Abarcy

SingStar Legends

The concept behind SingStar is very simple. You sing the words as they appear on screen, and bars appear indicating how high or low the notes should be sung, and how long each note lasts. If you sing in tune, the bar lights up, and if you're off-key a line appears above or below the bar to show how far out you were.

SingStar Legends has a track list that spans several decades, and as the title implies, all 30 of the songs were big hits. There's quite a broad range of styles, including Black Sabbath, Whitney Houston, Patsy Cline and Elvis Presley.

This version of SingStar also features a wide range of male and female vocals. You can sing all of the songs an octave above or below that of the singer and still score, so in theory at least the vocal range should not matter. But in practice it's much harder to hit the right notes when you do this, so it's always preferable to sing within your own range.

So this is a collection of songs that aims to have something for everyone, rather than 30 songs that one (normal) person could sing entirely comfortably. Indeed, some of the tracks on SingStar Legends are very challenging, often because of their speed or range of notes.

After a few songs you may realise that the scoring is rather generous. On the Easy level you might gain points for hitting nearly the right note. Singing too flat or sharp can sound just as bad as singing a note that's half an octave out, so nearly is not good enough. It's not until you move up to the Hard level that the game requires a decent level of accuracy. However, this does give you a chance to measure your progress even when you can't sing your way out of a paper bag.

One of the problems with SingStar Legends is a lack of vocal warm-up exercises. Nor is there any advice about how to sing without damaging your voice. This is a serious omission, because you can permanently spoil your voice by going about things the wrong way.

Playback is a fantastic feature for analysing and tracking your progress. You can use it to record your singing (if you have enough space in your memory card - it does take up a lot if you do this several times), or you can play it back immediately. This can be excruciating, but it really does help you to critique your singing. It also does confirm the accuracy of this game's scoring, if you had any doubts.

There are various battle, duet and multiplayer modes, which are good for parties. You can also load songs from other SingStar titles without having to start a new game each time, a feature which is handy if not crucial.

SingStar Legends is surprisingly addictive, and it's accessible enough to coax the most reluctant singers into giving it a try. This one's more superstar than wannabe.