Platform: PS3 (Also on PS2)
ESRB Rating: T
Developer: SCE London
Review by: Bill Jones
Sony’s competitive karaoke series gives Freddie Mercury and company a much-deserved full-band release treatment with SingStar Queen. And while the stand-alone title does little to advance the SingStar experience, the band proves to be the perfect choice for such a release, much like Metallica’s Guitar Hero outing.
The interface of SingStar Queen is nearly identical to that of the game’s initial release. Simple menus with no frills and a modern look offer solo, cooperative and competitive modes, as well as the online store, and personal media capture (photos and videos) of performances.
One player can test his or her vocal skills on any of the 25 tracks on the disc for score by plugging in the required USB microphone, or playing them as duets or competitively with one friend and an extra mic. As usual, SingStar plays the music videos in the background, or allows for the PlayStation Eye to be used to feature the wannabe performers and take snapshots throughout. The player’s vocal pitch is compared to the original track and scored based on the difficulty level – easy, medium or hard.
While many may have hoped for Queen’s material to appear in a full-band game, the London quartet’s rock n’ roll tunes make for a great disc release by Sony for its karaoke franchise. From the rock strut of “Another One Bites the Dust,” to the old-school rolling of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” to the hilarious lyrics of “Fat Bottomed Girls,” to the arena rock anthems of “We are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You,” to the intricate harmonies of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” gamers will be challenged by the vocal prowess of Mercury. And though it is a shame to be left without anything to do during those awesome guitar solos, SingStar will likely capture the moments gamers find themselves air-guitaring or strutting through the living room like the famed front man.
Sony does little else to spice things up, add a story mode, otherwise Queen-ify the release or advance the series in any way, but the songs are ultimately enough. Queen fans will eat this up, though everyone will likely note a few favorites missing from the mix, but karaoke enthusiasts should also take notice. Even casual fans will appreciate the variety and challenge to be found on SingStar Queen. And the never-ending quest for bling is present in the form of trophy support for the title. It is also a stand-alone title, rather than an expansion pack, so newcomers are welcome.
For more info, http://us.playstation.com