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May 16, 2009
SingStar Pop Edition - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
29/4/2009SonySonySCEE1-8None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc5345KB1080pDD5.1NoG
Note: As much of this release (such as the SingStore and certain game modes) is identical to that of other PS3 SingStar titles some sections of this review have been recycled.

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Pink - So What! in SingStar Pop Edition.
If there is one thing that Sony got so very right during the previous generation of consoles, it was bringing games to the masses. You don't need any skills with controllers and their multiple buttons to make use of the Eye Toy camera, nor the Buzz buzzers. Another genre which Sony managed to nail - and sell by the millions - was karaoke. No longer relegated to smokey Japanese bars, SingStar could be played by all in the comfort of your lounge room. When the PS3 launched the franchise was noted as a key product, and the releases to date have all been very impressive.

For those unaware all SingStar titles use songs by the original artists (not dodgy, off-key, remakes), and the original video clips where available. The game scores you according to the pitch of your voice compared to that of the original artist. The content of PS3 versions of SingStar remain quite similar to the PS2 titles in nearly every regard. Single player modes see you selecting a song and sing in either a long or short version with the goal being to score the highest number of points. If you want to practice the songs you can enter the Freestyle Mode.

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Sam Sparro with Black and Gold.
As with all iterations of the game the most fun is had when you hit the multi-player modes. In previous games 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. The third mode here is the Duet for 2-players which sees each player singing a different part of the song. Less competitive, but just as entertaining. Finally we have the Harmony Duet mode which allows two participants to sing different lines to a song at the same time. Of course trophies are again supported in this game.

Of course the track list is a key to any release in the franchise and SingStar Pop Edition includes 30 tracks. Here goes...
Alphabeat - 10.000 Nights Of Thunder
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer
Chris Brown - With You
Chris De Burgh - Lady In Red
Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
Gloria Estefan - Rhythm Is Gonna Get You
Jordin Sparks feat. Chris Brown - No Air
Kaiser Chiefs - Never Miss A Beat
Kate Nash - Mouthwash
Kings Of Leon - Sex On Fire
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow
Little Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me
Madness - It Must Be Love
Nelly feat. Fergie - Party People
P!nk - So What!
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
Robbie Williams - Angels
Robyn - Be Mine
Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me
Sam Sparro - Black And Gold
Solange - I Decided
Sugababes - Girls
The Feeling - Rose
The Killers - Human
The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
The Script - The Man Who Can't Be Moved
Will Young - Changes
will.i.am feat. Cheryl Cole - Heartbreaker
Yazoo - Don't Go

As with any SingStar release your liking, or disliking, of this disc will come down to the track listing. It really does bemuse and disappoint me that Sony would include Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody on this disc given that it is already included in SingStar Queen which eager fans would have purchased a month or so prior to this release. Still, it's a great track so that's something. Overall I actually feel this isn't a great compilations of songs for a karaoke release. Sure there are some great tracks, but also quite a few that I won't be singing, and several which I hadn't really heard of. One word Sony, most of the time when people sing karaoke they don't want slow, depressing songs. Give us lively.

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Kings of Leon in SingStar Pop Edition.
As with other titles in the franchise SingStar Pop Edition's online component isn't just about downloading the music as Sony have built an entire community to get involved with. You can set up a profile about yourself, and the game will record your high score. You can view everyone else's profile online, and also look at their media such as photos, audio and video. Speaking of which it is possible to, though the PSEye, take a photo of yourself (or your group of friends) or even record your performances to put online. New items can also be purchased including themes for the game (it is possible to change the look of the game with new background images and theme music which is a nice touch and while the game provides around a dozen on the disc, others can be purchased for a couple of dollars). The only thing missing from the online connectivity is the ability to compete online. Sadly while we hoped this would be added in future, this isn't the case as yet.

Finally, years after being initially promised, Sony has delivered the wireless microphones for use with all the SingStar titles. These hit shelves to coincide with the release of SingStar Queen and this game a month down the track. These mics are available separately from these games for $AU79.95, but seeing as we received them at the same time as this review disc we though we'd mention that they are awesome. Despite the fact that they don't use Blutooth - they have a USB Infrared dongle to plug in - the build quality is superb. Sony claim improved clarity with these microphones which may be true as they certainly sound impressive.

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Robbie Williams with Angel.
In terms of disappointments the biggest remains a lack of HD video clips - although with these songs being quite old that is probably understandable here. Another ongoing disappointment is that despite the massive boost in processing power PS3 SingStar still does not recognise actual lyrics being sung - you can still hum at the right pitch to rack up the scores. Finally in terms of online connectivity users can still only upload 30 second clips from PSEye recordings while singing, and there's still no option to select the clip to be uploaded.

Again this game is on par with other SingStar titles. The game retains the same slick menu interface of previous PS3 titles (and of course you can put new skins on the background for a personal touch. With many of these video clips being fairly new the video quality is quite good - I still really want HD video clips, especially in the SingStore. Audio is on par with other titles in the series with stereo sound, and some sweet menu sounds.

SingStar Pop Edition is another game on par with others in the series. To be honest we weren't overly thrilled with the song selection on this disc, but it is a personal preference issue rather then a technical one. I still want some new features in the game, but for fans of the franchise this is another solid release.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSThe video clips are generally very good as most are recent releases.
85%
SOUNDAs with other releases this game sounds good overall.
87%
GAMEPLAYThis is SingStar, same as before which is an issue.
78%
VALUE30 tracks as per every main SingStar release, but there aren't too many 'replayable' songs here for us.
70%
OVERALLSingStar Pop Edition is pretty much the same as all other PS3 titles, with the one difference being the track listing. On that count this isn't our favourite release, but your opinion may differ.
75%

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