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August 2, 2010
SingStar Chart Hits - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Note: As much of this release (such as the SingStore and certain game modes) is identical to that of the original some sections of this review have been recycled.

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Lady Gaga's Poker Face in SingStar Chart Hits.
Whoops! We almost forgot about SingStar. I mean it's been eight months since SingStar Take That has been released, and for this franchise which has seen eight releases prior to SingStar Chart Hits, that's quite a break. There hasn't been any major changes to the game though and the reason for the lengthy game is most likely due to the regular updates with songs on the SingStore/PSN.

In the slim chance that you are unaware, SingStar is Sony Europe's karaoke game played on the PS3 (or PS2). Using original songs (not dodgy remakes), and the original video clips where available, the game scores your performance according to the pitch of your voice compared to the original tracks. The PS3 versions of SingStar remain quite similar to the PS2 titles in many regards. Single player modes sees you selecting a song and singing either a long or short version with the goal being to obtain the highest score. If you want to practice these songs without scoring you can enter a Freestyle Mode.

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The Pussycat Dolls in SingStar.
As with all iterations of SingStar the most fun is had when you hit the multi-player modes. These modes include Pass the Mic, Battle, Duet and Harmony 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. The third mode here is the Duet for 2-players which sees each player singing a different part of the song. In the last couple of weeks Sony have released a patch for the PS3 version which adds in quite a bit of new functionality. The first is that singing with vibrato effects is now permitted, and shows up on the pitch meter. The much requested online battles have also been added, and PSP functionality allows you to queue up the next song while others are still belting out a track.

As with any SingStar release your love, or hate of this package will come down to the tracks included on the disc, however that pain is somewhat diluted with the PS3 releases due to the ability to download as many tracks as you wish from the SingStore (for a small fee - more on that soon). Anyway let's have a look at the thirty songs included on the SingStar Chart Hits disc...

3Oh!3 - Don't Trust Me
A.R. Rahman feat The Pussycat Dolls - Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)
Alex Lloyd - Amazing
Ben Lee - Catch My Disease
Colbie Caillat - Fallin For You
Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream
George Michael - Outside
Guy Sebastian feat Jordin Sparks - Art Of Love
Kate Miller Heidke - The Last Day On Earth
La Roux - Bulletproof
Lady GaGa - Poker Face
The Last Goodnight - Pictures of You
The Living End - White Noise
Michael Buble - Haven't Met You Yet
Mika - We Are Golden
Milli Vanilli, Blame it on the Rain
Natalie Bassingthwaighte - Alive
Nelly Furtado - Turn Off The Light
Pixie Lott - Boys And Girls
The Presets - This Boy's In Love
The Pussycat Dolls - Hush Hush; Hush Hush
Vanessa Amorosi - This Is Who I Am
Vitamin C - Friends for Ever
Wes Carr - Feels Like Woah
Wolfmother - New Moon Rising
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance *
The Pussycat Dolls - When I Grow Up *
Natalie Bassingthwaighte - Someday Soon *
OneRepublic - All the Right Moves *
Wes Carr - Yeah *

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SingStar Chart Hits on PS3.
(Note: Those tracks with an asterix (*) are exclusive to the PS3 version of this game, the PS2 version omits these tracks for a 25-track disc).

As we always mention any SingStar release is more of a track pack then a new game due to Sony kindly releasing new features via patches, rather then making you pay. So as a pack of 30 songs how does SingStar Chart Hits stack up? Well not too well with us actually. We're getting older over here and these songs really aren't those which we can associate with too much - we know them, but they aren't Guns N' Roses, Aerosmith, Queen, Bob Marley or so many other "classic", OK - Old School, acts. So on that count this track listing really is for a younger generation, and they may be the ones to appreciate this release as a result. The good news, as with any PS3 release in this franchise there are over 1,000 additional songs available through the SingStore for $AU2.45 each.

Again, as with previous games in the franchise SingStar Chart Hits is very much about the online connectivity. Not only can you download additional tracks (or Song Packs, or background themes) as we've mentioned but you can also get involved in the very large community by setting up your own profile, uploading your own video and audio performance (and thanks to a recent update you can now select the section of the video clip to upload. Best of all, as we briefly mentioned previously, thanks to a patch released in July 2010 one of our most requested features, online battles, is now available. To be honest we haven't tested this as extensively as we hoped but the limited time we used this feature was impressive.

Other little tidbits? Well the game uses the recently released wireless microphones which work exactly as you would expect. On the downside the game still doesn't recognise actual lyrics, so people humming can still nail a perfect song, or close to it.

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Milli Vanilli with their hit song...
Visually SingStar Chart Hits is on-par with previous titles in the series. The menus all look and operate in a very slick fashion with easy to use navigation and good album covers. The video clips, with the majority of songs on this disc being so recent, all look quite wonderful.

Audio on this disc is presented in stereo sound which is acceptable given the original tracks are presented in this way on CD as well. There isn't really much more to say here as everything acts as you would expect. I would, however love to see Sony push some "experimental" areas, perhaps throw in some crowd effects similar to Guitar Hero, or how about some ability to record your song and then remix the tone in your voice, or add effects. A little bit of extra fun. Still, this if fanciful thinking in an otherwise solid audio effort on SingStar Chart Hits.

Much of the excitement about this release actually has more to do with a patch that will work on any SingStar PS3 title - it adds vibrato, online battles and PSP functionality. As a song pack with 30 tracks we, being an older generation, weren't too excited about those included. Still younger fans should love this release so make sure you check out SingStar Chart Hits if you have a little time.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSThis release is on-par with previous titles with slick menus, the video clips, being recent, are decent.
SOUNDMusic is crystal clear and the menu sounds are good too.
GAMEPLAYThe gameplay, game modes, impress and a recent patch adds vabrato and online battles. Personally we weren't overly thrilled with the songs.
VALUEThere's 30 (disappointing for an old geezer like me) tracks on this disc. SingStore has over 1000 songs for a few dollars each.
OVERALLSingStar Chart Hits has 30 modern tracks, but that doesn't make them great karaoke. Still, this game is pretty impressive especially due to online components.

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