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SingStar Queen (PS3 and PS2)

 

SingStar Queen (PS3 and PS2)

ESRB: Teen - T
Platform: PS3
Category: Miscellaneous
 
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PS3 Graphics 7 | Sound 9 | Gameplay 6.5 | Tilt 7 || Overall 7

PS2 Graphics 6.5 | Sound 8.5 | Gameplay 6.5 | Tilt 7 || Overall 6.5

Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America

Features:

No. of Players: 1-8
Hard Disk Space Required: 8763KB (PS3)
Memory Card (575 KB) (PS2)
Supported HD Video Output: 720p, 1080i, 1080p (PS3)
Online Broadband Required (PS3)
Playstation Network Compatible (PS3)
SingStar Microphone Converter Required (PS2)
EyeToy USB Camera Compatible (PS2)

It seems like our Editor-in-Chief has been able to consistently reroute all the SingStar games my way for the past couple of years. So it should come as no surprise to our readers that I am once again back with another SingStar review, this time SingStar Queen. I am a little ‘jacked-up’ about this instalment in the franchise as I grew up listening to all my father’s Queen records and cassettes. I still recall driving to the Lake in my Dad’s black Monte Carlo with ‘Radio Ga Ga’ blasting in the background. Yes, Queen was one of those mega bands whose legacy continues strong today.

I had the chance to give the PS2 and PS3 versions a spin. So on that note we are trying something new by combining both platforms reviews all in one. Being a fan of the band, this was arguably the best SingStar experience I have had to date. That said, the franchise seems to be spinning its wheels a little bit and is rapidly falling behind far superior games in the same genre.

Graphics

Given the dual nature of this review (PS3 and PS2) the first 5 screen shots are from the PS3 version and the second 5 screenshots from the PS2 version.

The visuals in SingStar Queen are about what I expected. The PS3 version is obviously much slicker looking than the PS2 version; however, the actual videos themselves are presented in standard definition on both consoles. The menu’s, overall presentation and all the other animated sequences look much better on the PS3’s high definition display. Bottomline, SingStar Queen follows the same look and feel of other SingStar games. The only difference is that it is all about Queen. Aside from the Queen videos and opening presentation, the game stays very true to the franchise. As a result, I don’t put much weight on the games visuals as SingStar games are not your typical video games given its’ karaoke lineage. Nevertheless, SingStar Queen looks just as good as the other SingStar games as nothing has been enhanced or improved visually with this game.

My primary concern with the game rests with the standard definition Queen videos. I expected this with the PS2 version but the PS3 videos look equally pitiful. They just don’t look that great as they are displayed in their original standard definition format. They definitely look as though they were produced back in the days when Beta and VHS were just arriving on the scene. Yes, I know they are older videos; however I just expected them to be re-mastered or cleaned up a little especially for the PS3 version. I am sorry, but in this day of high definition gaming I can’t bare looking at standard definition videos on a next generation console.

Aside from some of the dated looking music videos, the rest of SingStar Queen delivers. First off the presentation of the game is very good. The menus are easy to navigate and they do look fantastic on the PS3. The same cannot be said for the PS2 version but they are clean looking and consistent with other SingStar games that are on the aging console. The PS3’s game is clean and maintains that signature SingStar PS3 look. The online interface for the PS3 game is equally as pleasing. Once you move past the main menu and jump into the song selection area, you are once again greeted with a slick looking song selection area. The album covers and other Queen artwork is displayed as you flip through your selections and you get a preview to the video before you make your final selection. All in all SingStar Queen scores decent marks visually but the standard definition videos really hold this game back.

Sound

In a karaoke or music/rhythm game the sound is arguably the most important aspect. Fortunately for Queen fans, the game delivers in this department. All the songs and music video's are master tracks which gives the game instant credibility and authenticity. SingStar Queen features the bands most recognizable tunes which made the band an international smash hit. For the PS3, the songs themselves all sound terrific in 5.1 surround sound and come through crystal clear. The PS2 version is obviously not as rich in the sound department but overall it is still pretty good. It was sure great to go down memory lane with some of those old Queen tunes which made the band famous. At the end of the day, I really have no complaints with the sound of the game on both consoles.

Gameplay

Regardless how many SingStar reviews I do I always feel that I have to explain what the franchise is about for those one or two people who haven’t played it. SingStar is essentially a karaoke game which features a scoring system that includes the artist's music video playing in the background. Similar to the vocals in game like Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour, SingStar Queen for the PS3 and PS2 has you sing along with music in order to score points. Users interface with their console of choice via the SingStar USB microphones. If you do not have the microphones from a previous edition of the franchise you can get the game with the two microphones and the USB adapater. The SingStar franchise does not measure how well you know the lyrics but rather uses a system which gauges your pitch (again similar to Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour). The pitch you are required to sing is displayed on horizontal bars and these bars correspond with the lyrics of the song. Your pitch is compared to the pitch of the artist(s) singing the song. The better your singing abilities (e.g. the better your pitch and timing) the better you score.

SingStar Queen for the PS3 comes with 25 tracks out of the box which is about 5 less tracks than your typical SingStar games. The PS2 version comes with 20 out of the box. So in the end PS3 owners are getting a little more bang their buck. The song selection is good but obviously I would have liked to have seen a few more obscure Queen songs included in the set list. Also, considering cost of the game, 25 PS3 or 20 PS2 tracks seems a tad skimpy. Ideally I would like to see a cheaper game with the existing set list or more tracks with the existing price. For those of you wondering, the game arrives out of the box with the following track list:

• Another One Bites the Dust
• Bicycle Race
• Bohemian Rhapsody
• Breakthru
• Crazy Little Thing Called Love
• Don't Stop Me Now
• Fat Bottom Girls
• I Want it All
• I Want to Break Free
• Innuendo
• One Vision
• Play the Game
• Somebody to Love
• These are the Days of Our Lives
• Tie Your Mother Down
• Under Pressure
• We are the Champions
• We Will Rock You
• Who Wants to Live Forever
• You're My Best Friend


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