Earlier this year Sony released Singstar to the market, a peripheral for the system which was actually also a fairly in depth game. Singstar, like the Eyetoy, sold like hot cakes proving that Sony once again had managed to gain the mainstream market and again prove that console peripherals, if designed well, can succeed. Naturally with such success comes sequels and thus we have the first of probably many sequels for Singstar, but it doesn't do as much as some may like.
For those who missed the original game as the name implies, Singstar Party is a karaoke game. It has various songs which people of different ages will know but this is probably the most limiting factor of the franchise. You can't put your own songs into sing even without lyrics and considering the quality of the microphones and just how well the game is constructed, it is quite a shame.
Once you select your song, the game has three difficulty levels and this determines how harsh you are marked by the game in terms of keeping up with the song and that can often be at times be quite a challenge on the easiest difficulty level. The one thing you will notice with Singstar is if you know the song straight away you will be able to get the song fairly right but some songs you will have to go through once to get the beat and speed of the song and then notice a major improvement in how well you do. The game gives you a ranking from Tone Deaf through to Singstar based on how well you sing.
The song compilation for Party is fairly decent and includes some very recent hits as well as a lot of classics. Artists include amongst others, The Spice Girls (Who do you think you are), Spandau Ballet (Gold), so as you can see there is quite a mix to the music on offer. There is also now duets in the game and this can be played by one or two people. When in single player mode, the game asks you to select which piece you would like to sing and the game will take care of the other bit via the video clips which are displayed as you play.
What Singstar Party does well is pick up your voice and tone. On the screen there are guides as to how high or low the pitch of upcoming lyrics is and the game measures if your in tune with the song or not. What Singstar Party does not do well is provide the right lyrics. Sometimes the game will have the main song lyrics but then you will also begin to sing backup singers parts, with the combination running into each other making it incredibly tough to keep up.
The other thing about Singstar Party is that a lot of the modes from the original game, such as the career mode has been removed. The focus really is on multiplayer in this version of the game and as such if you don't have friends to play with then its not going to be a great game for you. The multiplayer modes such as battle etc all return but other than that there really is not much for people to play around with.
Singstar Party really is, as the name implies, for parties only. If you don't have the original Singstar then really it is hard to justify the purchase of Party due to the lack of value in terms of being able to play it as a game and not just an expansion.