid enough, not the best we've seen, but there are a couple of entertaining songs. Still, I don't class most of these as 'rock ballads' so be wary of that when you pick this up. This yet antoher very solid SingStar compilation on PS2.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSVideo clip quality is solid, menus the same as previous games.
SOUNDSong selection is a little hit and miss, but quality is quite good.
GAMEPLAYNothing new, but everything works - I want lyric recognition though.
VALUE30 tracks, some better then others. A solid compilation that could have been better, or worse!.
OVERALLSingStar Rock Ballads includes some great tracks, and some not so great. I wouldn't call many of these songs Rock Ballads though if you like the look of the tracklist you'll enjoy this title!

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