Sony's SingStar series could well be one of the most inspired creations of the PlayStation 2 era. With this, the EyeToy, and the Buzz series of games, the company has got the non-gamer crowd pretty much sewn up. Keen to capitalise on SingStar's current popularity amongst the post-pub party gamers, SingStar '90s brings together 30 classic tunes from the 1990s in a budget priced collection.
If you've been avoiding the SingStar phenomenon (it's certainly not for everyone), the game is basically a video game version of Karaoke, played to the music video of each track, and scored by how well the singer performs the track that's been selected. Being an expansion (although you don't need to own any previous game in the series) this plays exactly the same as all the others, but the collection of tunes is really rather excellent if you're a child of the 80s and remember the 90s like they were yesterday.
The collection consists of the likes of All Saints' 'Never Ever' through to more questionable classics such as the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' and Billy Ray Cyrus' 'Achey Breaky Heart'. While the last SingStar I reviewed (SingStar Anthems) was very much made for women and camp men, SingStar '90s is an altogether more rounded collection.
In truth no number of words can tell you if you should buy SingStar '90s or not, so while printing out the track listing is about as bad as copying the text on the back of the case, if you like the look of the following songs you're going to enjoy 'SingStar 90s.
Full SingStar '90s track list:
1. ALL SAINTS - Never Ever
2. AQUA - Barbie Girl
3. B-52's - Love Shack
4. BARENAKED LADIES - One Week
5. BILLY RAY CYRUS - Achey Breaky Heart
6. CRASH TEST DUMMIES - MMM MMM MMM MMM
7. DIVINYLS - I Touch Myself
8. EMF - Unbelievable
9. GIN BLOSSOMS - Hey Jealousy
10. LISA LOEB - Stay
11. MC HAMMER - U Can't Touch This
12. MEREDITH BROOKS - Bitch
13. M PEOPLE - Movin' On Up
14. NATALIE IMBRUGLIA - Torn
15. NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK - Step By Step
16. NICK CAVE & KYLIE MINOGUE - Where the Wild Roses Grow
17. POISON - Unskinny Bop
18. RADIOHEAD - Creep
19. REM - Everybody Hurts
20. ROACHFORD - Only to be with You
21. SAVAGE GARDEN - I Want You
22. SEAL - Kiss From A Rose
23. SIR MIX A LOT - Baby Got Back
24. SPICE GIRLS - Wannabe
25. SPIN DOCTORS - Two Princes
26. TECHNOTRONIC FEAT. FELLY - Pump Up The Jam
27. THE CARDIGANS - Lovefool
28. THE CRANBERRIES - Zombie
29. THE CURE - Friday I'm In Love
30. WET WET WET - Love Is All Around
While a pretty excellent set of songs for a karaoke session, it's becoming obvious that the series really needs some new life injected into it. The PlayStation 2 hardware may well be holding the development team back, but some advancement in the way the game rates a singer's voice would have been nice. Hopefully we'll see a bit of an overhaul in the PlayStation 3 game, which by all accounts should be the ultimate Karaoke-style video game - even if the prospect of thousands of micro-transactions is a scary thought.
Little else can be said about SingStar '90s. If you like SingStar and like the thirty tunes listed above, you'll love it. The majority of the tunes are the kind that everyone knows most of the words to, and the collection is far more balanced for males and females than some of the previous expansion packs.