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December 1 2007
SingStar R&B - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
26/10/2007SonySony Europe1-8PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Aging, but still great.
Popquiz hotshot. Including SingStar R&B how many SingStar titles have Sony released on the PS2 this year? Some of you may be surprised to learn that this is actually the fourth release following SingStar Pop Hits in June, SingStar 90's in August, and SingStar Rock Ballads in September. While each new release has brought with it 30 new songs, little else has changed, so you will have to excuse me for plagarising sections from my last couple of reviews.

Singstar R&B packs in all the same game modes, features and technology that we've seen for the last half dozen releases. For those familiar with recent titles you may want to skip to the most important part - the track listing in the table below, 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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It's druggo central...
Certainly the most fun is to be had in the multi-player mode. Multi-player 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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The rap meter in action.
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:
Amerie – 1 Thing
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Anastacia – I’m Outta Love
Beverley Knight – Come As You Are
Black Eyed Peas – Pump It
Chris Brown – Yo (Excuse Me Miss)
Christina Milian – AM 2 PM
Corinne Bailey Rae – I’d Liked To
Destiny's Child – Bootylicious
Diana Ross & The Supremes – Baby Love
DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – Summertime
Edwin Starr – WAR
En Vogue – My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)
The Four Tops – Can’t Help Myself
Gwen Stefani – Hollerback Girl
Inner City – Good Life
Jamelia – Thank You
Jamiroquai – Alright
Luther Vandross – Never To Much
Mark Ronson feat. Daniel Merriweather – Stop Me
Martha Reeve & The Vandellas – Dancing In The Street
Marvin Gaye & Tammii Tarrelle – Ain't No Mountain High Enough
OutKast – Idlewind Blue (Don’t Chu Worru ‘Bout Me)
Pussycat Dolls – Buttons
Rihanna – We Ride
Salt N Pepa – Push It
Sugababes – Ugly
The 411 – Dumb
Whitney Houston – Your Love Is My Love
Womack & Womack - Teardrops

As a compilation of R&B songs this isn't a bad effort, at least most of the tracks seem to be in the right genre unlike one or two compilations in the past. There are certainly some songs that we preferred over others, however as is the nature of things you may have a totally different opinion to me. There are a few more tracks that use the rap meter then in previous compilations and we're thankful for that. Having said that it's pretty hard to actually score well in the rap battles.

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It's Beverley Knight in R&B.
As with other SingStar titles in the series the visuals are pretty clean. The interface and menus are the same as previous title with a clean slick look. The video clips themselves are pretty good - naturally the newer clips tend to look better then the older ones, but most trackson this compilation are fairly new so it holds up well.

Audio quality is also very good across the board. The series still only uses Stereo sound, but you can adjust the volume of the mics. Sadly, and as we have previously pointed out, 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.

Yet again Sony deliver the goods for this title, and it packs a pretty decent track listing. The only question that now starts to come into play is with regards to waiting for the PS3 version on December 6. Most of these tracks, if not all, should appear in the store at some stage. Still this is a solid compilation that PS2 owners will enjoy.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version).
GRAPHICSThe newer video clips look best, menus are clean.
SOUNDStill stereo sound, but the track selection is quite good.
GAMEPLAYNothing new, but everything works - I want lyric recognition though.
VALUE30 tracks, some better then others. A solid compilation overall.
OVERALLSingStar R&B looks and sounds fantastic, but just don't expect Sony to be putting any new features into their PS2 compilations from now on. Actually, we wish they would still add new things to the PS2 versions as things are stagnating.

Talk about SingStar R&B in this forum topic now.