Singstar Ultimate Party
One of PlayStation’s most popular franchises is Singstar. Since its debut in 2004, Singstar has brought karaoke parties to countless homes worldwide, and it has become the highest-selling music property of all time with over 26 million copies sold.
It makes sense then, that Sony and London Studio would bring the popular party game to the PlayStation 4. This latest version, ‘Singstar: Ultimate Party’, still uses microphones but also has the ingenious ability to use a free app which turns your smart phone into a microphone. While the accuracy and functionality of the smart phone app truly impresses me, the songs present in Singstar: Ultimate Party and the removal of Singstar’s entertaining party features do not.
Singstar Ultimate party’s core gameplay is identical to that of previous Singstar games, players choose a song to sing either solo or with a friend, jump in, and match the on-screen lyrics and pitches as best they can. While this is absolutely fun in itself, long-time series fans will miss the party features that Singstar possessed in previous releases. Swap the Mic, Duets, and Medleys have all been removed – as have the various difficulties players can select. While the core mechanics of scoring and pitch recognition have been refined (they are in reality the best they’ve ever been), the lack of party features truly does make for a fairly standard Singstar experience.
My own personal tastes can be pretty varied or even niche at times, which is why I held off playing the earlier Singstar games – they simply didn’t appeal to me. With time, however, the SingStore began to cater to someone like myself with offerings from some of the more popular grunge, alternative and hard rock artists from over the years such as Three Days Grace, Awolnation, Die Toten Hosen, Evanescence, and more. While the on-disc songs for Singstar: Ultimate Party are a pop lover’s dream, anyone else will be sorely disappointed by the pop-dominant soundtrack.
Seriously, it’s like they dipped Singstar Ultimate Party in sugar before they released it. It’s crammed with the likes of Pharrell Williams, 5 Seconds of Summer, Carly Rae Jespen, Ellie Goulding, Kylie Minogue, and everyone else who bounces and dances everywhere instead of, y’know, walking. While this is great for kids and pop lovers, a large portion of Singstar‘s audience isn’t being catered to with Singstar: Ultimate Party.
Apparently, the PlayStation 4’s SingStore is going to be regularly updated with previously released tracks, meaning that people who have bought songs for PlayStation 3 versions of Singstar can port their already purchased tracks across free of charge. Unfortunately, there is no word on exactly how long the restoration process is taking, so it’s luck of the draw if your entire library of downloadable content is available.
Singstar: Ultimate Party achieves the best core gameplay mechanics the series has ever seen. That is, the measuring of one’s singing is more accurate than ever. Unfortunately though, it omits gameplay features many have accepted as commonplace in the series. Its soundtrack (while expandable through separate online purchases) will make or break the game for many, as it is entirely comprised of current and recent pop hits. Regardless, of its name, the “ultimate party” this is not.