Songs also available for downloadThe singing part of the game is typical SingStar fare as you follow the pitch lines on the screen and try and stay in tune racking up points for bragging rights come the end of the song. The format of the guitar sections is practically identical to those in Guitar Hero and Rock Band where you see a vertically scrolling series of notes that corresponds with the colours on your guitar peripheral. Press them at the right time and it feels like your jamming along to your favourite tunes. Presentation is slick, but the lack of features pales in comparison to Guitar Hero and Rock Band.
It lacks a career mode, or a star power feature (which it would surely have benefited from,) or any of the type of challenges that you'd face if you were playing one of the rival games. It's a stripped down guitar playing experience compared to what we're used to, but it does, to all intent and purpose, provide yet another solid rhythm-based experience that puts an extra feather in the bow of the SingStar series. Wisely, Sony allows for any third party guitar peripheral to be used on SingStar Guitar, there are no official Sony controllers, so if you already own Guitar Hero or Rock Band you can use those guitars. It also caters for four players. Two can play guitars and two sing, or you can combine roles, singing and playing the guitar at the same time - which is both challenging and fun.
While the game lacks the depth of a fully-fledged rhythm-based game, the addition of the guitar does give the Singstar franchise a broader appeal. A few times a year, my wife gets Singstar out at parties and thrusts a microphone in front of my face. I hate singing but I like playing the guitar, so now I get the chance to jam along without embarrassing myself. Furthermore, it's a relatively cheap game, retailing at approximately £17.99. That's quite a good deal for 30 songs. You also don't even have to buy the disc. Sony is busy adding and updating existing tracks on SingStore to be compatible with third party controllers, so if you fancy just testing this new game mode out you could just download one track and see whether you like it.
We think you will, especially if you're a male with a bad voice in a SingStar playing house of females.