The SingStar series has quietly become the definitive karaoke experience ever since the dissolution of Karaoke Revolution. The karaoke genre has quickly fallen to the wayside thanks to plastic instruments, but SingStar continues to impress with each outing. SingStar Queen is a collection of 25 songs from the flamboyant band, most of which will be recognizable by just about anyone who listens to the radio. The biggest question on everyone’s mind about this latest disc-expansion though has to be, why is this not downloadable content? SingStar continues to unleash artist-specific expansion discs, when placing the songs on the SingStore would be just as easy, and cheaper.
SingStar Queen looks and functions just like every other version of the game outside of the fact that it is themed for the band. The downloadable content is still accessible, the microphones are still the best on the market, and the overall gameplay is just as fantastic. The 25 songs included on the disc are a solid collection of known hits such as “We Are the Champions”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and “We Will Rock You”, just to name a few. The idea of artist-specific discs has always been a fine line for debates, but when you consider each song runs roughly two bucks, getting this disc for $40 is considered a steal.
But I can already hear people complaining about swapping discs, which is only necessary to play the tracks currently on other discs. Yes, even I can admit that having all the songs in one convenient place i.e. Rock Band is extremely convenient, but what about the people who only want to rock out to Radio GaGa? The bottom line of all of this is why does it matter? If you love Queen, enjoy singing their songs, and own a PlayStation 3, you really should be checking out the game instead of giving a thousand reasons why you refuse to purchase it.
The core mechanic to SingStar, for those that have not had the pleasure, remains intact. The lines of the song still float across the screen and you have to try and match the harmonies. The duet mode is a lot of fun, as is the pass the mic mode in multi-player. SingStar is one of the most accurate representations of karaoke I have seen to date, usurping even the excellent Karaoke Revolution series. Probably one of the most amazing realizations while playing this iteration is just how dynamic Freddie Mercury’s voice is. Some songs you can likely get by with little effort, but even some of the more well known tunes fluctuate through pitches that most normal human beings will likely have trouble hitting.
That is one of the brightest spots of the game though; watching your friends attempt to hit the ridiculously high notes, and failing miserably. Multi-player is definitely where it’s at with SingStar Queen, which makes the continued exclusion of online capabilities an enigma to us all. Every game has an online mode now, and for SingStar to continue to lag behind really drags down some of its appeal. You can still do the YouTube type thing where you upload videos of you and your friends acting ridiculous, as well as download other people doing the same, but a lack of true online play really drags down the experience.
What really separates SingStar Queen from everything else is in fact the band. Queen is one of the most eccentric rock groups of the last decade, and watching Freddie Mercury dance on stage during some of the videos is truly iconic. Say what you want about his actions, but he is truly one of the best performers in the last thirty years. The songs also lend themselves extremely well to karaoke, much more so than a typical Rock Band type of scenario. Queen’s music ranges from extremely poppy, to downright melodic, and that is never more represented than in the vocals.
SingStar Queen is a great addition to the band-specific discs that Sony continues to release. If you are a fan the 25 songs on the disc are more than enough to warrant a purchase. If you already own SingStar you know what to expect, and until they allow you to transfer the songs into the game, this will be the only way to enjoy the sounds of Mercury and company. While it might not be the most ideal delivery system, there is no denying just how much fun it is to sing “I Want to Break Free” when surrounded by a group of drunk gaming nerds.